BILLINGS — Some football coaches refer to track and field season as the spring speed workout.
Well, Billings Central’s Clay Oven is acing that test.
The junior owns Class A’s top time in the 400-meter dash this season at 51.70 seconds, and he’s only ran it once.
“I just love to go out there and run as hard as I can," Oven said. "It doesn’t take a whole lot of strategy in that race. You’re kind of just pedal to the medal the whole time, which is what I like to do.”
Oven flashes his explosiveness and athleticism during the spring, as he’s also a 20-foot long jumper and will compete for the podium in the 100 and 200, too.
But he’s using the track as a springboard to success on the gridiron, where he’s garnered interest from schools all over the state.
“I think it’s super important for your leg muscles and power and control. And you’re competing, too. Every time you compete it helps, and I just use it to get better for football every day," said Oven.
Driven by competition, it certainly helps that Oven has plenty of it in classmate and backfield-mate Kade Boyd. In fact, Boyd is No. 6 in Class A in the 100 this season.
“Everything is a competition with (Boyd). He’s a great athlete and a great friend. I love, love competing against him and even love our friendship even more," Oven said.
The scary part is Oven is just beginning to warm up this spring.