Carr signs with Montana | ParkRecord.com

Carr signs with Montana

Park City runner wanted to stick out West

Park Citys Madison Carr signs her official letter of intent to run at the University of Montana in the Park City High School lobby on Friday afternoon. Seated from the left are Peter Wood assistant cross-country coach, Steve Cuttitta head cross-country coach and Dave Yocum co-head track and field coach.

When Park City High School senior distance runner Madison Carr started running as a freshman, it was more of a hobby than anything.

"I just kind of wanted to get in shape," Carr said of her reasoning to join the high school's cross-country and track teams. "I never expected myself to get this far."

What she didn't know then was that by the time her career as a Miner was near its end, she'd place in the 1600- and 3200-meter runs as a junior at the UHSAA 3A Track and Field State Championships, finish in fourth at the 2016 cross-country championships and go from relative obscurity to one of Park City's top cross-country runners.

"Madi's contributions go far beyond the athletic field," Park City Head Coach Steve Cuttitta said. "She has been a model of consistency, success and hard work. Other athletes, both boys and girls, look up to her and value her opinion because of her accomplishments. She is all one could ever ask for in an athlete and a person."

What started as an activity to stay in shape has turned into a passion that Carr expects to carry with her throughout her life. Or at least to college, as Carr will be taking her running talents to the University of Montana after officially signing her Letter of Intent at Park City High School on Friday afternoon.

"It feels really nice [to sign]," Carr said. "I've been waiting for a couple of months to sign. I knew from the moment that I went on my official visit that I wanted to go there, so I'm pretty pumped. Now that it happened, I can't be more excited."

Recommended Stories For You

Carr also strongly considered the University of Portland and the University of San Diego. For her, it was all about staying out west. While each school was enticing, Carr cited the ultimate beauty of Montana, along with the fact that it's not terribly far from Park City, as reasons why she wanted to be a Grizzly.

In terms of the distance program at Montana, Carr was impressed with what she saw. The numbers are small — Carr said there will be 10 female distance runners on the track and field team when she arrives — but the group is growing.

"The track team is developing," Carr said. "They are tough competitors."

Before Carr heads north for school in the fall, she will be finishing up her final season as a high school athlete on the track this spring. Her senior year hasn't started the way she hoped, as she's battled a hip injury that's kept her from building on a successful junior campaign.

But with big meets such as the Davis and BYU Invitationals coming up the next two weekends, Carr, who has received only two weeks of consistent training this season, aims to accomplish at least some of her preseason goals.

"Originally, my goal was to go for the state title [in the 1600- or 3200-meter runs]," Carr said. "Now, I'm just hoping to place at [the UHSAA 3A State Championships], which is top five."