Mar 27, 2014 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorLander Tigers track and field coach Bob Harms can't wait for the 2014 season to get into high gear.
The reason for the optimism? Tigers have 60 athletes working out each day after school.
The breakdown is 25 girls and 35 boys.
"The numbers are much better than they were last year," Harms said.
Last year, the Tigers only had 30 out for the team.
"Part of it is this is the first year that these kids had three years of practices in junior high," Harms said, referring to the expanded track program for grades 6-8.
The boys have 14 freshmen, the girls 16.
"They were good kids last year," Harms said. "They had some pretty successful kids."
Key returners are Marvin Aragon, Jaxon Hedges and Tristan Herr.
"Those three guys are kind of the heart of the track team right now," Harms said. "They started off in pretty good shape."
Aragon will be in the 200 meters, 400 meters and participate in the long jump or the triple jump. Aragon also will run in one of the relays.
Hedges is a long jumper. He also can run in the 100 meters, 200 meters and the 400 meters.
"We haven't decided exactly what events we will put him in yet," Harms said.
Herr is planning on running in the 800 and the 400 meters.
Aragon and Hedges were starters this winter on the Lander boys basketball team.
Herr skied for the Lander Nordic program.
"We had to wait on Tristan because of the miles they put in for skiing," Harms said.
Levi Donaldson, Aragon, Hedges and Herr won the Class 3-A state title in the 4x400-meter relay in 3:29.32 last year in Casper. The seeded time was 3:32.22.
Kegan Wells is another leader for the shot put in the discus.
"Kegan can do something down the line," Harms said. "He is looking pretty good already."
Drew DeKing and Bailey Bullington were the first two girls Harms mentioned.
The tandem will be in the sprint races and in the jumping events.
"We are still trying to sort out the young kids to see what they are doing," Harms said.
The Lander coaching staff is planning an intersquad meet Friday after school at Bill Bush Memorial Stadium.
"We will let the kids run against the clock and measure the jumping events," Harms said. "We just want to see where they are."
The regular season begins Saturday, April 5, at the annual Roy Peck Invitational at Wolverine Track in Riverton.
Lander competes in the Wyoming Indian Invitational on Saturday, April 12.
A Riverton-Lander track dual is scheduled for Lander on Thursday, April 17.
Lander continues the season Friday, April 25, at the Douglas Invitational.
The annual Shane Brock Invitational is set for Saturday, May 10, in Lander.
Lander host the Class 3-A West regional track tournament for the second year in a row on May 15-16.
"What happened last year is Mountain View passed it on to us," Harms said. "They had no way to host it, so they gave it to us. This year was our turn host it."
Harms is expecting the underclassmen to be scoring points for the Tigers as the season progresses.
"We have some pretty good speed and distance kids," Harms said.
Assistant coach Ben Gose works with the sprints. Steve Simpson teaches the hurdles and the high jump.
Doug Hughes is in charge of the shot and the discus. Kevin Green works with the distance runners.
Harms coaches the triple jump, long jump and the pole vault.
"We will try and get the best out of the kids," Harms said. "We are off to a pretty good start. We are excited about the team. We have enough numbers that we can put good relays together."
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