Senior Swan Song: Kelsey Montague

NameKelsey Montague

School: Simla High School

Q) What was your most memorable race/throw/jump/vault/moment?

My most memorable race was from the 2019 State Track and Field championships during the 4x400 meter relay. During the 2017 State Track and Field Championships we ran the 4x400 meter relay and on the team were two seniors, a sophomore, and a freshman (me).

During this race I ran as the anchor and everyone else held first place except for me. So, during the 2019 State Championships, I had a chance to do my part and help my teammate, who was now a senior, to get that gold medal. I told myself that I had to win this race for the senior because I owed him the gold medal. He was the third leg of the race and made up some ground from fifth to second place.

When I got the baton, as the anchor, I took off and took first place before the start of the first curve. I held the lead for my entire leg and we won the 4x400. So, in the end I was able to run my best leg and help my senior teammate earn a second relay championship during the 2019 State Championships.

Q) Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?

My biggest competition over all four years of running track and field has probably been the athletes from the Heritage Christian team. Their team is a lot bigger than ours, and they have more depth in most events. I say this because for the past two years especially, Heritage Christian has beaten us, with multiple athletes qualifying in several events.

Last year, we had only six male athletes competing at state in nine events, and during the season, we only had 8 guys out for track. Since we don't compete against some of these strong teams until the state track meet, I followed the rankings on MaxPreps and kept focused on my own personal goals for the season while keeping my eye on the competition we would see at the state championships.

Q) What was your greatest accomplishment?

My greatest accomplishment was qualifying for and competing in the state track meet in four events during each of the past three seasons. As a small 1A track program, it is most helpful for our overall team results for us to be able to compete in as many events as possible. Helping my team of 6 boys place 2nd overall last year was a great accomplishment.

Q) If you could do it all over again what would you change about your career in high school?

If I could do it over again, of course I wouldn't want to be potentially losing my senior season due to a pandemic.

One change that I would have made would have been running cross country as a freshman. I didn't realize until this past summer how much cross country helped me, and that is when I really focused on the season ahead. I wish I would have just given it a try as a freshman. I know that running cross country for the past three seasons has helped me tremendously in track and field.

Q) What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?

One of the most difficult obstacles that I had to overcome came this year during basketball season. During one of the first practices of the basketball season, I landed wrong during one of the drills, and I tore my lateral collateral ligament and my biceps femoris on my left leg.

I also had about 90% bone bruising on both my tibia and femur. So since December 2, I have been recovering from my injury in hopes of being ready to compete in my senior season of track. It has taken a lot of work, focus, and patience to rehab this injury, and it has definitely been a tough obstacle to overcome.

Q) What will you miss the most?

The thing that I will miss most about high school track and field is probably being coached by my mom. Being coached by my mom since junior high is one of the coolest experiences ever. I will also miss my teammates, the other athletes and coaches I have met from other schools, and I will miss competing.

Q) What advice would you give to younger athletes?

Some advice that I have for younger athletes is about staying focused and motivated on the things that you love. If you ever get injured in the off season of the sport that you love to compete in, make sure you don't push yourself too hard. Don't overdo the exercises and exert all of your energy thinking that you can go faster than the plan to recovery.

On the other hand, don't get in your own head. During my injury and recovery, I felt frustrated and defeated and thought that I would never get back to the same place I was last year.

I would tell younger athletes to make sure to stay strong through any obstacle or defeat that they might face.

Q) What influence has your coach had with respect to your performance and overall life goals?

My mom has been my coach since junior high, so she has had a great influence over my life and my performance in track and field. My coach has always had my back and been there to support me no matter what.

My mom loves track and field, and she instills her love for this sport in others because she shows athletes what is possible and how to achieve their goals. She cares what kind of people we become in the future, and she gives up lots of her time to focus on making each athlete the best they can be.

She has pushed me and helped me prepare for what was next. She encouraged me when I did well and when I met my goals, and she supported me when I ran a slow time, I messed up, or I just wasn't feeling good enough about my performance in my events.

She has also helped support me while I have been recovering from my injury. As far as life goals go, my coach has helped me complete most of them, and she has helped me to become a better person along the way, showing character, integrity, and determination in all that I do.

Q) What are your college plans?

My college plans as of right now are to go to Colorado Mesa University to study Kinesiology with an emphasis in Exercise Science. While at Colorado Mesa University, I hope to compete in track and field.

Q) Who would you like to say 'thank you' to?

Philippians 2:3 says, "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others about yourselves." I would first like to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for blessing me with athletic abilities, talent, good health, and opportunities.

Although there are lots of people I appreciate in my life and my athletic career, if I could, I would like to say "thank you" to my Grandpa Price. He passed away during the fall of my freshman year, and I wish so much that he could be here, enjoying the sport he loved the most.

He is honestly one of the reasons that track is my favorite sport. He was my mom's coach, and she is my coach, and I would like to thank him for instilling his love of track in me.

I would also like to thank Coach Anthony Martinez and Coach Heather Whaley for their guidance and support throughout my seasons of cross country. Thank you for pushing me to be my best, for showing me what cross country was all about, and for helping me to become a better leader.

Q) Is there anything else you'd like to add?

I am proud to be a Simla Bear Cub. I appreciate my family, all my coaches, teachers, administrators (especially Warm & Fuzzy), and fans who have helped me set big goals for myself and who have been there cheering for me to do my best, no matter what.

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