GREAT FALLS — Scott Klinker joined the Great Falls High track team during his sophomore year after not competing his freshman year. In his first season, he placed ninth in the state for the long jump, qualified for the high jump but didn’t place, and never competed in the triple jump.
After the first meet this year as a junior, Klinker is leading the state in the triple jump with a distance of 44 feet and is second in the state for long jump with a distance of 21 feet, 8 inches.
“The guy has got hops, but then he has the work ethic behind it,” said Great Falls coach Dave Kilian. “There’s always that mantra hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. Well he has both. He’s got the work ethic and the talent.”
It was the first time Klinker had ever competed in the triple jump and his very first jump was the one that set him apart from the rest of the state. Even though he proved to be excellent in the triple jump, he wants to remain focused on the long jump. After jumping that 21-8 to place him second in the state, he has already qualified for the state meet.
“I’m just going to keep practicing triple jump everyday. Probably not compete it as much as much at meets. I’m trying to focus on long jump but also trying to work on triple jump as best as I can to get to 45 feet,” said Klinker.
Klinker and his coaches seem to be on the same page about preserving his legs for his jumps and hoping that will help him improve his numbers for all of his events. Klinker felt like he h]may have been overworking his legs during his sophomore year and it cost him a few inches on his jumps. His plan is to not compete in the long jump during every meet because it “ruined his legs.”
“He’s jumping and he’s hurdling so you have to manage a kid like that because he’s not going to tell you he’s hurting until it’s too late so we have to make sure we are smart with him,” said Kilian.
Klinker and the Bison will be back on the track in Bozeman as they head too Gallatin High on Monday.