GREAT FALLS -- When the Great Falls High track team came out to practice at Memorial Stadium, they were ripping the tags off brand new warm-up gear. It’s new to them but not for the program. The team purchased the gear last year, but when the 2020 season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the gear has been sitting in storage since last March.
“The gear is nice. It feels good, it looks nice,” said junior sprinter and thrower Ryan Krahe. “And I’m ready to go to a meet and face the weather.”
Athletes like Krahe were happy to be back on the track for the 2021 spring sports season. But he’s returning to practice after a full football and basketball season. There are other athletes, like sprinter Ethan Hann, who consider track their main sport.
“It was definitely hard not having a junior year track because it's a lot of our favorite sports and it's nice to see a bunch of our friends again,” Hann said. “I just love competing in the spring, it’s a good use of my time.”
This season has extra importance for senior sprinter Taylor Torgerson. She recently became the first athlete to sign with Montana Tech’s new track and field team. And a strong senior season will help her at the next level.
“My standards are up there, but I don't want to stress myself out too much knowing that I didn't have a season last year,” Torgerson said. “And all the younger kids, they didn't have a season, so it's all new to a lot of people.”
Track and field requires a lot of muscle memory. The Bison and the rest of the teams in the state have to shake off a year’s worth of rust, but they’re more than up to the challenge.
“It's tiring, it’s exhausting and it’s hard,” Hann said. “It's a lot of work, but it's worth it.”
Great Falls High opens the season on April 2 with a dual meet at Bozeman Gallatin.