There must be something in the water in Big Timber.
Fresh off the first State B girls basketball title in 40 years, the Sheepherders are putting together an impressive track and field season with many of the same faces that helped them hoist that first-place trophy in March.
“We knew Natalie Wood is young and very good distance girl, she got second, I think, at state cross country, so we knew our distance would be covered," Big Timber coach Kim Finn said. "We knew we had some good jumpers, high jumpers and triple jumpers, and sprinters. Alyssa Boshart is doing great in the sprints. So we knew our girls team would be winning a lot of events.”
They certainly have been winning quite a bit. Wood and Boshart are among the best in Class B in their respective events, while junior Emily Cooley has the top high jump mark in the classification at 5 feet, 3 inches. Boshart has the No. 2 time in Class B in the 100-meter dash (12.80 seconds), is third in the 200 (27.17) and second in the 400 (59.88). Wood is fifth in the 1,600-meter run (5 minutes, 35.30 seconds) and first in the 3,200 (11:57.14).
That success isn’t a surprise to Finn and her girls, though.
“They’re girls that just like to work hard and they’re competitive and they want to do well and they want to win," Finn said. "I’m like that. I’m competitive and want to get the best out of all of them, so I expect them to work, not just in season. So I think a lot of work in the off-season by these track athletes. Then it carries over to basketball, then working hard in basketball. They’re just very athletic, competitive girls and they want to win.”
“It’s super exciting. It makes you push yourself harder when your teammates are better than you and you want to reach them," said Cooley. "You push yourself to be as close to them as you can. If you can’t beat them, that’s OK. You just get closer and closer every time. It pushes everyone to be better when everyone cares about it.”
Wood, Boshart and Cooley will likely need to be at their best for Big Timber to bring home a trophy from the State B meet later this month, but the Herders also have the depth to push for points, as showcased by their two relay teams that both rank inside the top three in Class B this season.
“We definitely feel like we have a shot. We kind of just go to track meets and do our things," Cooley said. "We expect each other to do our best and win if they can…If you want to be good, you have to work hard and try hard and you’re going to be good. Hard work doesn’t just amount to nothing.”
“I think we can place. We have strong girls in almost every event that place high or win at all these meets we’ve been at, so we’re very hopeful we can get a trophy at state if we can stay healthy and compete at our best then." Finn said.
Big Timber will have several girls represented at the State B track and field meet in Laurel on May 28 and 29.