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Simpson named Mower winner
Jun 3, 2012 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor
Tanner Simpson keeps on winning postseason awards.
The 2012 Lander Valley High School graduate won the annual Wilford Mower Award last month at the Class 3-A West regional track and field meet in Powell.
The award is presented each year to one boy and girl from 3-A/4-A and 1-A/2-A in the western part of the state from the Big Horn Basin area coaches and administrators.
"It was a really big accomplishment for me. I knew that Josh Cragoe from Powell was in there," Simpson said. "There was a lot of good competition."
Simpson followed up the Mower Award by winning the Class 3-A male track athlete of the year award from the Wyoming Coaches Associations.
"That was kind of a surprise to me," Simpson said. "There were a lot of good athletes in track. Coach Bob Harms gave that award to me."
Simpson won three state titles last month at the Class 3-A state track meet.
"It meant a lot because I have put in a lot of work in track the last couple of years," Simpson said. "It was just good to end the season with the titles."
He won the high jump, long jump and the 110-meter hurdles. Simpson finished fourth in the 100 meters.
"It was great to win three titles," Simpson said. "I came into the season with a hurt knee. We weren't sure what was going to happen. I made the most out of it and did the best that I could do."
Simpson's mark in the long jump (22-5.75) and in the 110-meter hurdles (22-5.75) won the Best of the Best awards in Casper. The awards are given to the best times or distances in Class 4-A, 3-A, 2-A or in 1-A.
"There was a lot of good competition in track this year," Simpson said. "To be able to come out on top in a couple of classifications felt good."
Ty Etchemendy from Douglas and Cragoe were also in the running for the top male track award in Class 3-A.
Simpson has spent the last few weeks focusing his time on the annual Shine Bowl football game.
The Shrine Bowl rosters are made up of the top football players the state has to offer. Simpson has been selected to play for the North team.
Simpson was a standout football player for LVHS the past three years. He was all-state last season, and the Fremont County Player of the Year. Simpson averaged 109.8 yards per game last season. He scored eight touchdowns.
The Tigers made the Class 3-A playoffs but lost in the opening round to Powell, which went on to beat Douglas in the Class 3-A title game.
Simpson plans to be a walk-on this fall for the Wyoming Cowboys in football.
"I don't think that it will make that much of a difference," said Simpson about switching to play football from track. "All of my life, I kind of have been a three-sport guy. I don't think that it will be that tough to transfer over."
The Shrine all-star game is planned for 7 p.m. Saturday in Casper at Natrona County High School.
"It's going to be a lot of fun," Simpson said. "I'm looking forward to going out and hanging out with the guys that I played against all year and being on the same team."