MISSOULA — At the beginning of the 2021 track and field season, Carlee Fryberger's goals were simple.
"Just to see that I can still get to the finish line and still compete," Fryberger said with a big laugh. "Felt awesome. Little goals."
Since, the Charlo senior has exceeded that goal and beyond during her final high school year. But that is nothing new, as Fryberger is a three-sport standout at Charlo High School and is in the middle of another stellar track and field season which will wrap up next week at the State C meet in Missoula.
Fryberger has been a four-year varsity athlete in both volleyball and basketball at Charlo and has been a multi-year starter and all-state performer as well. But her first love -- and arguably her best sport -- is track and field.
As a sophomore in 2019, Fryberger broke out in a big way by winning Class C state titles in the 100-meter dash and the 100 hurdles.
After last year's lost season, Fryberger is back atop the track leader boards as her career winds to a close. And the key to her success is simple.
"Putting in time in the offseason and coming to practice every day ready to go just helps a lot more than you would think," Fryberger said before Friday's first day of the Western B-C divisional meet. "The beginning was slow but getting some good competitions, running faster, so it’s been a lot better now that it’s getting to an end."
In 2021, Fryberger currently ranks in the top two in five different events in the Class C ranks. She has the best triple jump (34 feet, 11.5 inches) and 100 hurdle (14.87 seconds) marks in Class C, and ranks second in the 100 (12.73), 200 (26.24) and 300 hurdles (47.33). Her 100, 200 and 100 hurdle times all rank in the top 10 in Montana regardless of classification, highlighted by her hurdle time which ranks second across all classes in the state.
But it's nothing new for the lone senior on Charlo's track team, who was thrust into the spotlight right away as a varsity athlete at a young age and has since made the adjustments needed to compete at the highest level.
"It was nerve-racking at first but then I realized I can compete with the top dogs and I just did it," Fryberger said.
"She has literally taken this whole team and has put them first in everything that she has done," Charlo track and field coach Bret Thompson added. "I can honestly say it’s one of the first seniors that I’ve had that by herself has done a great job (of leading) both girls and boys."
Fryberger lifts weights twice a week in Missoula and spends a lot of extra time on the track as well, two areas she credits for her success athletically.
She also plans to compete in track and field at the next level but is keeping that decision under wraps until she finishes her high school career.
Fryberger won the triple jump on Friday at the divisional meet and took the top times in the 100 and 100 hurdles prelims while also finishing second in the 200 prelims. Her focus for now is continuing to achieve personal bests -- and potentially more state titles -- as the State C meet makes its way to Missoula next week on May 28-29.
"It’s been awesome," Fryberger said. "It’s been a wild ride but it’s coming to a close and I’m excited for the finish of it."