They’re young, but there’s some quality in the Rocky Mountain Grizzlies track and field team, as shown by some strong performances at the Bill Gerrard Memorial track meet in Greybull Saturday.
Indeed, coach Dave Beemer called some of the young Grizzlies’ performances surprising, noting that both freshman Cannon Simmons and sophomore Joey Jewell jumped well and junior Bryce Ward ran well in the hurdles races.
Jewell won the long jump with a leap of 19-4, and Simmons was close behind in second place, jumping 18-5½ — the only two jumpers to clear 18 feet.
“I was amazed (by Jewell),” Beemer said. “Joey missed prequalifying by four inches.”
Simmons won the triple jump with a leap of 39-3.
The duo also ran well in the sprints. Jewell placed fourth in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.96, and Simmons was hot on his heels at 12.00, placing fifth.
“I was surprised they’d do that well, and their 100 times were pretty fast,” Beemer said. “I’m really excited about that.”
Also solid in the sprints was Austin Brost. Brost placed seventh in the 100 with a time of 12.23 and sixth in the 200 at 26.25. Freshman Caleb Horrocks finished 14th in the 100 at 13.02 and junior Brady Winland placed seventh in the 200 at 26.39.
“We finished sixth and seventh in the 200,” Beemer said. “Austin needs to knock that time down by a second, and Brady will move to the 800. It was too close to the 200 on Saturday.”
Ward excelled in the hurdles Saturday, winning the 300-meter intermediate hurdles with a time of 47.31 and placing second in the 110-meter high hurdles at 18.09.
“Bryce is going to get way faster. He did a good job,” Beemer said. “He paced himself dramatically in the 300s and didn’t really know what he was doing yet.”
Brady Winland placed fifth in the 400-meter dash with a time of 59.33 and did so while overcoming a problem left by the Greybull hurdle crew.
“Brady had to jump a high hurdle on the back stretch, and he was in the outside lane,” Beemer said. “Talk about some bad luck. Bryce also had a high hurdle in his lane during the intermediate hurdles.”
Sophomore Jake Loyning placed second in the 1,600 meters with a time of 5:40, and he placed eighth in the 400 at 1:04.84.
Two Grizzlies placed in the high jump. Ward placed fourth with a leap of 5-6, and Kirby Winland was fifth at 5-4. Burlington junior Ben Mancuso won the event by clearing 6-8.
Kirby Winland placed fifth in the long jump at 16-8½, and Horrocks placed seventh at 15-2¼. Winland also placed fifth in the triple jump at 34-3, Horrocks ninth at 31-7.
Chase Aagard finished 13th in the discus with a throw of 75-1 and 13th in the shot put with a toss of 26-11.
Beemer said the Grizz “threw together” a 400-meter relay team and placed third with a time of 47.23. With more practice the Grizz can knock a full second off of that time, Beemer said.
The young Lady Grizzlies didn’t have any champions Saturday, but they did have several placers. Freshman Jennifer Parker placed third in the shot put with a throw of 27-4¼, and sophomore Sydney Tyacke placed third in the long jump with a leap of 13-2.
“13-2 is a good jump,” Beemer said. “She’ll need to get to the upper 13s to make it to State.”
Junior Brianna Hocker placed fourth in the triple jump with a jump of 27-1 and fifth in the long jump at 12-8.
Freshman Alana Senn placed fifth in the discus with a toss of 63-10 and sixth in the shot at 22-8½.
Freshman Mikaela Hocker placed fifth in the 100-meter intermediate hurdles with a time of 19.88, and Parker was seventh at 20.79. Parker was also sixth in the 100-meter dash with a time of 15 flat.
Beemer said the Lady Grizz were missing Haley Strom, who was nursing a hamstring injury.
“This was a good meet with a lot of young kids,” Beemer said. “Everybody has young kids. It was a good meet for times and distances. Everyone pretty much met or exceeded what I expected them to do.”
Wind River won the boys division Saturday with 147 points, followed by Burlington with 118 points, Greybull 110, Rocky Mountain 102 and Riverside 48. Burlington won the girls division with 140 points, followed by Wind River with 99 points, Greybull 87, Riverside 67 and Rocky Mountain 37.
The Grizz and Lady Grizz will travel to Basin this Friday for the Riverside High School Invitational. Action begins at 2:30 p.m.
By David Peck