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Mia Montgomery: stepping out of the shadows

Photo Credit: Liv Metz

By Shannon Blankenship | Sports Editor

Track and field athlete Mia Montgomery has been in national rankings since the start of her career. Beginning at just age 13, Montgomery found success at a young age.

“Starting out, I was more of a triple jumper. I think I was first in the nation in seventh grade for it. From then on, I thought that I could go to high school for it, and I continued to do really well,” Montgomery said.

Thriving in elementary school, she continued in high school by adding her name to the history books. One of her earliest memories is setting the high school record in triple jump when she was in tenth grade.

Montgomery’s parents served as her inspiration to keep the sport in the fam- ily. Even her younger sister is following in her footsteps at 11 years old. With the competition being more difficult in the south, Montgomery’s sister relies more heavily on her for advice.

“She looks up to me a lot. Every time she has a track meet, she’ll FaceTime me. She’s in Florida now. I am so excited for her,” Montgomery said.

Being able to coach her sister helped fuel her desire to be a coach after college. Montgomery finished her undergraduate degree in sports management and coaching, and is now is pursuing her graduate degree in athletic administration. Post-graduation, Montgomery wants to coach at the Division III level. She feels the atmosphere and culture is the best fit for her.

This past indoor season Montgomery was unsure, but surprised by the outcome. She suffered an injury to her hamstring, taking her out of most of the competi- tions. By the time SUNYACs were underway, she took first place in the 60 meter dash, as well as finishing well in triple and long jump.

The conference championship qualified her for regionals. Montgomery finished third in
triple and long jump at regionals. Moving on to nationals, she finished 14th in the nation for long jump. Montgomery performs well in both events; however, her favorite is still long jump.

The transition in her performance from fresh- man to senior year was driven by her desire to see her development as an athlete.

“Freshman, sophomore and junior year, I didn’t really see a lot of growth. I was always in the shadow of other people,” Montgomery said. “At this point, I see myself as a whole different athlete. I wish I did it earlier, but I’m doing it now so it feels good. After last season ended, I felt something needed to change. I started my workout program at the beginning of last summer. Now, I lift three or four times a week.”

Montgomery hopes to finish in the top three for all of her events every meet and end the year as a SUNYAC champion.

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