News of Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming, from the Ranger's award winning journalists.
Many title contenders from county schools at state track
May 15, 2013 - By Randy Tucker, Sports Writer
Perhaps the process of fracking isn't that much different from the pressure high levels of competition can bring. Both processes bring out the best in their relative environments.
The Class 1-A / 2-A division of the state track championships will eliminate a lot of athletes while bringing the best to the surface.
The gradual erosion of the depth of competition has been evident over the last few seasons in Wyoming track and field in all divisions. While the top performers continue to set new standards their overall number is dropping. A sport that was once categorized by competitive parity across the ranks, that is no longer the case.
In a big meet, quality always beats quantity.
In Class 2-A, Lovell should dominate both the boys and girls competition. The Bulldogs sport more athletes at the meet than anyone else.
The Wind River boys have a much smaller contingent, but they are all at or near the top of their individual events and should close the gap with Lovell at state. If everything were to fall right the Cougars could be a surprise state championship team. Jesse Hawk, Tyler Rupe, Shepp Campbell, Joe Lupher and Dylan Lookingbill could grab 90 or more points and be in contention for the crown on Saturday afternoon in Casper.
The Shoshoni girls are the only other Fremont County team capable of placing at state, and their destiny depends on sophomores Olivia Thompson and Tasha Maddock. Both face stiff competition, but they have competed well against the best in the state so far. Kolbi Pickinpaugh should garner points for the Wranglers as well ,and Shoshoni's three relay teams are among the state's best. In a strange quirk, only one Shoshoni athlete qualified in any of the six field events.
Cokeville is expected to sweep both divisions of Class 1-A, with Little Snake River close behind.
The Dubois Lady Rams could finish as state runner up to Cokeville and edge Snake River with just Rachelle Leseberg and Katherine Finley qualifying for the meet.
Leseberg is solidly in front of the competition in the 100- and 300-meter hurdles and also is the best in both the horizontal jumps, while Finley is the clear favorite in the pole vault and should score additional points in other events.
While team trophies are probably out of the question for the Dubois, Wyoming Indian and Shoshoni boys, all three teams sport excellent individuals.
Sterling Baker and Rowan Hawk are among the state's best hurdlers and excellent all-around athletes. The fate of the Rams rides strongly with them.
For Wyoming Indian, Alvin Spoonhunter could bring home three individual gold medals in the 800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs, while sophomore Keegan Her Many Horses is peaking at the right time in the 400-, 800- and 1,6000-meter runs for the Chiefs.
Shoshoni expects points from freshman Tristan Parrish in the high jump and in a very competitive 400-meter file,d while junior Lawry Johnson will duel with Spoonhunter in all three distance events. The Wrangler 4x400- and 4x800-meter relays should battle for the gold as well.