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By Alex Kuhn
Sports Editor 

Lady 'Cats place third in Lander


September 20, 2018


Tahja Hunt

THERMOPOLIS - The Hot Springs High School cross-country team kept their impressive season moving along last Thursday in Lander. The Lady Bobcats picked up another top-three finish, coming in third, and had two runners place in the top 10.

Juniors, Tahja Hunt and McKenna Bomengen finished in the top 10 for the Lady 'Cats. Hunt came in third, running a 21:38, and Bomengen seventh, clocking in at 22:41. The other Lady 'Cat standout junior, Olivia Weyer, finished in 15th place with a time of 24:20.

"Everyone came out and did their best," said HSCHS cross-country coach Stephanie Metz. "They knew that hill was going to be super tough on them and they all went at it with a competitive force. Tahja did really well on that mile with the hill, she went 8:23 and came back in 7:18 for her last mile. I'm really proud of her race, that was really aggressive. Third place wasn't the place she wanted but her time was really good for that type of course. Just for her to see success over and over again is huge. She's still not getting the time she wants but the Lander course, it's tough to get the time you like."

Added Metz about her other runners, "McKenna, the hill kind of hurt her but she stayed in it the whole race and fought the whole time, I'm proud of her. Hallie Martinez, one of our younger ones, did really well on the course. It's hard looking at their times with this course. She still raced very well and was 25th out of the 48 varsity girls. As a freshman that's pretty awesome."

Today at 4 p.m., Thermopolis will be in Worland for the Warrior Invitational at the Green Hills Golf Course. Unlike the Lander course, the Worland course doesn't have a hill so it's a fast-paced race.

Getting ready for the Worland course Metz has put her runners through the usual training but this week has focused mostly on building their confidence.

"Just building their confidence and showing them their splits from last year. Tahja was 10th, McKenna was third and Olivia was seventh last year. We had all three in the top 10 last year, they've had success and ran fast times, it's just getting them to believe in themselves," said Metz.

Getting her runners to have that mental edge and believe in themselves, Metz takes a personal approach for her athletes. She'll remind them to draw upon their toughest workouts, the ones where it seemed impossible to finish, but in the end, they found a way to. So during a race when they get that feeling to slow down or quit, they can draw motivation from that workout.

"Each athlete is different. I like to talk them through the race and remind them of everything they've done that week or previous meet. Reminding them of the harder workouts we've gotten them through.

"It's like you've done mile repeats and have held a 7:20 and if you can do that seven times, you can do this. It's about encouraging them so that they have something to pull from in their minds so that when they do want to give up during a race. They can go back to feeling this exhausted before and remember that they've done this," said Metz.


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