Scout Reagan wasn’t always a speed demon. Up until high school, she spent hours at the dance studio learning everything from hip-hop to jazz to ballet.
On Wednesday, the Hermiston senior signed a letter of intent to run track for the University of Montana, making her the second athlete in six weeks to sign to run at a Division I university.
Madi Wilson signed with Eastern Washington University right before Christmas.
“It is a cool school, and has so many things to do,” Reagan said of Montana. “The campus is just big enough to bike around. I went in November and it was cold, but it was still really sunny. During the summer you can swim, and in the winter you can snowboard.”
Reagan and Wilson, who make up half of the Bulldogs’ 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams, will compete against each other in the Big Sky Conference in college.
“In a big pool of Big Sky athletes, there will be someone I know who is feeling the same way,” Reagan said of impending nerves. “It will be strange to run against her, but it will keep us competitive our senior year.”
Reagan competes in the 100 and 200 meters, and also runs legs on the two relays for the Bulldogs.
“My favorite is the 200,” she said. “It’s the curve. You get around the curve and get to the straightaway and you feel the push.”
Reagan finished eighth at the Oregon 5A state meet last year in the 200 in a time of 26.51 seconds. She also was fifth in the 100 (12.49), while the 4x100 relay team of Reagan, Wilson, MaKaylee Young and Elsa Torres finished second (49.05).
The 4x400 relay team — same runners, except Amanda Nygard in place of Young — turned in a sixth-place finish in a time of 4:07.70. All of the relay runners return this spring.
A move to the WIAA and the Mid-Columbia Conference brings another challenge for the Bulldogs — the 4x200 relay.
“We are looking forward to it,” Reagan said. “There are six of us who can run all of them. We will figure it out and make the best use of all of us.”
Reagan and her family moved to Hermiston from Cancun, Mexico, when she was 6 years old. She took dance lessons for years until she discovered track in the eighth grade. Even then, she split her time between the two sports.
It wasn’t until she got to high school that she dropped dance.
Now, other than taking a break for volleyball, Reagan devotes her time to getting faster and stronger. She has been working with Steve Whitehead at Elite Athletics Training in the Tri-Cities since her sophomore year.
“I can tell a difference,” she said of the extra work. “I’m more toned, and my athletic ability has improved times 10. There are so many great athletes who train there, and he has a lot of athletes moving on to play college sports. It has made me stronger in so many ways, but it has also helped me mentally. My finish in the 400 has improved — it was all mental toughness.”