Track team caps season at state meet

Nathan Oster

Aiden Reece placed in two events to pace the Greybull Buffs at last weekend's State 2A Track and Field Championships in Casper.

The senior accounted for all 4 1/2 points of the boys team's points, tying for fifth in the high jump and taking eighth in the 100 meters in his final performance in the blue and gold.  

The lone point on the girls side was scored by members of the 3,200-meter relay team, who posted their best time of the season which was good for eighth place.

Big Horn won the boys division with Burns and Tongue River rounding out the top three.

Big Piney, Kemmerer and Lingle-Fort Laramie, in that order, occupied the top three spots in the girls division.

Of the state meet as a whole, Coach Nolan Tracy said, "It wasn't as productive as I'd hoped it would be.  I was pretty sure that at least our older athletes — Reece, Cole (Bolzer) and Chaise (Benasky) — would be bringing home medals and placing pretty high.  But unfortunately Reece, the defending state champion, placed fifth, Cole never made finals and neither did Chaise. I was disappointed for them — not in them, but for them."

Reece was unable to equal the 6-foot jump that earned him the 2A title a season ago, missing three times at the height.  Keaton Mills, a junior from Sundance, was the eventual winner, clearing 6-2.  Reece was one of five jumpers who cleared 5-10, but had one more miss than the second-, third- and fourth-place finishers which left him in fifth place.

"His timing was just a little off — he was getting plenty of height, but just seemed to be dropping his hips a little too early," said Tracy.

No one can take away Reece's title, though.  "He had a nice career," said Tracy. "He probably would have said if he was going to win a state title, he'd rather have it be his senior year, but you don't always get what you want."

Like Reece, Bolzer didn't get the finish he wanted.  The senior was the only Buff to qualify in three individual events, but didn't make finals in any of them, placing ninth in the 100, 10th in the long jump and 12th in the 200.   

Same story for Benasky, who was ninth in the 100-meter hurdles and 10th in the high jump.

Greybull's 400-meter relay team of Kelsie McColloch, Sherlyn Diaz-Rios, Benasky and Jasmine Rodriguez didn't get to run due to an injury to McColloch.  

But the 3,200-meter foursome of Rodriguez, Fatima Chavez, Josselyn Jara and Julie Lopez brought home a medal, placing eighth.  "And they PR'd by almost 30 seconds," said Tracy. "It wasn't just one of them — every one of them ran their best split."

Others who set PRs in Casper included Joel Miller, who ran a 56.89 and took 16th in the 400 meters, and Diaz-Rios, who went 28-3 1/2 and placed 14th in the triple jump.

Looking back on the season, Tracy said, "The state meet was a low point ... I was disappointed for the ones I expected to finish higher than they did. It's unfortunate when you put in all the time they did and it doesn't pay off, but one of my practice saying is, failure is a part of success.  You're going to fail over and over in life.  What you do afterward will be proof of your character.  Will it stop you or motivate you?  Hopefully it'll be the latter for those underclassmen who will have an opportunity to come out again next year."


BOYS RESULTS: Big Horn 102, Burns 99.5, Tongue River 85.5, Lingle-Ft. Laramie 79, Big Piney 71, Pine Bluffs 56, Rocky Mt. 44.33, Kemmerer 43, Wright, 36.83, Lusk, 26.33, Sundance 24, Wind River 21, Wyoming Indian 5, Greybull 4.5, St. Stephens 3, Shoshoni 1.

100 METERS — 8, Aiden Reece, 11.84.  9, Cole Bolzer, 11.98.

200 METERS — 12, Bolzer, 24.38.

400 METERS — 16, Joel Miller, 56.89.

HIGH JUMP — 5, Reece, 5-10.

LONG JUMP — 10, Bolzer, 18-9 1/4.

GIRLS RESULTS: Big Piney 127, Kemmerer 116, Lingle-Ft. Laramie 94, Pine Bluffs 69, Lusk 63.5, Big Horn 61, Burns 40.5, Rocky Mt. 36, Tongue River 33, Wright 23, Sundance 16, Wind River 15, Wyoming Indian 5, Shoshoni 2, Greybull 1.

100 HURDLES — 9, Chaise Benasky, 18.07.  

3,200 RELAY — 8, Greybull (Josselyn Jara, Fatima Chavez, Julie Lopez, Jasmine Rodriguez), 11:59.78.

HIGH JUMP — 10, Benasky, 4-6.

TRIPLE JUMP — 14, Sherlyn Diaz-Rios, 28-3 1/2.