GREAT FALLS — After one year of varsity sports, it’s clear that Great Falls High sophomore Reed Harris's main trait as an athlete is that he just keeps getting better. This fall he was a quiet quarterback who initially struggled with the speed of Class AA, but by the end of the season he looked the part.
Then in basketball, Harris led Class AA in field goal percentage (61.2%) and was a huge presence on the Bison boys team that took second at the State AA tournament. In his first varsity track season, Harris holds a 22-foot, 6-inch jump that is the best long jump mark in Montana. And he has top-10 times in the 100- and 200-meter dashes.
"It's always been a goal to just be the best at everything that I do," Harris told MTN Sports at the crosstown track dual with Great Falls CMR. "I had 21 (feet), I knew I could keep going up and I still feel like I can keep going. My goal was to hit 23 today, but it didn’t work out."
His growth as an athlete isn’t surprising to his coaches, though. Harris has not only the physical skills to be a historic athlete for the Bison, but he also the ultimate team-player attitude, according to his jumping coach Chris Napierala.
"We had a middle school track meet and Reed went down there to help break the pit for the middle schoolers," Napierala said. "So he's down there working with the younger kids, and that's just the type of kid he is. You don't have to ask him to do something."
Napierala can remember the days of Great Falls High's record-setting jumper Mark Reed, who set the school's top long jump mark at 23 feet, 2 inches in 1983. Napierala doesn't doubt Harris could be the one to break it.
"That's what we're striving for right now," he said. "We want to try to take it one meet at a time -- divisionals and then set our sights for state and do well there. But yeah, he's got two years to make some marks and make some improvement in all the sports, not just track."
Harris' favorite sport is whatever he’s playing at the moment, so right now he just wants to win a State AA title in long jump and maybe gain some notoriety, as if he didn’t already have some.
"It'd be great. I feel like it gives me a good chance at some scholarships in college and kind of put me on the radar and people and kind of figure out who I am," he said.