Panthers served well by early home track meets
Maybe there’s something in the water around Hoyt, because for a team that RV track coach Denise Visocsky said might struggle to compete at a high level (compared to past results) this season, the Panthers have been right in the thick of things in their first two meets.
Coming off a pair of runner-up finishes at a league quad in Hoyt last week, the Panthers hosted their April Invitational on Tuesday and both the boys and girls came in fourth at the 10-team meet.
“Kids are getting pumped and excited to be able to really compete at that high level even though our numbers are so low, both on the boys and the girls side,” Visocsky said.
Experienced athletes like Patrick Broxterman, Eugene Masquat and Macy Putnam are leading the charge for the Panthers, which comes as little surprise to Visocksy. Broxterman and Masquat have been pushing each other in the hurdles, while Putnam has gotten off to a good start on the girls side.
Broxterman has also been an anchor in the high jump this year, while Putnam made a splashy debut in the 200m dash on Tuesday. She took third in the event, which she was competing in for the first time.
Kate Hanson also set a new personal record by a good distance in the javelin on the way to a runner-up finish, while placing in the top three of all three throwing events at Tuesday’s meet.
Some young athletes are providing a breath of fresh air as well, like Garrett Hicks taking an individual title in the pole vault and competing well in the distance races to boot and Visocsky noted those types of contributions will be key for this team.
“Just being a freshman and not knowing what to anticipate, he’s done a really great job in that aspect,” Visocsky said. “We’re seeing some of the younger ones really step up and seeing our older ones really set a good example of this is what it’s going to take for us to do well this year.”
These Panther athletes are goal-oriented and are not afraid to restructure those goals if they reach a certain time or distance, so Visocsky said she is excited to see what this group continues to strive for moving forward in the season. Royal Valley will have a big test the next time out as the team gets ready for a big meet in Abilene next Friday starting at 3 p.m.
Jackson Heights also had some young athletes continue to come along at the track meet in Hoyt on Tuesday and while the Cobras finished seventh in both the boys and girls divisions, there were some positive signs for Heights and the team will look to continue pushing forward next Tuesday at the Holton Invitational starting at 3 p.m.