Wilde signs with University of Montana for track and field
Whitefish High School senior Erin Wilde recently signed with the University of Montana for track and field. Pictured is, back row, from left to right, Coach Willie Roche, Coach Kelliann Blackburn; front row, brother Carter, Erin, mother Dawn and father Kirk Wilde. (Whitney England/Whitefish Pilot)
WHS senior Erin Wilde signs with the University of Montana for track and field. (Whitney England/Whitefish Pilot)
Whitefish Pilot | June 8, 2022 1:00 AM
Whitefish graduating senior Erin Wilde has always wanted to participate in college athletics and now she will get to see that through.
Wilde recently signed a letter of intent to join the University of Montana track and field program.
She is a three-sport athlete — she played volleyball, basketball, and track and field throughout her time at Whitefish High School. Wilde will join the Grizzlies track and field team as a jumper in both the long and high jump events.
In Wilde’s senior season with WHS track and field, the girls team won the Class A State Championship; Wilde individually took the state title in the high jump. She says the team winning the State A title was exciting after one canceled season due to the Covid-19 pandemic and last year coming in second place.
And in the high jump, she says winning at state was a goal she finally achieved.
“I always wanted to win high jump at state, my freshman year I got second… this year I got first,” she said. “It was the last event and so I was already tired. It was really relieving.”
Wilde this season also broke the Whitefish High School records in both the high jump and the long jump events. She set a new record of 17 feet, 10 ½ inches in the long jump and 5 feet, 6 inches in the high jump in different meets this season.
“I really wanted to break those,” she said regarding the school records. “Throughout my years here, the (records) board has always been right there, I’ve always just wanted to be on it.”
Wilde says she turned down offers from other colleges because she genuinely wanted to attend the University of Montana. So when she made that decision, her father, Kirk Wilde, wanted her to still have an athletics option at college and called the UM coach. Shortly after that Wilde was asked to join the program.
Wilde says she has friends at the University of Montana and Missoula seems like a lot of fun.
“And the track program seemed like even more fun, so when they gave me the offer I decided to just take it,” she added.
One friend who attends UM, former WHS athlete Mikenna Ells, was a big influence in Wilde’s decision. Ells is on the track team in Missoula and believed Wilde would be a great fit for the team as well.
Wilde says she and Ells became close friends during the three years they played sports together at Whitefish High School and Wilde wanted to reunite with her in the UM Athletics program.
“I became really close friends with her, and she said it was a good program down there. So I wanted to go with her,” Wilde says.
Wilde will head to Missoula in the fall to begin college at UM.