Athlete of the Week: Abby Kates ‘24

Caleb Wooten, Staff Writer

Despite the rainy day, Abby Kates ’24 still shined at the Jim Taylor Invitational this past weekend. The star junior reached unprecedented heights in high jump, as her mark of 5-7 3/4 won the meet and broke the previous school record by half an inch. 

When reflecting on her success in this meet, Kates attributed a lot of it to the consistency of her training this year in comparison to her first two years. 

“It’s been amazing to have an event coach for the full year, and it’s definitely made a difference at this point of the year,” Kates said. “Coach Ozzie has been great, and being able to trust and follow the training plan consistently has helped a ton. During my underclassman years, I’d kind of been in between coaches every season, so we’ve had multiple training plans each year, and it was hard to be consistent. Now, I feel like I’ve been able to build a great relationship with him and it’s helped me figure out what works training wise. I definitely have seen the results which always is a confidence booster, and I’m just grateful I get to be able to train, compete and have fun.”

Kates is picking up right where she left off this past indoor season. She leapt to fourth place of all time on the indoor list, as well as placed fifth in the Patriot League Championships. She earned All-East honors at ECAC Championships. 

Her performance this past weekend was the breakthrough that Kates had been waiting for all year, and the junior was ecstatic to see her hard work pay off.

“I felt pretty good from the warm up, and I entered at a higher height than usual and cleared my first two jumps so I conserved a lot more energy than normal before reaching that height,” Kates said. “I had my teammates Olivia Boyce ’24 and Madeline Lehker ’26 competing with me too, which was awesome. Being able to support each other throughout the event was huge. I failed my first jump, but knew I could get the record as I barely hit the bar. As soon as I cleared the second jump and got the record everybody from the team who was watching rushed me on the mat and it was the best feeling ever. It felt great to be able to just have fun with it all and jump with no pressure, so I’m excited to see how I can build off of that for the rest of the year and eventually at Patriot League Championships.”

Kates and the Bison compete next at the Colonial Relays this upcoming weekend in Williamsburg, Va.

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