MCM's Pulse sets the pace among area's best
SALEM -- In her first year running varsity track, Jacy Pulse set the bar high. After all, it doesn't get much better than a state championship. But the McCook Central/Montrose eighth-grader is seeking more success in 2016. And she's looking quite...
SALEM - In her first year running varsity track, Jacy Pulse set the bar high.
After all, it doesn't get much better than a state championship.
But the McCook Central/Montrose eighth-grader is seeking more success in 2016. And she's looking quite capable.
A few weeks into the season, Pulse has already qualified for the state meet in three events - the 200 and 400 meter races and in the 100-meter hurdles - and the Fighting Cougars' young sprinter appears to be headed to the medal stand once again.
On her home track Tuesday in Salem, Pulse won the three races she entered, the 100 (12.93), 200 (26.47) and 400 (59.68) meter races. On a blustery day, the performance left MCM assistant coach Doug Durfee impressed.
"It's unreal how strong of a runner she is," he said. "It was a windy day and she still broke 60 (seconds) in the quarter-mile. She's only an eighth-grader and she's only going to get stronger. She's a skinny girl with long legs but she has a lot of strength in those long legs."
Pulse was the 2015 Class A state champion at 400 meters, sprinting around the track in 59.03 seconds and becoming the only seventh-grader in any of the three classes to win an individual state title in 2015. She also made the medal stand in the 100 meter hurdles, finishing eighth in 16.58.
"I have a lot of girls at practice that push me to my best," Pulse said. "They help me to be better and there's no room to slack off, if I want to go where I want to go."
Of the four races in her repertoire, it's the 100-meter hurdles that are her favorite, Pulse said. She said she's always loved the idea of being a hurdler since she was a kid, when her parents would help her set up obstacles in her yard for her to jump over.
"I'd jump over whatever I could find," she said. "I love the challenge of hurdling and having a constant obstacle."
Durfee said the main key will be to keep Pulse as healthy as possible and to help her improve in different aspects of each race.
"She's attacking a lot better," he said. "As a seventh-grader, it was her first year of running at the varsity (level) and ever running the 400, ever running the 200, and she would try to kick it in at the end and try to run past everyone. This year, she's put her head down to win the first 200 and then finish it out."
Pulse said she's shooting to be a state champion again in the 400 race, place higher in the 100 hurdles and would like to qualify for the state meet in each of her four events. She said having her 2015 season as a frame of reference is helpful.
"It helps to know what times I should be running," she said. "Last year, I wasn't running the times I am running now, so it's a good place. I think I can improve by a few seconds, at least."