Carroll College track and field coach Harry Clark has announced the 2017 recruiting class. The group consists of 30 athletes, including 17 from Montana and four multi-sport athletes.
"This year we continued on our success on signing the very best that the state of Montana has to offer," Clark said. "We are very proud of our recruiting efforts; we have some of the best incoming athletes in the state of Montana and around the Pacific Northwest. We see an immediate impact of these incoming freshmen will continue to build on our ever-expanding success. The addition of this freshman class will continue to enhance our team and our quest for a national title."
Garrett Kocab (football), Wesley Harshbarger (football), Nikki Krueger (basketball) and Taelyr Krantz (volleyball) will compete in two sports.
Kocab, from Serrano High School in Phelan, California, finished the season ranked 27th in the nation for discus with a throw of 193 feet, 5 inches. While he has a D-I track pedigree, he is coming to Carroll because of the opportunity to compete in both track and football. He will play defensive tackle for the Saints.
"Working with football has been a boon for both programs," Clark said. "We have brought in guys that we wouldn't have been able to get here for either team, but when you give kids the opportunity to do both, it opens doors. I think that is true with Garrett. He is going to have a special career here."
Krueger, a standout at Kalispell Glacier, will also compete in the throws and brings a stellar record that includes a pair of State AA championships. She won the discus in 2016 and the shot put in 2017.
"Nikki brings a stellar record both on the basketball court and in the throwing circle," Clark said. "She should make an immediate impact on our team and battle for All-American honors right away."
Another thrower that will compete for All-American honors right away is Capital High's Kory Broussard. The javelin thrower has a personal best of 188-7, A throw that would have taken seventh at NAIA Nationals this season.
"Our throwing program is going to take a giant leap this year," Clark said. "We have had some great throwers and even won a national championship, but the depth across the board is going to take a big jump with this class. We are excited to get this group here and for Coach (James) Stanton to get to work with them."
Other locals heading to Carroll are Capital's Dexter Clark and Helena High's Kendra Kloker and Kendra Woodland.
Also on the list are a bevy of state champions. Claire Fickler from Drummond brings a pair of 100-meter state championships. Reilly Rostad of Hamilton closed out her career as the Class A triple jump champion and Shae Helterbran of Billings West was a member of two 400-meter relay State championship teams.
"We have a lot of athletes that we are bringing in with good times, but these are kids are competitors," Clark said. "The titles show that they know how to win and will do what it takes to beat the kid next to them. Those are the athletes that you want to maintain the culture that we have established."
The standout on the distance side for this recruiting class is Drake Johnson from Cheney, Washington. He comes in with a 1,600-meter time of 4:18.45, an 800-meter time of 1:54.82 and a 3,200-meter time of 9:49.12. He earned two All-State honors in his home state of Washington.