Boys relay team hits its target

Nathan Oster

Needed a 48.05, ran a 48.05 to AQ at the Bobcat Invite

A meet in Thermopolis Friday afternoon offered Greybull High School track and field athletes one last chance to automatically qualify for state competition — and Carter Peasley, Daniel Baker, Caiden Sorenson and Jesse Brown took full advantage of it.
As members of the 400-meter relay team, they’d been aiming for a 48.05, which is the 2A qualifying standard, and hit it right on the nose. While the 11th-place finish didn’t produce team points, it guaranteed the promising group of three freshmen and one sophomore a trip to next week’s state meet in Casper.
Coach Nolan Tracy said a change in the order of runners appeared to make a difference. Instead of Baker starting and handing off to Peasley, it went Peasley-to-Baker-to-Sorenson-to-Brown and the result was a 48.05.
“They’d been struggling with handoffs so they just decided to try a little different rotation,” said Tracy. “That might have been the difference more than anything else, because their times were pretty similar to what they normally run.”   
Kamryn Gorski turned in one of the day’s better performances, shaving more than 30 seconds of his time in the two-mile run.  He completed the race in 11:33.09, which was good for 10th.  His PR prior to that was a 12:07.76.
Gorski, who is also a sophomore, had struggled with the middle portion of the race in recent outings, particularly the fifth, sixth and seventh trips around the oval. “He ran more consistently this time and didn’t drop off as much,” said Tracy.
Lovell won a tight race for the boys’ crown, scoring 109 points followed by Worland with 101.5 and Thermopolis with 101.
Girls division
The Greybull girls placed 16th in their division, scoring six points on the day.  Worland ran away with the team title.  Powell and Kemmerer rounded out the top three.
The 400-meter relay team of Marlee Henson, Kelsie McColloch, Chaise Benasky and Julia Paul-Blazquez led the way, placing sixth in a season-best time of 53.05 seconds.  A different foursome, with Josselyn Jara subbing for McColloch, had pre-qualified earlier in the season.  All five will travel to Casper, with Jara as the alternate.
Senior Chaise Benasky added a seventh-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles and Wyatt Whaley placed eighth in the shot put to account for the other team point.  Whaley hit another personal record, throwing 32 feet, 6 1/2 inches.  With that throw, she was just 2 1/2 inches from qualifying for state.
“Unless she scratches on all three of her throws (at regionals), she shouldn’t have a problem qualifying by place,” Tracy said.
After a regular season of tracking times and distances, the qualifying standards now become irrelevant.  A top four finish in a relay or a top eight finish in an individual event will be the goal of every athlete attending a regional meet later this week.
The Buffs are off to Shoshoni for the two-day Class 2A West Regional.  In addition to the boys and girls 400-meter relay teams, the individual qualifiers thus far include Marlee Henson in the 100 meters and the triple jump and Chaise Benasky in the 100-meter hurdles.
“We aren’t going to contend for team title, just because of our numbers,” said Tracy. “The teams that win regional and state titles have numbers to fill all the events. We don’t have that.  But if we can continue to improve and kids keep hitting PRs ever week, which we’ve been doing, I’ll be pleased with that.”
Tracy said Peasley, in the high jump, and Gorski, in the 3,200 meters, are also poised to qualify by place, and that members of the boys’ team will try to form 3,200-meter and 1,600-medley relay teams in the hopes of securing a top-four finish.

GIRLS — Worland 166, Powell 138, Kemmerer 74, Big Piney 53, Thermopolis 47, Rawlins 45, Lovell 39, Burlington 29.5, Pinedale 26, Saratoga 17, Riverside 15, Rocky Mt. 12.5, Dubois 11, Glenrock 8, Little Snake River 7, Greybull 6, Wind River 3, Farson-Eden 2.
100 METER HURDLES — 7, Chaise Benasky, 17.72.
400 RELAY — 6, Greybull (Marlee Henson, Kelsie McColloch, Benasky, Julia Paul-Blazquez), 53.05.
SHOT PUT — 8, Wyatt Whaley, 32-6 1/2.
BOYS — Lovell 109, Worland 101.5, Thermopolis 101, Powell 91, Rawlins 79, Burlington 59, Kemmerer 29, Dubois 26, Glenrock 24, Ten Sleep 18, Big Piney 16, Little Snake River 15, Pinedale 12, Saratoga 11, Meeteetse 3, Riverside 2.5, Arapaho 2, Wind River 2, Fort Washakie 1.