MISSOULA — Next up for the KPAX Sports Awards, we'll shift to the Class AA schools now with Hellgate High School's representatives in Kensey May and Ian Finch.
May has been a standout on the cross country course and in track and field for the Knights since moving to Missoula from Virginia before her junior year.
She's a two-time Class AA state cross country champion and won the Gatorade athlete of the year award as a junior and senior for the Knights.
On the track, May won the 3,200 state title as a junior last year, and this season she owns the fastest time in the state again in that event.
So naturally, running is in her future, as May will be headed to Syracuse next fall to compete at the college level.
"There's a lot of lessons in running. I love to open up about different experiences I've had and feelings," May said. "A lot of really good athletes don't talk about the hard side of all of their sports and so I want to be able to be a representative for running and tell people that I've had hard races but it's ok you can come back from them and all of that and so just showing that all of the lessons I've learned through different races and that you can always get better."
Finch was a captain for three years for Hellgate's football team and was a three-time all-state selection at wide receiver.
He set a number of school records in football at Hellgate, and Finch also was a captain for the Knights basketball team, and he competes in track and field as well.
But the gridiron is where his future lies, and he won't be going far, as Finch has signed on to play football at the University of Montana for his hometown Grizzlies.
"It was just kind of my life. I was absorbed by it," Finch said. "It's where I met all of my friends. It's where I've grown up with so many people through it. I've met so many great people from it and it's shaped me to be a better person and it's made me more of a hard-working person in general."
Three schools down, two to go for this year's KPAX Sports Awards nominees, and next up we'll feature the Sentinel High finalists on Friday.