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Broadus junior Thomas Oylear emerging as Class C's top distance runner

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Posted at 4:32 PM, May 05, 2023

LAUREL — Broadus junior Thomas Oylear is currently Class C's top distance runner.

Oylear's time of 4:30.59 seconds in the 1,600 and 9:51.48 in the 3,200 are the top marks in the classification.

You're not alone if the name doesn't sound familiar — Oylear is nearly 2,000 miles from where his sophomore year ended.

“My parents, they just wanted to move and get out of the city in Virginia, so they came to Broadus. They wanted to live in the country, in a rural area in Montana," Oylear told MTN Sports.

It’s definitely a change of pace for Oylear, having lived in Fredericksburg, Virginia, with nearly 30,000 people. Broadus? Population south of 500.

“My old high school had about 1,500 students. Then here in Broadus its about 70, 68 kids," Oylear said.

Oylear missed out on the state track meet in Virginia last year, and that motivated him to put the miles in during the summer and winter months.

It’s a bit different training at 3,000 feet above sea level, whereas his previous high school of Stafford hovered right around 100 feet.

“It's hard," Oylear said. "During the winter and fall, I would train and run up hills. With the altitude around 3,000 (feet), the first time I did it I could only do about four or five. Now I can do about 10 and run forever."

Oylear’s family certainly found some peace and quiet out in Powder River County, but his name won’t be a mystery to the Montana running community for long.