HELENA — Harry Clark says his Carroll College track and field teams "are way ahead of where we were at this time last year."
Clark, Carroll's coach, was inducted into the Montana State University athletic hall of fame in 2018 for track and field and was the Bobcats' first All-America decathlete. Clark’s success as an athlete has carried over into his present-day role as a coach.
“That’s (one of) the best parts of my job, you get them all those years. I’ve been waiting for this for a while; this is going to be a fun year for us. Our teams this year are going to be fantastic,” Clark said of the Carroll squads.
Clark has continued to strengthen the Carroll program since he took over at the helm in 2012, saying this year's returning class "is the best I’ve had, and this is my 12th year here."
Clark coached the track and field teams at Stanford High School prior to becoming an assistant coach at the University of Montana for nearly 12 years before eventually taking his position at Carroll.
“I’m a Carroll guy. I’ve always been a track geek, that’s why I didn’t play football in college, because I love track,” said Clark.
The Carroll men's and women's teams have plenty of new faces on their 104-member squad with 42 incoming freshmen and transfers ready to compete for the Saints.
“They’re great people, that’s what we recruit here. You recruit the right people, your program goes in the right direction and everything’s good,” Clark said. “Tucker Monaco is going to come in and be one of the tops in the country in the decathlon.”
Many of the newcomers are from Montana with 13 signees also prepared to run cross country at the collegiate level. Another 10 athletes will take part in multiple sports at Carroll, eight of which are playing football for the Saints right now.
Senior Elias Hill believes this year’s men's team will get back to where it was during his freshman and sophomore campaigns.
“Just keep working hard all year long, try to maintain everything that we’re building now in the fall through the winter and then come out strong,” he said.