HELENA – Flip through the track and field archives on the Montana High School Association website and you’ll find a storied history of hurdles champions from Helena. But many of those winners donned Helena Capital uniforms. Aidan Fitzgerald hopes to add some cardinal red to that mixture.
The Helena High senior held Montana’s fastest time in the 110-meter high hurdles for the majority of the season, running from the mid-15 range to last weekend’s personal record of 14.71. That has Fitzgerald pegged as the third-fastest heading into the weekend’s state meet.
“I’m definitely where I want to be. Last year wasn’t too good of a year for me so coming out and putting some times down is a good feeling.”
Fitzgerald says he focused on maintaining a proper weight and becoming more flexible this season, which has allowed for his consistent times in the low 15-second range. He also knows proper form and fluid steps between hurdles can mean the difference between first place and not making the podium.
“This year I’ve stepped that up a little bit, I’ve attacked it more. Instead of trying to jump over, you kind of run through it because you can blow them to the side if you need to. I’m trying to kick between hurdles and ultimately be super calm because last year I got too nervous. I’m trying to have fun with it, talk to the other guys that are there and try to have fun.”
The starting blocks in Butte should feel fairly close to home as Fitzgerald is likely to line up somewhere near teammate Derrick Olsen, whose 14.34 is the top mark in the state.
“Me and Derrick are good friends and we kind of want to rise together. We’re hoping to go one-two at state this year if we can make that happen.”
Two teammates with top three times. Fans catching the hurdles this weekend should have no problems noticing that Helena High cardinal red.