CHOTEAU — Belt junior Lindsey Paulson is always excited for track season but especially this one. After missing last season she isn’t taking anything for granted, running just about every race under the sun.
With just a few weeks to go in the season, Paulson has top times in Class C in the 800-meter (2:19.24), the 1,600-meter (5:26.97) and the 3,200-meter (11:53.27). She also has the second-best time in the 400-meter, and sometimes she does the 100-meter and 200-meter, just to get faster.
"You can't take it for granted. Every day you have to make the most out of it, every meet, every practice," Paulson said. "That's kind of my mentality going in this year, is just make the most out of every single race. So far, so good. It’s been working."
Many athletes grind all season to have a chance at a state title in one event, but Paulson will no doubt be in the running for four state championships in those distance races at the state meet later in May. And running all those races, she has trouble picking a favorite.
"Mid-distance is probably my favorite, 400 to the mile. It’s hard to choose," she said. "Some people find it crazy, but I like how much longer it is. I like having the endurance of the run."
Paulson comes from an athletic family, but she’s the most track-oriented of the group, so motivation isn’t a problem -- a coach's dream, according to her distance mentor Megan Graham.
"She loves track. Where the kids are kind of dreading it as basketball was winding down, she couldn't wait to get out there and run," Graham said. "She was really looking forward to cross country this year, just because track got canceled last year. So she was ready to go as soon as the first day of track hit."
The State C meet is in Missoula on May 27-29.