Athlete of the Week: MB’s Montgomery bounces back

Myrtle Beach senior Jack Montgomery has shown he knows how to soar over hurdles. Perhaps more impressive is his ability to get up off the ground.

Montgomery was named the Mammy’s Kitchen Athlete of the Week after taking first place in the boys Lower State 110 hurdles and second place in Saturday’s Class 3A state meet. It was a date he had circled on his calendar for one year after failing to qualify his junior season.

“Last year I was projected to win it all, but at Lower States I clipped a hurdle and fell and it kept me from going to States,” Montgomery recalled. “After something like that, it gets you down and makes you lose interest. But me being the person I am, I couldn’t do it. I’m not a quitter.”

The incident haunted Montgomery throughout the offseason, even when he was helping the Seahawks football team to a 10-2 record as a star defensive back. After the season, he immediately began to train to take back what he felt was rightfully his, but the miscue continued to bother him.

“The whole season I was having problems with my confidence and getting my steps down,” Montgomery recalled. “What happened at Lower States was still on my mind.”

So did he use the mistake to motivate himself, or did he try to block it out of his mind? “A little bit of both,” Montgomery said.

Whatever he did worked as Montgomery covered the 400 meters and 10 high hurdles in a time of 56.29 seconds to capture the Lower State championship and qualify for the state meet in Columbia.

That’s where he bested his Lower State time by almost a full second at 55:41, a personal best for Montgomery. Unfortunately, he was a fraction of a second behind surprise winner Alex Little of Greenville.

“I was about 50 meters in and I was like ‘I cana’t kick it any more than I already am.’ So it feels good to know I gave it everything I had,” Montgomery said.

Now he can go forward to play college ball knowing he left it all on the track and football field. He is attending Fairmont State on a football scholarship and hopes to get some playing time as a true freshman.

Just the next hurdle to clear for Montgomery, who also has the confidence of knowing he can get back up if he falls.

Photo by Rancier Photography

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