Laramie Girls Fell Just Shy Of First Outdoor Track Title
After winning the school’s first-ever indoor state title earlier this year, the Laramie High School girls’ track team fell just short of a goal last weekend.
Laramie scored 85 team points over three days of competition and finished runner-up to Cheyenne Central for a second straight year. The margin was five points.
Laramie head track coach Gil Bradfield admitted they did as well as they could.
“They really did the best job possible. With the conditions, and I’m not going to talk about the weather, as everybody was equal in dealing with weather. They tried their best. They gave it their best effort. Sometimes things work your way, sometimes they don’t. We have no regrets. We left it all on the track. I think the coaches were disappointed, and the kids were disappointed, but we gave it our best shot.”
The Lady Plainsmen won four events during the meet, two individual and two relays.
Juniors Emmy Johnson and Abigail Whitman repeated with state championships in the 300-meter hurdles and 800-meters, respectively. They both anchored victorious relays, as well.
Bradfield added, “I thought Abigail and Emmy defended what they had started last year. They continued and tried their best in some other events. In the relays, we had some unknowns that came through, and I think the biggest thing that comes out of last weekend is we only lose one senior. Hopefully, everybody will come back healthy and do the best job they can.”
The Laramie girls had the lead in the team standings after the first day. Their lone title came in the 1600-meter sprint medley relay. Junior Rachel King, freshmen Ashlyn Bingham and Mallorie Hamel, and Whitman combined for a new state record of 4:13.65 and the victory.
Whitman followed that with a repeat championship in the 800-meters Friday morning. Her time was 2:18.73. She also added a third-place in the 3200-meters last Thursday and came in fourth in the 1600-meters last Saturday.
Johnson finished off a victory in the 4x100 meter relay last Friday in 49.88 seconds. Senior Ketisa Akambasi, King, and junior Aubry Sanchez ran the first three legs on the first-place relay.
Johnson then won her second consecutive Class 4A 300-meter hurdles title in 45.71 seconds last Saturday. She added a runner-up by .07 seconds in the 200-meters (26.05) and a third-place in the 100-meters (12.93).
Sanchez added a runner-up in the pole vault, as she cleared 11-feet 6-inches, but on more attempts than Grace Shaffer from Cody.
Johnson, Whitman, Sanchez, Akambasi, King, Bingham, and Hamel all received Class 4A All-State honors for outdoor track and field this spring at LHS. It’s based upon a top two finish in an individual event or a winning relay.
Laramie had six other top-eight finishes that produced points for the team, but LHS fell short of the Indians’ 90 team points.
The Plainsmen came in 11th place after they scored 35 points.
They have a pair of second-place efforts turned in last Friday. Sophomore Aidan Morris finished runner-up in the pole vault. He cleared 13-6 and was Laramie’s lone All-State honoree for the boy’s.
Bradfield said, “Aidan in the pole vault was just really good. He had a really good indoor and outdoor season and got better and better. He worked hard. The distance kids worked hard. We felt bad for (senior) Jason Upton, who would’ve scored points for us in four events, but that hamstring wasn’t getting any better, and we want him to do well in the future, in college. We’ll just keep working for next year.”
The 4x800 meter relay team came in second. Their time was 8:18.69, which was about seven seconds behind Jackson. That team was comprised of sophomore Micah Zeller, senior Derk Lyford, freshman Collin Krueger, and junior Mason Swingholm.
They combined for nearly the rest of the Plainsmen’s points at state track. Swingholm was fifth in the 800-meters. Lyford took fifth and Swingholm sixth in the 1600-meters, and it went Lyford, Zeller, and Swingholm in sixth, seventh, and eighth place in the 3200-meters.
The last points came from junior Max DeYoung, who placed sixth in the high jump.
Kelly Walsh won the boys’ team title with 101 points. Sheridan was second with 97, while Star Valley came in third place with 76 points.