Middle school track meet named in Cousins' honor
Beginning next season, Washington’s middle school girls’ track and field meet will be known as the Max Cousins Washington Invitational.
The announcement was made at Thursday night’s Washington Invite girls’ track meet at Case Field, where Cousins, who has been coaching athletics in Washington’s schools since 1969, was honored and given a plaque commemorating his service.
“That was a surprise,” Cousins said. “I was humbled. I’ve spent a lot of years in it, and I enjoyed it.”
Cousins began coaching in 1956 at Brighton High School. After one year there, he made stops in Albia, Sibley and Ocheyedan before coming to Washington.
“It was the best move I’ve made in all my life,” Cousins said. “Washington has been good to me.”
Cousins was an assistant football coach at Washington under Roger Herrington and Dale Harter. He also was an assistant girls’ basketball coach for the Demons. But track and field was where he has made his biggest mark.
He was Washington’s head girls’ track and field coach for 22 seasons, coaching Ann Lampkin — now Ann Williams — to a state title in the 400-meter dash and coaching Alice Hess to a state title in the discus. There were several seasons where the Demons placed very high at the state track meet.
For the last 13 seasons Cousins has coached Washington’s eighth-grade girls’ track and field team. But he plans to retire at the end of this spring.
“I think this is my last year,” said Cousins, who will turn 79 in June. “I’ve had a good time. I like to be around young people. Young people are pretty special. I’ve worked with some good coaches, too.”
With the renaming of the middle school track meet, Cousins won’t soon be forgotten.
“Max has put in 45 years of service,” Washington Athletic Director Bryce Smeins said. “He’s coached a lot of different sports at this school and he’s done a great, great job. He does it the right way. He’s a great guy, so we felt it was fitting to honor him last night and name the middle school track meet after him.”