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Spring Sports Preview: Record turnout for Three Forks High School Track and Field Team

To say there has been a positive turnout of student-athletes for the 2024 Three Forks High School Track and Field Team would be an understatement.

Under the direction of first-year Head Coach Dillon Gongliewski, there are over 50 members of this year's team who will open the season on March 28 at the Frenchtown Invitational.

"Turnout for this year has been extraordinary. We had initial interest of 60 kids, and are still, heading into our second week of the season, sitting at 56 student athletes with 36 boys and 20 girls. We believe that this is the largest Track and Field team in Three Forks history," said Gongliewski. "Practices have been going well, too. We did have students sort of test the waters to see what events they would like to do. Now that those questions have been ironed out, we are having a great turnout for all event groups. We have a fantastic workout program that we are instituting this year, and the athletes are buying in very well."

The Wolves will return seven team members who competed at last year's Class B State Track Meet in Butte.

Senior Bryon Fanning will return after finishing fourth in the 3200 and 10th in the 1600 at the 2023 state meet.

Kylie Rowan will return after finishing seventh in the shot put and eighth in the discus at last year's state meet. Bella Jones finished 10th in the 800 meters in 2023 and was tenth in the 4x400 meter relay with teammates Zandra Potts, Devynn Judd, and Hailey Williams.

Maya Noble, who, along with Williams, qualified for state last year as an eighth grader, will return after finishing 15th in the pole vault in 2023.

"With those seven athletes returning, I think the experience that they gained at the State Meet is going to help carry them this year. Competing at a state meet helps build great levels of confidence and will help them throughout this entire season in terms of their comfortability, confidence levels, and leadership skills. I am so very excited to see the growth that they exhibit through the season as they go forward and try to improve on their places from last year's state meet. We as coaches are expecting great things across the board from the team, spearheaded by this group," Gongliewski said.

While there are certainly some strong veterans, Gongliewski also discussed how young the team is, with 11 freshmen and one-eighth grader out of the 20 total girls. He added that on the boys' side, they have a significant increase in first-year participants they are hoping can make a solid and immediate impact on the team as well.

"I am blessed and so excited that I was entrusted to lead this great group of athletes, and it's going to be a very fun season," he said.

During the first few meets of 2024, Gongliewski is excited to see how early season marks compare to last year's for our returning athletes.

"Most of them have been working hard through the off-season by staying active with running and getting more active in the weight room. I am also looking forward to seeing how we compare across Class B because with us being such a young team, because it is going to be a good indicator of our trajectory moving forward, which is to push for a team state title," he said.

Going into his first year as Head Coach of the program, Gongliewski said he is incredibly excited for the opportunity.

"Coaching has always been something that I have been passionate about. Going from coaching collegiately as an assistant to being a head coach at high school is something that I am still wrapping my head around. It's a blessing for sure. I have a fantastic group of coaches and athletes who I am incredibly excited to work with," he said.

With the season inching closer, Coach "Gongo" also wanted to give a "big shoutout" to his coaching staff consisting of Lacy Gershmel, Matt Robb, Aaron Lattimore, Tara Forsberg, Jeremy Kopp, and Mark Noble, with others also helping out periodically as well.

"None of what I do would be possible without them and their support and dedication to these athletes," Gongliewski said.