HELENA — With all the practice time in the world and no place to go, the Carroll College indoor track and field team is having to look elsewhere for meets this year. With their normal schedule upended due to Montana State and Idaho State not hosting indoor meets this year, the Fighting Saints will head to Black Hills State in South Dakota on Jan. 22. As they prepare to compete in their first meet since March of 2020, head track and field coach Harry Clark said his team is ready.
“We haven't competed since March of last year. That's our main thing. You can see in these guys' eyes that it's time to get going," said Clark.
The Carroll track and field team had to disperse due to the COVID-19 pandemic back in March as it was getting ready to move from its indoor season to the outdoor season. For senior Josh Malone, this final year has certainly been different.
“Smaller practices and stuff and getting more one-on-one time with coach, that's also good," said Malone. "We're missing out on that, like, kind of team camaraderie and getting everybody together, but it's been good to get kind of that individual work in with coaches.”
When the Fighting Saints head to Black Hills State, it will also be the first time that they'll compete against many of the schools they’ll face at the meet. Though they’ll be coming in as the 'new kids on the block,' sophomore Lee Walburn thinks they’ll stand a good chance.
"Definitely like that underdog mentality and wanting to prove yourself. Like we're NAIA, but when we compete against Bozeman and MSU it's like we're there to prove that, you know, we can compete at any level," said Walburn. "I'm excited to compete and can't wait to put Carroll on the map and hopefully get some wins."