GHS adds four new state qualifiers meet

By Nathan Oster

Seniors Chaise Benasky, Josselyn Jara and Julia Paul-Blazquez and freshman Marlee Henson became the first members of the Greybull High School track team to qualify for the state track meet at Friday’s Tongue River Invitational when they bettered the qualifying standard in the 400-meter relay.
The girls needed a 55.52 and ran a 53.42, which trailed only Sheridan with a 52.13 and Big Horn with a 52.48.  Making it even more remarkable, they did it without one of their most experienced runners in senior Kelsie McColloch, who was dealing with hamstring tightness.
“We threw Josselyn in there that day, so it wasn’t like they had practiced handoffs,” said Coach Nolan Tracy. “When you consider they had one or two run-throughs as they were getting ready for the race and that was it, they did amazingly well.”
Tracy said the relay team will try again to qualify when McColloch returns to full health. She was a junior member of last year’s relay which qualified for state, but was unable to compete due to McColloch’s injury and lack of a qualifying alternate.
“I was really proud of Joss for stepping in, really out of nowhere,” he said. “I told her afterward, ‘You just bought yourself a trip to state as an alternate.’ If Kelsie can’t run, Joss will.”
The other weekend highlight came in the girls 100 meters, also at the Tongue River Invite.  The Lady Buffs had three of the top four runners, with Henson recording a 13.52 and Paul-Blazquez a 13.67.  Henson beat the qualifying standard of 13.6; Paul-Blazquez just missed it.
Henson was dealing with knee pain early in the season, so Tracy sat her for two weeks, hoping it would help her put the injury behind her.  The freshman seemed to benefit from the break, producing some of her best times of the year.
Henson also made a run at qualifying in the triple jump, soaring 31 feet, 9 1/2 inches. A 32 is needed to AQ.
Aside from the qualifiers, the Buffs had a difficult time scoring points, not only at the Tongue River Invite but also at Saturday’s L.A. Kohnke Invitational in Powell. Five 3A teams competed in the latter, with the Cody boys and Powell girls locking down the top spots.
While it wasn’t good enough to place, several Buffs made individual gains at the two meets.
“We had a bunch of PRs,” said Tracy.
Wyatt Whaley keeps improving in the shot put.  She threw 32 feet on Saturday, 9 inches shy of the 2A qualifying mark.
Jesse Brown PR’d in the 100 (12.17) and the 200 (26.07).
Daniel Brown PR’d in the 100 (16.04).
Shawn August PR’d in the 400 (59.68).
Kamryn Gorski PR’d in the 1,600 in Powell (5:26.0) and the 3,200 (12:26.48) in Dayton.
The boys 400-meter relay team of Daniel Baker, Carter Peasley, Caiden Sorenson and Jesse Brown set a PR, running a 48.52 in Powell.  To qualify for state, they need a 48.05.
 That group of sprinters is comprised entirely of freshmen and sophomores, which bodes well for the future.  “Hopefully they stick with it,” Tracy said, adding, “They could be pretty tough the next couple years.”
Benasky, meanwhile, is “ on the edge” of qualifying in the high jump (she cleared 4-7, but needed a 4-9) and the 100-meter hurdles (she ran an 18.88, but needed an 18.05).
The Buffs will again attend back-to-back meets this week, heading to Shoshoni Friday and to Lovell Saturday.

BOYS RESULTS — Sheridan 211, Big Horn 180, Tongue River 97, Greybull 16, Ten Sleep 10.
1,600 SPRINT MEDLEY RELAY — 2, Greybull (Daniel Baker, Anthony Chacon, Jesse Brown,  Caiden Sorenson), 4:18.71.
3,200 METERS — 2, Kamryn Gorski, 12:26.48.
GIRLS RESULTS — Sheridan 273.5, Big Horn 89.5, Tongue River 71, Greybull 37.5, Ten Sleep 5.5
100 METERS — 3, Marlee Henson, 13.52.  4, Julia Paul-Blazquez, 13.67.
400 RELAY — 3, Greybull (Henson, Paul-Blazquez, Chaise Benasky, Josselyn Jara), 53.42.
TRIPLE JUMP — 3, Henson, 31-9 1/2.
HIGH JUMP — 3, Benasky, 4-7.
SHOT PUT — 4, Wyatt Whaley, 31-5.
DISCUS — 5, Sarah Murph, 86-5 1/2.
BOYS RESULTS — Cody 188.5, Powell 148, Riverton 129, Lovell 91.5, Burlington 51, Worland 27, Rocky Mt. 11, Meeteetse 5, Greybull 2.
400-METER RELAY — 7, Greybull, 48.52.
GIRLS RESULTS — Powell 183.5, Cody 172.5, Worland 112, Riverton 64, Lovell 51, Rocky Mt. 30.5, Burlington 15.5, Greybull 3.
100 METERS — 8, Marlee Henson, 13.61.
SHOT PUT — 7, Wyatt Whaley, 32-0.