Thermopolis Independent Record - Your source for news in Hot Springs County

By Mark Dykes
Assistant Editor 

Ward breaks 32 year record


The Bomb Photography

Senior Jules Ward beat a 32-year-old cross country record by about 19 seconds during the Worland Invite.

Thursday evening at the Green Hills Golf Course in Worland, senior Jules Ward not only took first place during the cross country invite, but her finishing time of 18:12 crushed the former record of 18:31, set by Francine Faure of Worland in 1984.

Ward said she was told what the record was before she ran, and that gave her a goal. After crossing the finish line, she assumed she came within a few tenths of a second of beating the record, as she has at past meets, so when she was told her time was 18:12 she could hardly believe it.

Ward went to tell coach Brenna Abel - who had been coaching the other girls coming in behind Ward, and didn't see her finish - and she was "really shocked and supper happy." Though it was Abel's aunt who set the 1984 record, Ward said her coach had no hard feelings about it being broken.

Ward's inspiration for joining cross country, and running in general, stems from her youth, when she ran everywhere. Coach Abel tried to get her to go out for cross country in seventh grade to no success. "In eighth grade," Ward said, "she finally talked me into going out for track."

Though she didn't compete in track her freshman year, she's always continued with cross country, and noted "it is definitely my favorite sport." She also does track and basketball, which helps keep her in shape, but in a different way as it's more sprinting.

After graduation, she plans to keep on running, noting already 10 colleges have already contacted her. She plans to run in college, and study agriculture.

Ward didn't have the only high placing at Thursday's meet, as McKenna Bomengen placed sixth with a time of 20:17, and Tahja Hunt placed 10th at 21:16. The high school girls team took third place.

Coach Abel noted Stacy Lewis had a personal record on the course - it is her fourth time running it - and Ward, Bomengen, Hunt and Elizabeth Rhodes posted their fastest times of the season.

On the boys side, Sean Miller also posted his fastest time of the season, coming in 26th at 19:02. Abel noted the Thermopolis Middle School athletes also did well, and there were some big personal records for the season.

Abel said the runners had a great day, and commented the weather was ideal, with some cloud coverage and temperatures in the 60's.

The Bobcat's home meet is Saturday, Oct. 1 at the golf course, starting at 9 a.m. with middle school girls, 9:30 a.m. for middle school boys, 10 a.m. for high school girls and 10:40 a.m. for high school boys. There is also the Always a Bobcat 5K race at 11:15 a.m., with the course open to the public. The cost is $10 per person, or $20 for families.

Additional results from the Worland meet are:

Varsity Girls - Stacy Lewis, 22nd, 22:38; Olivia Weyer, 33rd, 24:25; Elizabeth Rhodes, 34th, 24:32; Aime Robinson, 37th, 25:32; Erica Meier, 9th JV, 25:31

Middle School Boys - Ryan Miller, 53rd, 14:14; Spencer Calhoun, 72nd, 15:00; Karsten Hart, 73rd, 15:01; Josiah Butler, 91st, 17:23

Middle School Girls - Sadie Jo Burr, 21st, 13:48; Emme Norsworthy, 23rd, 13:52; Hallie Martinez, 33rd, 14:25; Dayna Sandberg, 51st, 15:08; Jasmine Collins, 52nd, 15:20; Lexi Overfield, 74th, 17:26.


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