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First meet gives HSCHS track a lot of positives to build on during open week

THERMOPOLIS - Even with close to half the team missing, the Hot Springs County High School track and field team got the season off to a strong start in Cody on March 23. Many of the Bobcats and Lady Bobcats set personal records at the Yellowstone Sports Medicine Invitational at Cody High School.

"The weather was exceptional and it was a good day to start out and get our feet wet," said HSCHS track and field coach Aimee Kay. "We weren't at full strength with spring break, some kids being in the Dominican Republic and some that missed practices due to sickness. We took 18 kids total and not too shabby for our first meet. We had a lot of them set new personal records or tie personal records."

Among the highlights from Cody was the 'Cat 4x100-meter and sprint medley relay teams. Although both teams were disqualified, the times they posted were within shot of school records.

"I had two boys sprinting relays that I threw together the night before for the 4x100 and sprint medley. We got DQ'd on both of them but I was super stoked with their times. We just struggled to get the baton handed off in the zone but that's an easy fix. The times that they ran were very close to our school records, so with a little practice and tweaking they can get there," said Kay.

For the Lady 'Cats, they didn't bring many to Cody but as Kay put it, "We're small but we're mighty. It was good to see them get out there and perform" she said.

Among those to set personal records for the Lady 'Cats were Jazmen Jensen in the 200-meter dash, Dayna Crow in the 400-meter and Mariah Brooks tying her personal best in the high jump.

"Jazmen Jensen set a new PR in the 200. She's getting stronger all the time and her worth ethic has improved as a sophomore. Dayna Crow got a PR in the 400 and she gave it her all. 0Freshman Mariah Brooks came in and tied her high jump record at 4-4. That was nice because the last time she did the high jump was as a seventh-grader," said Kay.

On the 'Cats side of things, Blake Williams, Ethan Becher and Jaxson Jensen were among those who got the season started by setting new PRs.

"Blake Williams set a new PR in the 400. He came out late last season and he's starting to buy in, track might not be his favorite but it's going to pay off in his other sports. I could see the difference in football when he was running the ball this last year.

"Ethan Becher improved by quite a bit on his 100-meter hurdles. He's one of our senior boys and very passionate about the 300-meter hurdles. I didn't really talk him into running the 100 hurdles last year and I'm hoping seeing that personal record will inspire him to give the 100 hurdles a second look. He's definitely one of my passionate tracksters, he loves the sport," said Kay. "Jaxson Jensen set a personal record in the triple jump and he keeps getting stronger all the time."

The 'Cats and Lady 'Cats have the weekend off and will use that time to work on some of the flaws that showed up in Cody. Spring break is still ongoing and due to a district policy practice is optional during school breaks. Nonetheless, Kay and her staff will train any and all that show up during this week's practice.

"We've had some good strong practices. We have a couple of kiddos I'm really excited about just being able to push themselves beyond that comfort zone. Sometimes it's hard to coach a kid to do that, then we have a few that do that naturally. Even though we don't have all of our kids, the ones that are here are able to get more one-on-one time with their events. We've worked a lot of blocks, that was an area we decided was a need, said Kay.