MISSOULA — With high school track and field back in 2021 after the lost 2020 season, Missoula Sentinel's boys team missed out on an opportunity to repeat their 2019 Class AA state title run.
However, in 2021 the Spartans are looking as formidable as ever, and two key members are twin brothers Drew and Tanner Klumph. And the juniors share one major common trait with one another.
"We’re both really competitive," Drew said. "We both really like to win and it’s nice because we don’t have to compare each other in most of our events but it’s fun when we’re both being really successful."
However, the two are quite the opposites.
Drew, who plays football in the fall, sprints, hurdles and pole vaults in the spring. Meanwhile Tanner, who runs cross country, handles the distance races.
So track and field is the lone sport where the two bring their collective talents together.
"It’s fun when we do get to compete but also it’s fun doing separate events and we each can hold our own and it helps the team better that we’re in separate events so it’s fun," Tanner said.
But in their experience in their other respective sports, the two know plenty about winning.
The Spartans won state championships in football and cross country last fall, with the twin duo right there contributing in both sports. Tanner took second overall at the State AA cross country meet in Kalispell, while Drew saw plenty of time as a defensive back for the undefeated Spartan football team.
Now on the track, Drew, who is the elder twin by 20 minutes, ranks in the top 10 in the state regardless of classification in both the 110 and 300 hurdles. His 110 time ranks seventh at 15.58 seconds, while his 300 mark of 40.43 ranks third but first in Class AA.
"As a school Sentinel's been really successful this year all across the board," Drew said. "So carrying it into this track season, it would be really special to have another state title, and it would be really cool to have all of those athletes, both guys and girls, finish strong."
Tanner is top 10 in the 800 (seventh at 2:01.23), 1,600 (second at 4:26.48) and 3,200 (third at 9:43.60) races.
"We're just lucky to have a season. Just to be out there and compete and have some sense of normalcy is really nice this year," Tanner said. "It's hard to keep up with it all because I'm trying to get ready for all of my races and then I'm cheering on Drew. It's just been good seeing both of us being able to succeed this and being able to compete."
The two played all of the same sports through middle school before going separate ways, but that makes track season extra special with the two competing side-by-side once again. Because of the lost year in 2020, the duo have also found themselves as two of the team's leaders and top performers after watching the Spartans win it all as freshmen two years ago.
"There’s brothers working together but then there’s twins and I think that just adds a more special feature to it," Tanner said. "You’re the same age, you’ve grown up together and you know, when I think you’re little you always dream about competing with your twin and doing great stuff with your twin so it’s been special this year."
"We don’t do any other sports together and so this is kind of the one time of the year when we get to be with each other for most of the day after school," Drew added. "It’s cool especially because we get to compete in the 4x400 and stuff like that together and it’s really fun. It’s a lot more fun than other sports where you don’t get to see each other as much."