Mar 27, 2013 - By Randy Tucker, Sports WriterIt's the oldest regular-season track meet in Wyoming, dating back to 1959. The name has changed over the years from the Morton Invitational during the 1960s to the Wind River Invitational after the merger of Pavillion and Morton in 1970, but the competition has always been excellent.
Field events begin at 9 a.m. Thursday, with running events to follow at around 11 a.m. Weather is expected to be favorable, with a predicted temperature in the high 50s and calm winds.
The meet has changed venues four times as well during those years. In the early days the old 330-yard cinder track at Morton hosted the event.For a few years the track meet was held on a packed dirt oval that is now covered by the Wind River Elementary building. For few years the meet was held in Riverton on the now-abandoned Wilford Mower track.
The current venue is one of the best in all of Wyoming at Leroy Sinner Field just east of Wind River High School.
This year's Wind River Invite features 16 teams from across the western portion of the state in Classes 1-A, 2-A and 3-A.
The Wind River and Lovell boys should contend for top honors at the meet but a resurgent Shoshoni boys team could make some noise as well.
On the girls side Thermopolis and Lovell will both bring very competitive squads to the meet.
Athletes to watch at this year's meet include senior hurdler and jumper Rachelle Leseberg, Dubois transfer Jesse Hawk who will hurdle and sprint for Wind River this spring and the throwers from the Wind River boys team in Joe Lupher, Tim Dwyer and Kaden Koenig.
Shoshoni's 4x100 meter relay team of Triston Parrish, Mason Steffen, Jayden Haslam and Josh Oaks will vie for top honors and hope to automatically qualify in the event running against two solid teams from Big Piney and Wind River.
Wind River junior Tyler Rupe is a favorite in the sprints along with Burlington standout Ben Mancuso. Mancuso is the state's best high jumper this season and flirted with 6-10 during the indoor season.
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