By Shawn O’Brate
LANDER – After Riverton High School hosted their largest track and field event of the season two weekends ago with the Roy Peck Invitational the Lander Valley High School hosted their largest event of the season the following Saturday.
Almost 15 teams were in attendance in Lander putting their best athletes forward just one week before the 3A West Regionals in Kemmerer and 4A West Regionals in Casper. At this major event in Lander it was apparent that many student athletes knew they had one final chance at improving their personal records (PR) and qualifying for Regionals.
Some of the schools at the event are as listed:
Lander Valley High School
The home team definitely dominated the day with 27 total top-three finishes over the course of the Invitational, eleven more than the next-best team. Within those top placements comes familiar names like senior Abigail Gribowskas who had two first-place finishes–the 400m dash and 200m dash–with her new PR being placed in the 200m. She also had a second place finish in the long jump with a 16-foot distance.
Her two teammates named Avery, sophomores Avery Bever and Avery Crane, also had an authoritative day with Bever finishing first in the 100m dash with a new PR (13.12 seconds) and third in the 200m dash with a new PR (27.06 sec) and Crane finishing right behind her in both events, setting PRs in both the 100m (13.26 sec) and 200m (27.17 sec).
Freshman Ameya Eddy showed that she is a force to be reckoned with as well with two first-place finishes in her two events, the 800m run and 1600m run, where she also set PRs in both. Also commanding the distance running events was senior KayKay Sandall who finished first in the 3200m run with a PR (13:59.34) while also throwing a new best in the discus throw with an 84-foot toss–eight feet longer than her previous record.
Not to be forgotten is the multiple second-place finishes like junior Kyra Simonson in the 1600m run and sophomore Ellie Kaufman in the 400m dash. Also, sophomore Bo Mitchell finished just six inches shy of first place in the pole vault with a new personal best eight-foot finish.
The girls also finished first in the 4x100m and 4x800m relays while also coming in second in the 4x400m relay. Overall, the girls once again had a spectacular day as they finished first in points over second-place Kemmerer by seventy total points.
Meanwhile, the boys of Lander had a pretty great day as well with the common names like juniors Gage Gose and Matisse Weaver finishing first in their respective hurdling events. Gose also set a PR in the 100m dash with his second-place finish of 11.81-second time. Another speedy Lander Valley Tiger, sophomore Reed McFadden, had two top-five finishes in the 200m dash (fifth) and 400m dash (3rd) while also helping boys win the 4x800m relay early in the day with senior Blaine Goklish as the anchor leg.
Goklish also finished second in the 1600m run while his relay teammate Diego Lobatos finished second in the 3200m run. Another great second-place finish was by senior Isaac Vasquez who fell short of his PR in pole vault but still toppled 11-feet in the final week before the Regionals begin.
At the end of the day the Lander Valley boys finished second to Riverton in points by 20 points exactly.
Dubois High School
The Dubois Rams track and field team had some fantastic finishes on both the girls and boys side of the meet with senior Max Clarr finishing first in the shot put with a PR of 44-feet and 11.25-inches, a new school record in the event.
Claar also came in second in the discus throw with a 122-foot and seven-inch toss, just 1.6-feet short of his personal best. His teammate, sophomore Wyatt Trembly, helped him and upperclassmen Ryan Wells and Cody Wright land the only first-place finish for Dubois in the relays when Trembly ran anchor leg in the 4x400m relay.
Trembly also finished fifth in the 400m dash before coming in third in the 110m hurdles, setting a new PR in the short-hurdle event with a time of 16.59-seconds. Wright, a senior, set a new PR–while tying the Dubois record for third-best–in the high jump also with a finish of 5-foot-eight-inches. He also holds the third-highest record in Dubois’ history books with his 41-foot-five-inch triple jump two weeks ago, a record he was less than two inches short of this past weekend.
Meanwhile, the junior Wells also had a great triple jump in Lander with his 40-foot-eight-inch leap which was just short of his record and the fourth-best finish in the event in Dubois history. Ultimately the boys finished third in overall points with 95, falling short of Lander’s 123 and Riverton’s 143.
As for the girls, junior Maren Baker had herself another excellent day with a third place finish in the pole vault (7’6”) and a fifth place finish in the triple jump (30’3.75”). Right next to those field events it was senior Summer Halmay working the rest of the high jumpers with a third-place finish of 4-foot-five-inches, just two inches short of her PR that she set the day before at the Bobcat invitational.
Senior Jorie Hess finished fourth in the discus event with a throw of just under 90-feet while freshman Molly Sanchez set a new PR in the 300m hurdles with her 50.73-second finish. The girls would finish sixth in points with 45 on the day, right behind Riverton (50) and right in front of St. Stephens (36).
Fort Washakie High School
The Eagles of Fort Washakie did not have a huge population of student athletes at the Shane Brock Invitational but the few that were there made their name known. For starters, senior Jalen Tillman not only set a new PR in the 1600m run when he finished ninth with a time of 5:22.74 but he also set the school record in the event. He also brought home a fourth-place finish in the 3200m run with his 11:44.36 time, just two seconds shy of his previous best which is the school record.
Meanwhile, sophomore James Hill broke the school record for the discus throw with a massive 75-foot-four-inch pitch–12 feet longer than the previous record which has stood since 2008. That record was also broken on the girls side when junior Jackie White bombed the discus a whopping 67-feet-six-inches, breaking Sheyanne Thompson’s record from 2016.
White’s sophomore teammate Kayli Ferris also set some records, breaking her PR in the 3200m run and setting the third-best record in school history simultaneously with her 16:38.01 time in the event.
With such a small showing it’s not surprising that Fort Washakie finished near the bottom in points in both the boys and girls team rankings but there will still be plenty representing the Eagles in the 1A–2A West Regionals this weekend at Shoshoni High School.
Kemmerer High School
After coming off a strong showing at the Roy Peck Invitational last week the Kemmerer Rangers’ track and field team had plenty to live up to. They did so with the second-most top-three finishes on the day and many of them qualifying for those 3A West Regionals in Kemmerer this Friday.
The girls once again dominated many of the field events with freshman Laynee Walker finishing first in the pole vault, tying her PR and breaking the school record with eight-foot-six-inches. And senior Olivia Nielson coming in first in the shot put with a toss of over 34-feet. Nielson was also fresh off a first-place finish in the same event the day before at the Bobcat Invitational in Thermopolis.
Speaking of first-place, freshman Jolee Swaysey finished at the top of the list in the girls’ long jump with a 16-foot and 3.5-inches finish–toppling all but three people in school history on that list. Swaysey also finished third in the 100m dash and fifth in the 200m dash, making her one of the many freshmen to watch for in the future.
Outside of Walker’s second-place finish in the 300m hurdles she also helped teammates Swayse, Ella Thatcher, and Natasha Martinez–all freshmen–place second in the 4x100m relays. Martinez and Thatcher were also part of the 1600 sprint medley team that placed first, just five seconds ahead of Wyoming Indian High School.
As for the boys it was once again junior Owen Burnett who rocked the individual distance running events with his two first place finishes. In his 1600m run he finished with a PR of 4:32.42, setting the school record by five-tenths of a second, and in the 3200m he still finished first but came just a bit short of his 9:48.55 PR (also a school record).
His senior teammate Tommy Skidmore, in his final regular season meet of his high school career, finished off with a bang–coming in first in the high jump, tying his PR of five-foot-ten-inches. He also came in fourth in the 400m dash and sixth in the triple-jump.
As for the other field events the boys cleaned up rather will with senior Aiden Runnion tossing a discus almost 120-feet, finishing third on the day. Also a pair of Hagler brothers, Dylan and Derek, finished eighth and tenth (respectively) in the shot put with Dylan setting a PR of 37-feet-four-inches.
Kemmerer’s girls ended up finishing second in points at the end of the day, 70 points ahead of the next-best team while the boys team came in fourth overall with 67 points, just four points ahead of Little Snake River High School.
Riverton High School
After hosting such a large event the week before it was time for Riverton to show they were still worthy of being at the top of the 4A West division, especially before traveling to Casper this Friday to prove it at Regionals.
The only girl for the Wolverines to finish at the top of the list was senior Ciarah Hall who set a PR of 34-feet and 3.75-inches, which currently sits at fourth-best overall in Riverton High School history. But the rest of the girls still did exceptionally well, even if no first-place finishes actually blossomed out of it.
For instance, junior McAye Fegler came in third in the 800m run and helped the girls finish fourth in the 4x400m run. Freshman Victoria Gale finished top-ten in both the 100m dash and 200m dash while Gracie Olheiser and Yara Probst finished fourth and fifth respectively in the 100m hurdles, landing them both in the top-nine for Riverton’s history in the event.
Probst also finished sixth in the 300m hurdles just two-tenths of a second behind teammate Samantha Ablard who came in fifth–both setting personal records in the event and finishing in the top-ten of the Riverton record books as well.
On the boys side it was once again senior Tristan Watkins who continued to set the bar so high, taking home first in both the 100m and 200m dash with teammate Caleb Crowley finishing four-tenths of a second behind him in the 200m as he came in third. Crowley also finished first in the 400m dash with a PR of 52.09 seconds, three seconds ahead of junior Hayden Prettyman who finished seventh overall.
The relay and sprint medley teams all finished within the top-four, with the medley team coming in first, while junior Alex Sekely finished fourth in both the 110m and 300m hurdles neck-and-neck with sophomore Zander Hinkley who finished sixth and third in the respective events.
In the field events sophomore Nathan Mills threw a discus 125-feet-five-inches, clocking in at eleventh overall in Riverton’s history books, while junior Jon Hernandez finished first in the pole vault with a height of 11-feet-six-inches. Also junior Braden Vincent finished second in the shot put right above Mills who came in fifth.
Shoshoni High School
Much like Fort Washakie the Shoshoni Wranglers did not send as many student athletes to Lander for the Shane Brock Invitational but the ones they did send were competing at an extremely high level.
For starters, the two Jensens–Bodie and Ethan–had top-ten finishes across the board with junior Ethan coming in fifth in the high jump (5’0”) and tenth in the triple jump (36’8”) and sophomore Bodie coming in sixth in the 1600m run (5:14.95)–tenth in Shoshoni history–and ninth in the long jump (16’3”).
Both Jensen’s also helped the Shoshoni 4x800m relay team finish second, barely behind the Lander Valley squad, with Ethan acting as the anchor leg. Also finishing top-ten for the boys was junior Kellen Linnan who launched the shot put almost 38-feet.
The girls did not have similar luck but still managed to have two great showings from sophomore Abrianna Kiser who set PRs in both the 400m dash (1:15.72) and the triple jump (26’7”). Her senior teammate Riana Tidwell also finished seventh overall in the girls 300m hurdles with a 54.16-second time which would’ve ranked seventh-overall in Shoshoni history if she was not already sitting pretty at number four with her 51.78-second time from 2019.
Tidwell and the rest of the Shoshoni seniors still have the 1A-2A West Regionals in Shoshoni to set those final records of their career and possibly leave the school they’ve called home as record-holders in the track and field events they’ve come to know so well.
St. Stephens High School
The St. Stephens school has been up and down all season but at Shane Brock they really let it all out on the clay as many set school records or finished close to the top in the St. Stephens record books
For instance sophomore Georgetta Moss set a new PR, and a second-best overall time for her school, in the 3200m run as she came in second place right ahead of senior teammate Consalo Yellowbear who came in fourth.
Another Yellowbear that did well was senior Medallyon Yellowbear who came in first in the discus throw with a huge toss that reached over 101-feet, setting a new school record by almost six whole feet. A huge congratulations to her as she has been getting better and better progressively throughout the season, not only in discus throwing but also in the shot put where she took second with a 32-foot-6.75-inch throw, which also set a school record.
At the end of the day the St. Stephens record book changed drastically in the two field events thanks to the determination and dedication to Yellowbear’s craft.
Meanwhile, on the boys side it was Bluebird Talksdifferent who had himself another good day, finishing ninth in the 400m dash and tenth in the 100m dash, setting the new record in the 400m with his 56.48-second time.
His teammates Zion Sioux, a sophomore, and Nehemiah Divers, a junior, also had top-ten finishes with both coming in the top-eight in the 800m run which allowed them to rank up the record books to third and fourth respectively. Divers also had a fifth-place finish in the 3200m run that clocked in at 11:44.45 which sets him up at fourth-overall in the St. Stephens history books in the two-mile event.
Cayden Lonedog, a sophomore, may have only finished sixth at the Shane Brock in long jump but his 17-foot-eight-inch leap jumped him up to fourth on the all-time list for the St. Stephens Indians. Lonedog also helped break a three-year record as the boys 4x400m relay finished ten-seconds better than the previous best, landing them in fifth place at Shane Brock.
Finally, sophomore Jai’ron Rhodes climbed up the record books as well as he threw the discus 103-feet-two-inches, seventh-best in school history, and the shot put 38-feet-2.75-inches (third-best)–both hurlings landing him top-seven at the event on Saturday.
Overall a great day to be a St. Stephens athlete as they most likely made their mark on the record books one way or another.
Western Heritage Lutheran Academy
The all-girls track team from Western Heritage showed up at Shane Brock but only in very few events:
Freshman Calli Pingatore finished eleventh in the shot put with a throw of 27-feet-7.75-inches, a new record for the evergrowing school. She also finished twelfth in the discus throw with a final length of 79-feet-six-inches.
Sophomore Kelsey Parmely had the lone top-ten finish as she came in seventh in the long jump, leaping 14-feet-nine-inches but that does not discourage the effort that the other girls showed on the track and field.
Like freshman Kylee Lehto who finished with two new personal records, one in the 200m dash (32.54 seconds) and the other in the 300m hurdles (1:00.01), likely motivating her even more for the next indoor and outdoor track season.
Wind River High School
The Wind River Cougars had a great showing as well on Saturday with four top-three placements and multiple top-ten finishes.
Three of those top-three finishes were by breakout star junior Jaycee Herbert who set new PRs in the 200m dash (23.51 seconds) and 400m dash (52.81 seconds) which brought him second-place in both events. He also finished third in the 100m dash and fourth in the triple jump, ultimately finishing fifth in school history in the long jump (39’8”) and third all-time for the Cougars in the 400m dash.
With the girls team there were many more athletes participating but many of the same old names coming in high-placements. For instance, junior AnnaBeth Bornhoft set a school record when she came in third with a 7-foot-six-inch pole vault. She also finished eighth at Shane Brock in the 100m dash. Another speedy girl for the Cougars was freshman Natalie Walker who PR’d in the 300m hurdles (57.19 seconds) and 800m run (2:50.84).
Walker also finished sixth overall in the triple jump with a 28-foot-7.25-inch launch, just a few inches short of her personal best.
Wyoming Indian High School
And who could forget the Wyoming Indian school that always shows up with some of the best athletes at the events, this time was no different either as multiple relay teams started out the day with second place finishes in both the girls and boys events.
For the girls it was once again senior Larissa McElroy who handled the bulk of the competition when she finished third in the 1600m run and fourth in the 800m run, setting a new PR in the latter and finishing seventh in Wyoming Indian’s record books for the event.
Senior Amya Her Many Horses also set a new record in the school’s history as she finished with a six-foot height in the pole vault. Also finishing sixth was sophomore Echo Armajo in the high jump (4’3”) and she also finished with a new PR in the 300m hurdles with a 57.61-second time which ranks fourth in the school’s record books.
And the boys did their damage as well, much more efficiently than they have in some previous meets. For starters, the two Slow Bears–Jason and Josh–had yet another strong showing in the field events with Jason finishing fifth in the high jump (5’0”) and Josh finishing second in the long jump (18’9”). Those numbers keep Josh at second in the Wyoming Indian books and knock Jason up to seventh all-time for the school.
While the Slow Bears took over the field events it was Wyoming Indian senior Donte Duran having a day on the track, leaping up the poles to fifth place in the 1600m run just ahead of Pecos SunRhodes and Noah Red Willow. And junior Keiran McCorley continued that success on the clay as he PR’d in the 800m run with a final time of 2:17.55, landing him in second place for the day and just seven seconds ahead of Red Willow who came in sixth.
Finally, the aforementioned relays really took hold for the boys as the Sprint Medley team finished second in the Invitational but also second in the Wyoming Indian record books while the boys 4x400m relay team, who finished with 4:15.70, climbed to tenth overall for the school off the solid run by McCorley as the anchor leg.
The day was a huge success for pretty much every Fremont County team participating, especially considering how many of these amazing student athletes were competing in their final regular season event–possibly their last event ever depending on their times all season.
Be sure to check out next Wednesday’s edition of the Ranger and Lander Journal to see how students did this weekend in their respective Regional tournaments all across central Wyoming.