For senior thrower Dave Phillips, track and field has been a part of life since middle school. “I started throwing in seventh grade. It was the first time I could do track, and we could do whatever we wanted,” said Phillips. “I started with discus. I took one home after the first week, and I went to a park and threw it for a few hours. After that, I just liked doing it.” He started with discus, but also throws the shot put and hammer for MSU.
The Deer Lodge native came to MSU not only to continue his education, but also to compete in track and field. “I made the decision after I decided I didn’t want to play football,” he said. “MSU was pretty serious about track, and I received the Presidential scholarship. I knew it was a good school, and that I’d fit in here.” Phillips is a technology education major, with a management information technology minor.
What is the best part of being a thrower?
I think the best part of throwing is that you can see the distance improve as you go, and you can always go further. There is not really a stopping point with how far you can throw. The second best part is you can eat as much as you want. I think that’s what throwers are best known for.
What do you do to prepare before a competition?
I try to get good sleep a couple days before a meet, and stay healthy and eat well. I mainly just show up and see what happens.
Do you plan to continue competing in field in the future?
It depends on how things go this year and next year. I’ve thought about doing the hammer throw. That’s the only thing I’m big enough for.
Have you received any awards while throwing?
Big Sky Championships:
2012 – silver medal – hammer throw, outdoors
2012 – bronze medal – shot put, outdoors
2012 – bronze medal – discus, outdoors
I’ve been Teammate of the Week and Top Gun a couple times. Top Gun is for most points in a season. I was also Academic All-American.
Is there a person or quote that inspires you?
I was gone in the fall student teaching in Billings, and when I came back I just realized how inspirational they are.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I fish and hunt way too much.
What is your favorite class at MSU and why?
I don’t know if it counts as a class, but student teaching has been my favorite experience. It was such a culmination of four to five years of class time. I got to know all the students well, and I actually saw a few the other day in the parking lot because they were on a campus visit. It was the grand finale as far as classes go.
What would you like to tell students/readers about MSU track and field?
We’re a tight knit group, and everyone knows each other. The team element is so important, especially being with 80 people. It’s an individual sport, but it’s a team effort.
Editors Note: The Big Sky Indoor Track and Field Championships are this weekend, Feb. 21-23.