GREAT FALLS — Great Falls CMR's Anthony Okes is defending a Class AA state discus title as the track and field season gets underway, but it may be slightly challenging due to an off season injury.
Okes, who also played football in the years before, was sidelined during the fall due to needing surgery on his left shoulder. Fortunately for Okes, he is a right-handed thrower but he still needed to battle back during his recovery to get into championship form.
“He went through a ton of physical therapy and got himself ready to go,” said CMR coach Brian Greenwell. “Looks like he’s ahead of where he was last year at this time.”
As a result of his offseason work, Okes is entering into his senior season with a ton of confidence and high expectations. The grind has included extra weight room workouts, extra one-on-one time with his coaches, and eating more to bulk up.
“I been talking a little smack, you know how it is,” said Okes. “I don’t feel the pressure but I really want to succeed like everyone else does.”
For the rest of the CMR squad, it too is looking forward to improving on last year's finish. The girls team did not place at state last year but will be returning a lot of young core athletes who will make a difference in this year's outcome. The girls 400-meter relay team placed 10th in last year's finals but will be returning three of those four sprinters. As for the girls that did not make state last year but were on the cusp of qualifying, a long offseason of hard work and maturing is hoping to prove as the difference during this spring season.
The boys team finished 10th at state last year but Greenwell feels as if they missed out on a couple points that it should’ve scored. The focus this year is to fill gaps that they didn’t have last year and improve on the areas where they felt they could have done better. After their opening meet was canceled due to weather, the Rustlers are hopeful that they will be able to compete in their first meet on April 7 in Kalispell.