BURNS — Alex McCart didn’t need anyone to tell her she could clear 5-foot-2 in the high jump. The Burns sophomore knew she could.
Actually doing it was a different story.
When McCart got up and over the mark at the Class 2A East Conference Regional Track Meet last weekend, it was a moment of relief.
“At SEWAC, I had really good attempts at 5-2 and it was frustrating to not be able to jump it. But to finally reach it, now it’s off my chest,” McCart said.
Relief and refocus, that is.
“I feel like I can jump 5-4 now,” she added.
McCart’s leap is the best mark by any 2A athlete in the state this year. She comes into the state track meet in Casper as the top contender with three other girls sitting just behind her at 5-feet.
One of those jumpers is teammate Shana Wilcoxson. Every day at practice, the duo push each other to be better. Once a meet starts, it’s every jumper for themselves.
“There’s not a whole lot of animosity during the week,” Burns coach Brooks Hoffman said.
“Both are extreme competitor so when it’s there, it’s go time for them. Both of them are pushing hard to get that first-place finish.”
McCart and Wilcoxson traded the top spot often last season but up until the regional meet Wilcoxson had taken the top spot at track meets all season when she competed in the high jump.
McCart isn’t out to beat her teammate. But she’s glad that she gets pushed every day at practice to be better.
“She really motivated me. She cleared a height and I was like, ‘Well, I guess I should probably clear this too,'” McCart said with a laugh.
Hoffman says McCart’s recent jump shows the progress she’s made over the last year. He also notes that as she cleans up her technique, there are bigger heights she should be able to clear.
As for state, McCart is aiming high. She wants the 5-2 mark again at least. And the competition?
“I expect to go 5-2 again at least and Shana to do the same,” McCart said.