HELENA — Montana may be in its golden age for the high jump.
In 2017, Helena High’s Trey Tintinger set a new all-class record by leaping 7 feet, 1.5 inches as a freshman. This spring, Jefferson sophomore Avery Stiles returned from a torn ACL to jump 6-07 in his first meet back. Bozeman’s Lucy Corbett showed her springs, clearing 5-10, the second-best jump in girls history in Montana.
And at nearly every one of these meets you can find Helena High high jump coach and former Montana State University high jumper Andrew Mozer sharing his knowledge with the next generation.
“I’ve always loved coaching high jump,” Mozer said. “I always felt that if kids can just get a little more training, a little more precision, then they’d have the ability to do a lot better.”
Mozer doesn’t keep his tricks of the trade to just his own athletes. Stiles makes the drive from Jefferson to Helena to work with Mozer and Tintinger. Mozer fosters competition between the two in practices and drills knowing that it will improve them both.
“He’s kind of taken me in. He isn’t my school coach, but he’s let me come in and worked with me, which is more than I could ask for,” Stiles said. “He’s the real deal. He knows what he’s talking about and he’s helped me a lot throughout the season.”
“Being in that next level, we’re able to set the bar at high heights and they’re able to push each other,” Mozer said. “I heard a lot from (Ron Jones) down at (Missoula) Hellgate when he had (Mark) Kofelda jumping. They had a 6-10 jumper when Kofelda was going 7-1. (Jones) just said that it was them pushing each other that allowed them to go that far. So I know that that’s going to be important down the road, especially with heights and where (Tintinger) needs to go.”
It’s not just the local high school athletes receiving tips and training from Mozer. Mozer works with local middle school kids, as well, such as Helena’s Odessa Zentz and Logan Todorovich. This gives Mozer and the athletes more time to familiarize themselves with each other and demands of Mozer’s training – something Tintinger can attest to.
“He’s put me through a lot of stuff,” Tintinger said. “A lot of hard work, hell of a lot of training, jumping almost every day. He’s just pushed me to reach the Olympic goal.”
Zentz, Todorovich and Tintinger are all competing at this week’s USATF Hershey National Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships in Greensboro, N.C. Mozer will have his hands full coaching the trio — Tintinger jumps Friday morning, while Zentz and Todorovich both jump Saturday.
Mozer has a recipe for success, and that means it’s back to work after nationals.
“As soon as (nationals) end, we’re just going to work on strength training pretty much until the following season,” Mozer said. “I’ve had a ton of success with kids who have chosen to do that.”