Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

By Andi Bourne

SSHS sophomore named Athlete of the Week


Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder

Sophomore Owen Hoag competes in the 200-meter at the Western C Divisional. He won the event with a time of 23.74.

SEELEY LAKE – Seeley-Swan High School Sophomore Owen Hoag won the Missoulian's Athlete of the Week for the week of May 23 after receiving the most votes. He was nominated after winning the 100-meter dash, the 200 and the 400 as well as anchoring the winning 1,600 relay team at the District 13-C track and field meet May 14-15. He also owns the top 400 time in Class C this season.

Hoag started running track in fifth grade at Seeley Lake Elementary. While he tried long jump in junior high, this year he has only doing running events. Due to the season being canceled last year due to COVID, this was his first track season as a Blackhawk.

"I'm just kind of testing the waters right now. I'm really happy with how the season is going," Hoag said. "We did good at Districts and Divisionals so I'm excited for State."

While he enjoys playing football and basketball more than track, he likes having something to do after school, getting into good shape and competing and being successful.

Hoag said this season he has had a lot less injuries than in elementary school. He isn't sure if that is because they do different warmups or something else has changed but he is happy that he has stayed healthy.

Hoag's biggest challenge this year is getting nervous before a race.

"Eventually I just have to go and run," Hoag said. "I just tell myself that whatever I do, I can just do my best and that is the best I can do."

Some of Hoag's highlights this year included when he pre-qualified for State in the 200 and 400 and how well he did at Districts and Divisionals.

He was also really happy with both the 4X100 and 4X400 relays, even though the 4X100 didn't make it to State. Teammate Sawyer Shelmerdine was injured and couldn't run at Divisionals. Freshman Cannon Hawkinson stepped up into his spot in the 4X400 and they are looking forward to State. Also at State, Hoag hopes to win the 400 and place in the 200.

"I've never been to State before so I don't know what to expect," Hoag said.

This is Hoag's first time being nominated for the Athlete of the Week.

"It was just kind of nice. All my friends were like, 'Hey, I voted for you.' That was pretty cool," Hoag said. "It has never happened before so I was pretty happy. I would like to thank everyone who voted for me."

Each week, the Missoulian sports department nominates three boys and three girls for "Prep Athletes of the Week." Readers may vote for one girl and one boy from Sunday at 12 p.m. through 5 p.m. on Tuesday at The winners are announced in the Missoulian's Thursday edition and appear in a special advertisement, sponsored by Republic Services, each Sunday.


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