Denmark foreign exchange student enjoying track season at Evart

EVART — He’s a foreign exchange student from Denmark, but Vlademar Maintz has also enjoyed the distinction this season of being an athlete at Evart High School.

This spring, Maintz is on the Wildcat track team that has won two straight MITCA state titles. He came to Evart in late August. In track, he’s running the 4x100 and 4x200 relays.

“I’m anchoring the 4x200 and third in the 4x1,” he said. “I like third. I like the 100 meters. It’s not as long. I guess there’s more pressure on the fourth.”

He also might be running the straight 400. The Wildcats entered this week without having had too many meets yet because of the weather. Maintz and his teammates are waiting for a chance to get more experience to determine what their specific events will be for the rest of the season.

“We have track (in Denmark) but it’s a club, not with the school,” said Maintz, who was also a kicker on the football team last fall. “It was a good experience.”

He played soccer in Denmark. Evart does not have a soccer team.

“It would be nice to have a soccer team here,” Maintz said. “I guess I’ll try something new.”

He’s not quite sure how fast he’ll be able to run the sprints. But he’s impressed with his teammates and the track program.

“He’s a fun kid,” said Evart coach Dennis Peacock. “He gives us that little bit of (free spirit). He’s very athletic. He’s into power-lifting.”

“Two-time state champs has got to speak for itself,” said.

Maintz is living with Scott and Sue Rice. He’ll be going back to Denmark in late June. Football will be perhaps his most memorable sports experience.

“Even though I didn’t play a lot, it’s an amazing sport,” Maintz said.

The biggest difference he’s found between his country and the U.S. is the high school sports system.

“In Denmark, sports are in clubs and aren’t connected to the school at all,” he said. “I like this better. It brings a nice spirit into it.”