HSCHS track heads to 3A East regional meet Friday
May 9, 2019
WORLAND - After hosting their annual Bobcat Invitational track and field meet on May 3, the Bobcats and Lady Bobcats are ready and raring to go for the 3A East regional meet in Burns on May 10-11.
"Not as many personal records as we have had in other meets but they kids still did a decent job," said HSCHS track and field coach Amiee Kay about her team's performance in the Bobcat Invite. "Now we just have our regionals to get our kids qualified for state. Looking at the rest of the conference, we've got some kids that are pretty darn close and I'm hoping they'll step up, have a good day and be able to get there."
All throwing events for the Bobcat Invite were canceled due to poor field conditions and there being a middle school conference meet the following day. While the 'Cat and Lady 'Cat throwers weren't able to get in one last competition before regional Kay did get a good look at some of the new relay teams she put together.
Kay liked what she saw from her relay team but unfortunately, senior Ethan Becher pulled his hamstring during the 4x400-meter relay and will miss the remainder of the season.
"We tried out some new relays and figured those things out for regionals. I think our 4x400 relay is going to be pretty salty but the bummer of the weekend was Ethan Becher, one of my senior hurdlers, who pulled a hamstring running the last leg of that. He's out for the season which is a heartbreaker and was a bummer of a way to end the track meet," said Kay.
Becher's injury has forced Kay to rearrange some pieces on the 'Cats team. Each move she has made has been embraced by the 'Cat athletes, which she is thankful for.
Lady 'Cat Aime Robinson impressed her coach running a leg in the 4x800-meter relay, helping the team finish second with a time of 11:14.38. Robinson joined the track team later in the season and is still catching up on conditioning but has quietly put in a strong season.
The competition in Burns is going to be tough this weekend, only the top four relay teams make it to state if they haven't already qualified. Still, Kay believes her teams will be competitive and push for one of those top four spots.
"It's hard in the relays because you have to be in the top four to make it to state. My girls 4x800, even though they haven't run it a lot, did a good job. Aime Robinson joined us later in the season but she stepped up and did very well in the 4x800.
"I found someone to take Ethan's place in the 4x400 and I think it's still going to be pretty solid. I appreciate the boys who are willing to step up and fill those positions. They always groan about the 4x400 but it's my favorite race in track. But I appreciate their attitude and willingness to step up," said Kay.
Shuffling around relays teams were not the only moves Kay made. She also asked some athletes to add a few events to help the team score points and hopefully give them a better chance at making the 3A State meet in Casper next week.
One of the athletes Kay asked to add an event was junior Jarron Mortimore. He's been running the 110-meter hurdles this season and Kay believed he'd excel in the 300-meter hurdles as well. There was some hemming and hawing when she asked him to run the 300-meter hurdles, in the end, he stepped up and agreed to run the event.
For individual events, only the top eight finishers advance to the state meet.
"I also added some events for a few of our kids," said Kay. "For example, Jarron Mortimore has been running the 100 hurdles but after seeing him run the 4x400. I think he has what it takes to be competitive in the 300 hurdles. He's been awesome to work with, he might roll his eyes about doing it but he's going to give his best effort every time. You can't ask more for more than that."
Getting her athletes mentally prepared for regionals was just as important to Kay as getting them physically ready. Properly warming up before each event not only helps the body get right for competition but also gets the mind locked in.
Inspiring her team during practice this week has been a big emphasis for Kay and her staff this week, especially for some of her younger athletes who might be intimidated by the regional stage.
"For them, they just need to go in with a positive mindset. Some of the younger kids think that they can't make it but I've told them they can't go in with that attitude. All you can do is go in and give it your best and see how it plays out. Every meet is a fresh track meet.
"We've also been reinforcing that warming up is super important, even when it's nice out. Along with getting your body ready, it prepares your brain to give it your best effort and prepare mentally for their race," said Kay. "We've kicked into inspirational mode this week."