KALISPELL – Glacier seniors Ethan Larson and Drew Turner would like to end their high school track careers on a high note.
The anchoring members of the 4x100 relay have won one state championship their sophomore year, finished runner-up last season by .02 seconds and are hoping to stand atop the podium one more time.
“We want it bad and that’s kind of our whole goal this year,” said Turner. “That’s kind of the goal of our senior class as it comes down to an end is win that relay again.”
But Turner and Larson are just half of the equation.
“I feel like our chemistry is starting to come along,” said Larson. “I think we have a faster team than we did sophomore and junior year.”
With the addition of transfer Mark Estes from Drummond, last year’s Class C champion in the 100, 200 and 400, along with Wolfpack sophomore Drew Deck, the group boasts four of the fastest sprinters in the state, as well as two Division I football commits in Turner (Montana) and Estes (Montana State).
“It’s been nice because we’ve had (Turner) and (Larson) every year so they’re kind of the leaders of the team,” said Glacier sprint coach Jerry Boschee. “We’ve been fortunate to gain Estes this year which is a great surprise to have and the luxury has been that we’ve just had to switch the order over the four years with that group of core kids.”
It’s been a luxury that extends back to 2014-2015 when the Wolfpack won their first short relay state title.
“The boys (track) program since we’ve opened traditionally has had sprinters,” said Boschee. “I think the luxury of track is that we gain all those football kids.”
Turner, Estes and Deck are prime examples of the football to track combination. And outside of sports, they all spend time enjoying the recreational opportunities of the Flathead Valley which they point to as the source of their comfort with each other.
“We’re all kind of close outside of track. It helps that we’re all buddies,” Deck said.
“We can trust each other,” said Estes. “I know that Drew (Turner) is not going to mess up or that (Drew Deck) isn’t going to mess up giving it to me so that makes me more confident.”
And going up against some of the fastest runners in the state every day in and day out doesn’t hurt either.
“I think we more kind of enjoy it because we go switching back and forth who leads the sprints and so it kind of makes it easier,” said Turner.
Larson and Turner specialize in the sprints, Estes also contributes points in the lateral jumps and Deck also does the hurdles.
The group has led the state all season on the top lists, but they know that doesn’t mean much.
“None of it really matters until it comes to state,” said Turner. “Time-wise it is what it is and then you’ve just got to go out there and run your best at state and prove it.”