BATH TOWNSHIP — Sometimes it’s not easy to step out of your comfort zone.
For Bath standout sprinter Jocelyn Ayers, it wasn’t a problem.
After getting to the Division II state track meet her freshman season in the 200-meter dash, Ayers decided to not only focus on the 200, along with the 100 meters, but to compete in the 400 in hopes of building her endurance.
It has paid off.
Last season as a sophomore, Ayers went to the state meet in the 100, 200 and 400.
In her first two seasons in high school, Ayers has claimed the school record in all three events. This spring, she wants to rewrite the record books at Bath.
“My freshman year, I only went down (to the state meet) in the 200,” Ayers said. “Then last year, I went down in three (100, 200, 400). Those are definitely my key events. I want to get back down to state in those. Hopefully I can get on the podium in all three.”
Competing in the 400 was something Ayers began her sophomore season.
“(During) her freshman year, she went to state in the 200,” Bath head coach Dan Grime said. “Her sophomore year, she came through with the one (100), two (200) and the four (400). I think that (400) helped with her conditioning. She was doing well in it and we kind of gave her the option to back off in the end. But she wanted to continue on and she was able to qualify in three events.
“That’s doesn’t happen very often for anyone. It was a great accomplishment for her. So, we’re just hoping she can continue to build on that and stay healthy for the whole season.”
Last season at the state meet, Ayers finished fourth in the 200 (25.97 seconds), ninth in the 100 (12.98), but did not make the finals in the 400 (60.94 in the preliminaries).
Ayers has taken her training to the next level in hopes of improving on last year’s performance.
“As soon as soccer is over I go down to F.A.S.T. (Functional Accelerated Sports Training),” Ayers said. “That’s where I train during the entire offseason, and I also do indoor track, starting about January.
“I had the state finals a couple weeks ago for indoor track. I got second in the 200. I ran a 26.01. (Competing in) outdoor, hopefully I will get it down to a low 25. …That’s my goal this year. And in the 100, I want to get in the low 12s (seconds) and 56 in the 400.”
Ayers’ strongest event has been the 200. Ayers has aspirations of being at the top of the awards podium at the state meet in June.
“That is my ultimate goal. That will always be my ultimate goal — to win state in the 200,” Ayers said.
Bath sprinter Jocelyn Ayers