By Georgie Kulczyk
The Courier 

Scottie Athletes Don't Take Summers Off


August 1, 2018

Kirk Capdeville / For the Courier

Emily Kolstad works on the pole vault at Scottie Field earlier this summer.

I've been a sports mom for a long time, and a fledgling sports writer for a few years. I've had the opportunity to observe many coaches. Over the years, it has become apparent that they all have different coaching styles and philosophies. One thing they do have in common? They want their athletes to work hard all year, they want dedication to the sport and they are willing to put the time in themselves for the athletes to achieve their goals.

Every summer, you will find the dedicated athletes of GHS and other area schools putting in extra time. They attend camps all over the state and beyond, they hit the weight room and go to open gym, they train and they run - a lot. Some continue competing, entering in triathlons, bike races, marathons and more – some with outstanding results.

Several track and field competitors have been putting in extra time all summer under the watchful eye of Scotty pole vault coach Kirk Capdeville. Although track and field is already a strong program for the Scotties, the pole vaulting event has seen a revitalization of sorts in recent years – in part thanks to Capdeville and a number of other volunteers. With that revitalization, there have been some solid successes and surprising results.

Emily Kolstad is one of those tracksters that has blossomed in the event. Kolstad, who is entering her senior year at GHS, competed in the pole vault for the first time this past season and it appears she has a natural talent for the event. Couple that with the training time she has put in this summer and she has become one to watch for the 2018-2019 season.

With the encouragement of Capdeville, Kolstad competed in the pole vault at the Big Sky State Games on July 21 in Billings. She finished third in her age division with a personal best jump of 9', which is impressive for a rookie jumper. "When she puts her mind to something, she doesn't quit," said Capdeville of Kolstad. "She's fearless."

Kolstad isn't really sure what attracted her to trying the vault for the first time. "It was really intimidating at first," she explained. "But, it's really fun. I like how high you can get, just flying through the air." She also admitted to breaking the first rule of pole vaulting: don't let go of the pole. "I've fallen a few times," she said, pointing to a scar on her left leg for emphasis.

Showing their dedication, four of Glasgow's softball team hit the road July 25 and 26 to attend a camp at MSU-Billings. Lylie Foster, Devon Johnson, Taylor Pederson and Laura Ross spent two days on campus with some of the MSU-Billings Yellowjackets and a few dozen other attendees.

Johnson's biggest motivation for attending the camp was to become familiar with the program itself because she plans on attending Billings to play college ball after she graduates from high school

According to Johnson, the camp focused quite a bit on batting drills and fielding. "We really struggled with our batting last season," Johnson explained, "so it was really good to learn some of the batting drills they had. I learned a lot there."

When asked about what she likes about playing softball, Johnson noted that all of the girls get along really well. "It just brings everybody together more," she explained. "We know each other's strengths and weaknesses and we all just really get along." She also pointed out that with all of the traveling the team does, there is no shortage of new acquaintances. "We have to travel a lot because there aren't really many teams in our area, so we are always meeting new people. I really like that."

The Scotty cross country runners have also put in some noticeable effort this summer. In addition to their regular training regimen, Wilson Overby, Ellis McKean and Merlin McKean recently competed in the Missoula Half Marathon held July 15. See "Glasgow Represents at Missoula Marathon", Glasgow Courier, July 18.

Following that, the trio traveled to Bozeman July 22 – 25 for a four-day cross country camp with teammates Ali Cunningham, Lauren Padden and Carl Zabrocki. Although the camp featured quite a bit of actual running (30 miles of running, according to Merlin McKean), there was plenty of instruction too, including classes on nutrition, weight lifting, stretching and NCAA eligibility. "We could ask the presenters and coaches questions, too," explained McKean. "Like, what they liked about running and things like that."

When asked what he likes about running and what drives him to compete, McKean replied without hesitation, "I like the sense of accomplishment."

Next week, Monday, Aug. 6 – Wednesday, Aug. 8, the Scottie Wrestling Camp will be held at the Glasgow Recreation Center. Each year, the wrestling program brings in top-notch instructors for their camp and this year is no different.

The camp will feature Derek St. John, who returns for his fourth year. D. St. John is a four-time NCAA All-American, NCAA champion, and is the current Iowa State assistant wrestling coach. Brent Metcalf, Jarrett Degen and Skyler St. John round out the stellar lineup of instructors. Metcalf boasts several titles from his high school and college wrestling careers and he is currently the assistant coach at Iowa State. Degen, who graduated from Belgrade High School in 2016, is a four-time state champion and wrestles for Iowa State. S. St. John is a junior at Iowa State and competes for the Cyclones there. He was an Iowa State finalist in high school. The camp is open to students grades K-12.

There are plenty of opportunities for Scottie athletes to gain knowledge of their sport, develop their talents and progress to the next level. With the number of dedicated athletes putting in time during the off-season, there are sure to be outstanding results for the upcoming year. Scottie fans are encouraged to watch and support these students as they compete. From the increasingly successful pole-vaulting program, to the perennial cross country and wrestling powerhouses, these athletes have demonstrated their commitment to their crafts.


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