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

By Mark Dykes

Bobcats wrap up track season


Dennis Nierzwicki

Kaylee DeVries sails over a hurdle during the Bobcat Invite earlier this season. DeVries qualified for last week's state competition in the 100 meter hurdles.

Last weekend the Hot Springs County High School Track and Field finished their season as 17 students - 10 girls and seven boys - competed at the State Championships in Casper.

Both teams continued to set personal records, and Olivia Weyer's eighth place height of 9'0" in the pole vault was a new school record. Other personal records were Haley McDermott's 10th place time of 64.25 in the 400 meters and Logan Cole's ninth place distance of 43'9" in the shot put and 13th place distance of 114'4" in the discus. The 4x800 relay team of Kolby George, Ethan Becher, Cullen Becher and Sean Miller had a personal record with a fifth place time of 8:39.01.

Coach Ernie Mecca said when things get to the state level it gets a bit more challenging, but our students really responded well and stepped up to the challenge with five personal records and one school record.

Both relay teams competed very well also, Mecca noted, and the boys team moved up a couple spots from where they were seeded following regionals.

Having 17 students qualify and compete at the state level is an accomplishment in itself, Mecca said. This is a young team with plenty to build on in the coming years. Though all can return next year, it was the last meet for seniors Haley McDermott and Cullen Becher.

Of McDermott, Mecca said she's trained and competed hard her four years, making school records and state championships. The coach said her leadership and experience has been valuable.

As for Becher, Mecca said it was unfortunate he had a knee injury that kept him out most of the season. However, it was Becher's efforts in the 4x800 relay that allowed the boys' team to compete at state. Mecca added Becher had good times coming off his injury and "his heart is second to none."

Both seniors have been solid contributors to the Hot Springs County High School Track and Field program, Mecca said, and there are a couple junior boys who can step into those leadership roles. As there are no junior girls, it falls to the sophomores to be the leaders next year. He wishes the seniors the best, and said it's a special thing to be a part of their track careers the whole time they've been here.

Mecca, who has coached track for six seasons, is also bidding farewell to the district with his retirement. He said he's been blessed to coach at his alma mater, not just in track but also basketball. The district has great teachers and students, he said, as well as plenty of supportive parents. He's hopeful they've built on the program that was here before and left a solid foundation for the future coach.

Additional girls results:

Bomengen - 3200 meters eighth 12:45.26, 1600 meters 10th 5:51.72, 800 meters 14th 2:34.65

McDermott - 800 meters ninth 2:27.66, pole vault 11th 8'6"

Tahja Hunt - 3200 meters 15th 13:14.73, 1600 15th 6:10.02

Sesi Jensen - triple jump 16th 30'9.25"

Ashley McPhie - 300 hurdles 15th 55.89

Dayna Sandberg - 200 meters 19th 30.12

Kaylee DeVries - 100 meter hurdles 13th 19.04

The 4x800 relay team of McDermott, Hunt, Aspen Jensen and Bomengen placed fourth with a time of 10:52.29

Additional boys results:

Kolby George - 1600 meters 12th 4:57.51, 3200 meters 14th 11:26.94

Ethan Becher - 300 meter hurdles 11th 43.90

The team also celebrated the season with an awards banquet Tuesday evening at Thermopolis Middle School. Letter winners were: Four years - McDermott and Cullen Becher; three years - Ethan Becher; two years - Bomengen, George, Hunt, Aspen Jensen, Kaylee DeVries, Weyer and Aimee Robinson; one year - Jarron Mortimore, Logan Shumway, Cole, Jesse Skelton, Jaxson Jensen, Chance Huffstetler, McPhie, Sesi Jensen, Sandberg and Brianna DeVries.

Those recognized as All Conference were the 4x800 girls relay team. School records recognized were the boys 1600 sprint medley relay team of Skelton, Jensen, Miller and George and their time of 3:54.55, the girls 1600 sprint medley relay team of Sesi Jensen, Aspen Jensen, McDermott and Bomegen and their time of 4:49.12, and Weyer's 9' record in the pole vault.

McDermott had high points for the girls with 102.25 and McPhie had the most personal records at 14. For the boys, Ethan Becher had high points of 59.5 and Skelton had the most personal records with nine.


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