After blazing through the desert landscape, Tanner Boone is having the time of his life running in Big Sky country.
Boone, a state qualifier in cross country and track for the Greenwave, finished his second season at the University of Great Falls, an NAIA school in Montana. Like his career in Fallon, it hasn’t been much different for Boone, running cross country in the fall and then track in the winter and spring.
“My track season went great,” said Boone, who set personal records in the 5,000 and 1,500-meter runs. “I had possibly my best track season of my life. This was due to being able to have a healthy offseason of training.”
After watching his team take sixth in the conference last year in cross country, the Argos rebounded this year by taking third, giving the program’s long distance runners momentum heading into the track season. Boone altered his training program, too, by running twice each day.
Boone won his first collegiate race after running the 1,500 in 4 minutes, 11 seconds in Larrel, Mont. He also finished the 5K in Helena, Mont., in 15:44.
“Both of these races offered a wonderful field of runners,” Boone said. “I’m looking forward to a great cross country season with my awesome team and coach.”
Head coach Bill Brist noticed Boone’s improvement since last season.
“Although he has done a nice job with his cross country running, Tanner has really improved the most during the past indoor and outdoor track seasons,” Brist said.
Boone’s times this past season have etched his name into the school record books, too.
He finished the 5,000 in 16:29.62 during the indoor season in January, which put him at No. 4 all-time at Great Falls. His 5K performance in Helena, Mont., ranks seventh all-time in the outdoor season.
“Our university has always been strong in the distance races, so the fact that Tanner has moved his way onto our indoor and outdoor top 10 lists for the 5,000-meter distance is an indication that he has done a nice job of improving his distance running while he’s been part of our team,” Brist said.
Off the track and cross country paths, Boone has been just as effective for Great Falls.
Boone was named to the all-conference academic team for both the indoor and outdoor seasons. Both the cross country and track teams also earned NAIA Academic All-American Scholar Team honors after posting a 3.60 GPA in the fall and 3.70 GPA in the winter and spring combined.
“Aside from his athletic performance, Tanner has also been a great member of our team,” Brist said. “He is serious about academics, which we value tremendously. He has a great attitude toward his running, and his teammates.
And Boone loves to have fun, which helps keep himself and the team loose.
“Although he’s serious about what he wants to achieve, he also has a humorous side,” Brist added. “He does a nice job of keeping things more on the lighter side when it needs to be. This is a great asset, as there are times when we need to relax, and take the pressure off.”