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Athlete of the week: Krouse jumps to the front of Class A's jumpers

MONTROSE--It was a week to remember for Jocelyn Krouse. The freshman jumper and hurdler for McCook Central/Montrose accomplished two personal-best marks--one in the triple jump and one in the long jump--at two different meets last week. On May 3,...

MONTROSE-It was a week to remember for Jocelyn Krouse.

The freshman jumper and hurdler for McCook Central/Montrose accomplished two personal-best marks-one in the triple jump and one in the long jump-at two different meets last week.

On May 3, she had her best triple jump with a leap of 35 feet, 10.5 inches at the Don Diede Relays in Freeman. The jump set a new meet record and sits as the best jump in Class A this season.

Krouse, who won the long jump at Don Diede as well, followed up that performance with a personal-best in the long jump at the 91st Howard Wood Dakota Relays on Saturday in Sioux Falls. She hit 17-6 to finish second out of 86 jumpers at the event and set the best mark in Class A this season.

"That really caught us off-guard when she took second place at Howard Wood against some of the best jumpers in the Midwest," MCM head coach Jack Rasmussen said. "The bigger the stage, the better she performs. The better competition brings out her best performances."

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Krouse, who hit 35-09.75 and finished seventh in the triple jump at the Dakota Relays, admitted to being surprised with her strong performance on Saturday as well.

"I got a (personal record) and it really got to me right afterwards," Krouse said on Saturday.

For her accomplishments and successful jumps, Krouse has been named The Daily Republic's athlete of the week, an award voted on by the newspaper's sports staff.

As an eighth-grader, Krouse took second in the triple jump with a leap of 35-01.5 at the Class A state meet last year and Rasmussen noted the triple jump remains her strongest event.

"She's really flawless on the board," Rasmussen said. "She really benefits from her gymnastics experiences. It's all about timing and all about steps. She's really mastered the different phases of the triple jump."

This winter, Krouse competed in gymnastics with Madison, the Class A state champion, as part of co-op between Madison and Montrose. Krouse finished second individually in all-around with 36.250 points.

"She's a competitor and she's learned this through gymnastics," said Rasmussen, who added Krouse has competed in gymnastics since she was five years-old.

Along with her jumping and gymnastics strengths, Krouse has found success competing in the 100 and 300 hurdles. At the Don Diede Relays, she placed second in the 300 with a time of 49.93 seconds and finished fifth in the 100 with a time 16.61. Krouse's teammate Jacy Pulse won the 100 with a time of 14.95 and Rasmussen said the two young hurdlers push each other daily in practice.

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"They feed off one another," said Rasmussen, who added Krouse needs to improve on her speed a little more in the hurdles. "The rest of the team is seeing that and starting to work hard, too."

As Krouse and MCM head into the final three meets of the season-the Big East Conference meet on Friday in Flandreau, the Region 5A meet on May 19 and the state meet in Sioux Falls-Rasmussen said there's little work left to be done.

"At this point, our biggest concern is to stay injury-free," Rasmussen said. "They're in shape now, we just need to make sure they stay injury free. She just has to be consistent and everything will take care of itself."

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