HELENA — As a freshman, Helena High high jumper Trey Tintinger captivated crowds and reached remarkable heights.
Tintinger failed to live up to those lofty expectations as a sophomore, getting suspended for all but one of his regular-season track and field meets this past spring.
Tintinger’s season opened up in Palo Alto, Calif., as he competed in the Stanford Invitational and placed second with a jump of 6 feet, 9 3/4 inches. That would be the last time Tintinger saw live competition before the Western AA divisional meet, because Tintinger received an MIP (minor in possession) shortly after.
“A teacher, he thought I was high during school, because he saw my eyes and they were red,” Tintinger said. “He reported me to the office. They took my bag, they dumped everything out, and the last thing to fall out was JUUL (e-cigarette) pods. I got the MIP right after that.
“When I got that MIP, people just thought I was a bad kid right from then. I just want to move past that.”
It’s been a long climb back to the top for Tintinger. He was still able to practice with the team throughout the season, but the lack of competitive jumping was evident at the divisional and state meets, where Tintinger came up short of his state record jump set as a freshman. Tintinger claimed his second consecutive Class AA state high jump crown in May, though, a warmup for his summer.
Tintinger easily won the age 15-16 boys high jump at the USA Track and Field Montana Association Junior Olympics in Butte in June and followed that with his second consecutive Region 11 title. Tintinger has set the stage for an opportunity to repeat as the USATF National Junior Olympics 15-16 boys high jump champion later this month. He also won the 2016 USATF National 13-14 boys high jump, setting a national record in the process with a jump of 2.0 meters (6 feet, 6.75 inches).
Practice and repetition with Helena High high jump coach Andrew Mozer have been big reasons for Tintinger’s success. Mozer has pushed Tintinger through early morning workouts during the summer to improve one of the nation’s finest high jumpers.
“A lot of hard work, hell of a lot of training,” Tintinger said of his summer workouts with Mozer. “Jumping almost every day. He’s put me through a lot of stuff.”
The hard work will pay dividends if Tintinger can chase down the 15-16-year-old world record, 2.16 meters (approximately 7 feet, 1 inch) held by Randall Cunningham Jr.
“I’d like to make 7-4, maybe 7-6 at Nationals. But I’m coming after him,” Tintinger said. “He doesn’t even have a chance, bro.”
Tintinger will jump on Friday, July 27 at 8 a.m. at North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro, N.C.