Laurel senior Jakob Webinger spent most of last season as the fastest guy in Class A, so that’s why it was a bit surprising when Billings Central’s Brock Ping was the first to cross the finish line in last spring’s State A 100-meter dash finals.
That runner-up finish served as motivation for Webinger all offseason.
“Every day I’ve thought about it, and that’s one thing that’s just pushed me like crazy this offseason, is to train, get in the weight room and bust my butt to never let that feeling happen again," Webinger said.
“He’s just an internally driven kid. He calls me to do workouts. I don’t have to push and prod to get him to do stuff. He’s just what every coach really wants and needs," said Curtis Fox, Webinger's sprint coach.
Webinger is the school record holder in the 100 at 10.88 seconds and has Class A’s top time this year at 11.15. It wasn’t long ago, though, that he was chasing down one of his teammates, Beau Dantic.
“(Dantic has) always been faster than me. Always has been until last year when he got hurt, which sucked for him. We were really excited for me and him to race," Webinger said. "Me and him just have the same mindset – just work, work, work and win, win, win. That’s how it always has been. He’s a great competitor and I love racing with him.”
“It’s a fun atmosphere to be in with our sprinters, because they’re just pushing each other and they poke and prod each other just being competitive in everything, which is what you want," Fox said.
Redemption may be on Webinger’s mind in the 100, but there’s a chance to repeat in the long jump. He’d be the first Class A guy to win back-to-back long jump crowns since Miles City’s Timmy Regan did it in 2014 and 2015.
“The long jump definitely hasn’t been my favorite or top event, but it’s definitely something I still want to win. It’s a goal to win and I want to get a good mark. It’s definitely a goal of mine to win again," said Webinger.
The future Montana State sprinter said he hopes to take aim at the State A 100-meter dash record of 10.74, set in 2003 by Havre’s Steve Heberly.