CUT BANK — They each have a simple goal: to be among the top distance finishers in the state. But for Harlem distance runners L’Tia Lawrence and Brad Cichosz, the route to get there is different.
Lawrence is used to being among the best. The junior has already committed to Montana State-Northern for basketball, and she’s won every race she’s had this year. As of April 23, her 3,200-meter run time of 11 minutes, 53.76 seconds is the best in Class B. She has the second-best time in the state in the 1,600, and she’s already qualified for state in both events.
“Distance is kind of relaxing to run. I enjoy it,” Lawrence said. “I mostly just, kind of, my mind is off somewhere else. But then I hear people cheering for me and I’ve just got to stay focused and keep going.”
Fellow Wildcat Brad Cichosz has top-10 times in both races, though he hasn’t quite qualified for state in either event. Since the start of the season, Cichosz has knocked nearly 11 seconds off his 3,200 time for a personal-record 10:39.36.
What’s impressive about the junior is that this is his first season competing in track. For Cichosz, running had been a hobby growing up. He previously played golf and last season didn’t compete in any spring sport.
“It’s been very great. We’re just continuing to get better as the season goes on,” Cichosz said. “Our times are decreasing, but if they’re decreasing that’s a good thing. So hopefully by state it’ll be down where it needs to be.”
Cichosz knows that with his improvement and Lawrence leading the way, the duo is set to make Harlem proud.
“She’s great. And it just shows what we can do as a community and the kind of talent we have back home. It’s really nice,” Cichosz said.