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

By Mark Dykes

Coach looking forward to Bobcat track season


March 14, 2019

Mark Dykes

Shelby Bozner works with track students at their first practice Monday afternoon. At least 20 students are expected to comprise the team, with their first meet March 23.

We're getting a bit more sunshine these days and with it the high school tracksters are getting ready for the 2019 season, with the first practice on March 11. This year there is a change in coach, with Aimee Kay taking over for Ernie Mecca, who retired last year. It's not Kay's first time working with the team, though, as this year marks her 25th of coaching and her second as head track coach.

They will try something new, Kay explained, which was done when Mecca first started coaching. The plan is to have one coach per event, who coaches both high school and middle school. "I think it's worth giving it a try to have individual coaches that are the event coaches." Kay further noted coaches will have partners and support staff to help when coaches are unavailable because they're at other meets.

Among the staff helping will be Shelby Bozner, Cassie Owsley, Todd Webber and Ryan Williams.

Another change will be the setting up of squads. Kay explained these squads will be a mix of students from sixth to 12th grade that will run through warm ups together. "I think that will enable our upper class kids, the juniors and seniors, to take more of a leadership role and build some team and relationships the other kids will benefit from." The idea is something like the classroom "families" at the middle school, and also provide students with support and someone they can go to if they have questions.

Spring break early in the season starts things off a bit inconsistent. The team's first meet is March 23, at the Yellowstone Sports Medicine Invite at Cody. Spring break is the week of March 25 and there are no meets scheduled, though Kay will have workouts for the students to do. The season picks up again with regular weekly meets starting April 6.

Kay did a survey earlier in the year and anticipates there will be at least 20 students competing, though she's hoping for closer to 25.

The cross country team was solid this school year, and she's excited to see the girls step in and do track. There were also some boys that showed some growth last year, and Kay's looking forward to seeing what they bring this year. "My upperclassmen are getting stronger every year."


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