Former Helena High track greats Aidan Reed of Southern Utah University and the University of Montana's Carly Smiedala recently ran to victories at the Big Sky Conference Outdoor Track & Filed Championships in Moscow, Idaho.
Reed, who won the 10,000 meters in 30 minutes, 4.06 seconds, was named Freshman of the Year by the Big Sky Conference following the 2018 Championships.
A redshirt freshman this outdoor season after sitting out last year, he has continued to improve for the Thunderbirds each season of competition.
"I owe it all to (local running legend) Jesse Zentz, HHS running and the Helena Vigilante Runners (club)," Reed wrote on his Facebook page.
At Helena High, Reed was a two-time state cross country champion, and holds the Bengals track records in the 1,600 and 3,200 runs.
His recent gold medal performance was the first of his career at a Big Sky Conference event. Earlier this season, he ran a 10K PR of 29:31.01 at the Mt. SAC Relays. Reed also finished sixth at the Big Sky's in the 5,000.
Smiedala, a UM sophomore, captured the Big Sky women's 800 meters crown, clocking a 2:07.66.
She now owns Lady Griz records for the 800 in both indoor and outdoor, although it is her first conference championship after several near-misses.
Smiedala placed third at last year's outdoor championships and second at this year's indoor meet, after having the top time in the prelims.
“It’s definitely a special feeling,” Smiedala told the UM web site. “I’ve put in a lot of time and it feels great to have a little bit of success. Vicky (Pounds) is such a great coach, and I can’t thank my coaches, my teammates, our trainer and weight coach enough. It’s very special.”
At HHS, Smiedala set school records in four different distances, while gathering three state track championships for the Lady Bengals, along with six runners-up medals.