HELENA — The last two seasons the Helena High track and field team got an indoor start to their season, but with better temperatures than expected, Helena High head coaches Jesse Zentz and Manny Garza for the girls and boys teams, respectively, both believe that good weather is a necessary factor to getting off to a hot start.
“I think it's huge because we don't have a long season anyway. So getting the right preparation in and getting outside and on the track with the kids right away is super important,” said Zentz.
“You can do a lot of stuff in the gym and work on power and speed, but just being able to be out and condition and getting those longer distances is key for all levels,” said Garza.
For seniors on the squad, while they’re well aware of the current state of their sport, with masks and distancing being a crucial part of practices, it’s not exactly the way they pictured their senior year going.
“It's definitely not. Like with everything last year, how it came to an abrupt stop. It's kind of like, it's just kind of crazy how it ended and we're just trying to get it together and have just finished the season and see what happens,” said William Mansfield.
“It has been like odd that it's my senior year already. And I think that it is kind of weird being my senior year that and I'm kind of glad that it's almost over and at the same time, I'm kind of glad it's been going the way it has been,” said Trystan Brewer.
Last year the Helena track and field team made it through one week of practices before COVID-19 postponed, and eventually canceled, the Spring sports season. Now as the Bengals are shaping up to start their season in April, it doesn't exactly feel real.
“No, it's honestly hard to believe because like, I just feel so blessed that we can finally have a season. And like, even with the masks and everything, it's all worth it,” said Summer Unger.
“It really doesn't. It seems like it's just gonna be deja vu again and just it's kind of scary; getting to the point where we were last year when everything got canceled,” said Katelyn Hamill.
Believe it or not, the Helena High track and field team is slated to begin their season on Apr. 6 against Butte.