May 16, 2012 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorKole Stewart hasn't had a positive experience in his previous two Class 4-A state track and field appearances, but the Riverton High School senior wants to change that this week in Casper.
Stewart will be running for the final time as a Wolverine in the 400 meters, 200 meters and on the 4x100-meter relay in the meet that starts Thursday and ends Saturday at Kelly Walsh High School
"It's not a good feeling, but you want to give it everything that you have," said Stewart about running in his last track and field meet as a Wolverine.
Stewart's best time in the 200 meters this year is a 23.13.
"This year is my first year running the 200 meters since my freshman year," Stewart said. "I have improved every meet since I started running it."
Green River's Adam Kroupe (22.77), Dominique Hill of Cheyenne East (22.84) and Kelly Walsh's Terry Jackson (22.79) all have better times in the 200 meters than Stewart, but he thinks he can go faster.
"I'm looking to get under 23 seconds at state," Stewart said.
Stewart's seeded time in the 400 meters is 52.72.
"In the 400 meters, I haven't really got much better this year," Stewart said. "Hopefully, I will get in the low 52s."
Jillian C' Bearing (800 meters, and 3,200 meters), Hannah Svilar (shot put and discus) and Tyler Graham (300-meter hurdles and long jump) are all state title contenders after winning regionals last weekend in Riverton.
In the 800 meters, C'Bearing comes into the state meet after posting a time of 2:22.71 in the regional finals, second-fastest in Wyoming this year. Laramie's Cassidy Meade ran a 2:22.60 and Gillette's Audra DeStefano was clocked in 2:23.60.
C'Bearing has a top seed time of 11:36.25 in the 3,200 meters. Karli Piaia of Rock Springs is the next fastest in 11:45.53. C'Bearing is also in the 1,600 meters.
"Jillian is peaking right now," RHS co-head coach Jorah Griffith said. "It seems like she is healthy. She is up for the task. She is in position that she can be really competitive in all three of her events."
In the discus, Svilar has a No. 1 seed throw in the discus of 124-0. Evanston's Beeca Peterson is second (113-1), and Natrona's Lacey Slominsky stands third (112-4).
Svilar is the favorite in the shot put at 39-9.75. She is the defending state champion. Gillette's Cassidy Koski is right behind Svilar (39-2.50).
"I expect Hannah to do just as well at state as she did at regionals," Griffith said.
In the long jump, Graham is seeded No. 2 at 21-0.50. Laramie's Derrek May has the best jump (21-3.25), and Kyler Robinson from Central is third (20-7.50.).
"Tyler has been really focused this week," RHS co-head coach Tawn Gopp said. "He has some great goals set for himself. We should see a really great performance out of him."
Graham was clocked in a time of 40.67 in the 300-meter hurdles, which is No. 1 in 4-A. Kelly Walsh's Joey Czellecz stands No. 2 (40.95).
Graham qualified in the 110-meter hurdles.
Riverton's Sean Watts went out for track this year for the first time. Now the RHS sophomore is now in the state meet in the 100 meters and 200 meters.
"I wasn't really expecting to get much out the season, because it was my first season and a new sport to me," Watts said. "I would have been happy just seeing what the sport is all about."
Watts said the two events are good fits for him.
"I can run all out and not worry about pacing," Watts said. "That just really helped me do well in my events."
Logan Hartbank will join Watts in Casper in the sprints.
"Logan is another kid that has had worked hard all season," Gopp said.
Brandon Fullerton has qualified for state in the high jump.
"Brandon is going into the meet strong as a freshman," Gopp said.
Hartbank, Stewart, Dylan Lewis and Watts are on the 4x100-meter relay squad which could score for Riverton.
Graham, Hartbank, Lewis and Fullerton will be running in the 4x400-meter relay. Stewart is an alternate.
Hannah Soll will be representing RHS at the state meet in the shot put and the discus.
Sheridan Smith is in the long jump and the triple jump.
"In our region, the jumpers are outstanding with the Kelly Walsh athletes," Griffith said. "Sheridan has already competed against them and placed well."
Jensyn Pettit is preparing for the 300-meter hurdles.
"She is excited and she has done a great job," Griffith said. "She started doing the 300-meter hurdles about midseason."
Svilar, Pettit, Smith and C'Bearing are on Riverton's 4x400-meter relay squad.
The assistant coaches this year for the Wolverines have been Bob Cogdill (throws), Randy Weber (high jump and pole vault), Kim Krieger (hurdles) and Sam Miller (sprints).
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