Back-to-back track


Weather finally permitted the Saratoga High School track team to enter competition. Over the weekend, the Panthers ran in two meets — the Okie Blanchard Invitational in Cheyenne, on April 8, and the Guernsey-Sunrise Invite in Guernsey April 9.

Early spring storms had canceled the Panthers’ first two meets, and prevented the team from getting much practice time outside. Coach and athletic director Rex Hohnholt said that in spite of these challenges, he was “pleasantly surprised” by the results of the first two meets.

“I thought we had a pretty good first weekend,” Hohnholt said. “I was impressed with our newcomers coming in. Again, they’ve had little track experience coming in, some of the boys, and the girls made some pretty good progress,” the coach said.

Technique events — pole vault, high jump and hurdles — presented a particular challenge to the Panthers, because they were kept off the track for so much of the young season. “You can’t replace being out on the track and on the runways,” Hohnholt said of these technically demanding events.

“I feel really bad for our vaulters — their first vaulting was Thursday before the meet (on Friday),” Hohnholt said. The jumpers didn’t get as high as they would have liked, Holhnholt said, but “they did a really nice job for picking a pole up Thursday and vaulting for the first time in a meet Friday and Saturday.”

“That’s a scary event, too, to be involved in, when you’re getting vertical,” Hohnholt added.

Hohnholt said, “we’re where we need to be.”

“We had some young kids really step up and surprise (us),” the coach said.

The meets at Guernsey and Cheyenne “give us all a gauge to go by and challenge each other,” Hohnholt said.

“That’s what track’s all about,” he continued. “No matter what meet we go to, it doesn’t matter how good the competition is – you’re competing against yourself. Are you going to have the ability to rise up and challenge yourself every week, and are you going to be mentally prepared every week?”

With lots of young talent and more sunny weather on the way, Hohnholt said he is “looking forward to see what we can do by the end of the year.”


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