HOT SPRINGS – Many miles of memories were shared this past weekend at the annual Dave Scott Memorial Fun Run/Walk at Angostura Recreation Area, coordinated by the Scott family and benefitting the Hot Springs Bison Booster Club. This year’s event not only remembered the longtime Hot Springs Bison coach, but also the 1997 Class “A” girls state track championship team, which was one of his five state team titles he earned as a head coach in Hot Springs.
Celebrating the 20th anniversary of their state title – which was actually the second consecutive girls state title for Hot Springs after also winning it in 1996 – four members of that girls’ team took part in the Memorial Fun/Run on Saturday, July 22, including Jacqueline (DeMent) Melcher, Genny (DeMent) Osborn, Tanya (Doering) Strausser and Katie (Jones) Aldrich. All four women spoke following the race and shared their memories of that state title, along with their thoughts on how Dave Scott positively influenced them during their time at Hot Springs High School.
Race announcer Joyce Farrell of Hot Springs also spoke briefly summarizing how the Hot Springs girls won the 1997 state title.
“The 1997 girls’ track state win did not come easy.” Farrell said. “After the Friday competition, Hot Springs was sitting in third place, but they had a stellar performance on Saturday to include several first place races which led to the big win.”
Three of those first place finishes came from Jacqueline DeMent alone, as she earned gold in the 200-meters, 300-meter hurdles and triple jump. She was also expected to place high in the 100-meters, but a rare false start eliminated her from contention in that race.
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Another big win for the team was a first place in the 4x200m relay, despite running the race from the 8th lane due to earning the eighth-best qualifying time in the preliminaries. Members of that relay team included Lisa Collogan, Katie Jones, Tawnya Doering and Genny DeMent.
Doering spoke of how Dave Scott’s positivity helped to push them to the team title, while convincing them how running the relay from 8th lane was “a good thing,” even though they all knew it really wasn’t. The team ultimately won the race in a time of 1:46.84, which is still a school record, now 20 years later.
That same relay team also placed second in the 4x100m relay in a time of :50.88, which is also still a school record.
Other notable finishes during that state meet included: 5th in long jump by Genny DeMent, 6th in 800-meters by Lisa Collogan, 5th in discus and 7th in shot put by Georgia Renz, and a 7th place in 100-meters by Tawnya Doering. Amanda Sides also set a new school record of 5 foot 1 inch in the high jump, but did not place despite matching the same height as the sixth place finisher. She would later break that school record in 2000, when she set a new mark – and current school record – of 5 feet, 5 inches.