Lovell thinclads sweep both divisions at Riverside

Their ultimate goal is a state championship, but the Lovell Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs can at least call themselves the champs of Big Horn County as they won a five-team track meet in Basin Friday that consisted of all county schools: Lovell, Rocky Mountain, Greybull, Riverside and Burlington.

Lovell senior Miranda Griffis heaves the shot during the Riverside Invitational Friday. This week’s female athlete of the week at LHS, Griffis won both the shot put and the discus Friday, setting a new personal record in the shot.

According to the final team scores of the Riverside Invitational, the Lovell girls amassed 245 points to 84 for Burlington, 51 for Riverside, 49 for Greybull and 15 for Rocky Mountain. The Lovell boys scored 243 points, Burlington 103, Greybull 91, Rocky 40 and Riverside 36.

The grand total, girls and boys combined, was Lovell 488, Burlington 187, Greybull 140, Riverside 87 and Rocky 55.

Lovell coaches named senior Morgan Baxendale as the male athlete of the week, head coach Joshua Sanders said. Baxendale pre-qualified for State in the high jump and matched his personal record with a jump of 5-10, good for third place.

“He was extremely close to reaching his goal of six feet,” Sanders said, noting that he easily cleared the bar with his body on his third attempt at that height but clipped the bar with his legs.

Kade Englert improved by five inches from the Cody meet to clear 5-8, and Cade Bischoff improved by three inches to clear the same height, but Englert placed fourth on misses, Bischoff fifth. Austin Ellis placed seventh at 5-2, Mysen McArthur and Seth Kite eighth and ninth, respectively, at 5-0, based on the number of misses.

Junior Cody Savage also pre-qualified for State in the triple jump, winning the event with a jump of 40-5 to continue his early-season strength. Other triple-jumpers were down a bit from the Cody meet: Baxendale third at 37-3¼, Dylan Hultgren sixth at 35-8 ¾ and Austin Ellis seventh at 35-6.

Savage himself was down a bit in the long jump, placing second to Ben Mancuso of Burlington with a jump of 17-11¾ after reaching 19-2 in Cody. Dino Collins placed fifth with a jump of 17-4¾, Calin McArthur sixth at 17-1½ and Nathan Ballard eighth at 15-11½.

Nathan Grant was second in the pole vault, clearing 10-6, and Englert was third at 9-0.

Sanders said he was pleased to see Tanner Rohrer finish a strong second to AJ Montanez in the discus. Montanez won the event with a throw of 138-1, followed by Rohrer at 133-4. Daniel Strom was fourth at 105-6, Alex Connour ninth at 88-5 and Tyler Tillett 10th at 88-0.

“I like what Tanner Rohrer is doing in the discus,” Sanders said. “He’s really breathing down AJ’s neck and is very close to pre-qualifying in that.”

Facing a somewhat slippery throwing circle, Montanez won the shot put with a toss of 49-9, followed by Rohrer in second place at 39-11, Strom sixth at 31-11½ and Jacob Price eighth at 31-1¼.

In running events, Sanders said he is pleased to see the hurdlers improve their times, pointing out that McKayan May improved by more than a second in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles and placed second with a time of 46.38. Mark Grant won the event with a time of 45.78, slightly slower than a week ago at Cody.

“Mark led with his off leg and still hit 45 seconds,” Sander said. “He’s working on that.”

Lovell junior Nathan Ballard sails over the hurdles in the 110-meter high hurdles Friday in Basin. Ballard placed fourth with a personal-record time of 18.21.

Ballard placed fourth with a time of 48.36, Adam Beck sixth at 48.6. Dylan Hultgren improved by more than two seconds to place seventh at 49.06.

In the 110-meter high hurdles Nathan Grant tackled the event for the first time this season and placed second with a time of 18.12. Likewise, Dino Collins tried the 110s and placed third at 18.16.

“We had two new guys in the 110s and both of them did well,” Sanders noted. “They need to knock about a second off of that time.”

Ballard finished just behind Grant and Collins in the 110s, placing fourth with a time of 18.21, half a second faster than his Cody time, and Eston Croft placed seventh at 21.88.

As he noted last week, Sanders used the Riverside meet to try some athletes in different events, and he said that process will continue.

“We’re still trying some things,” he said. “We want to go into Regionals and State confident in what we’re doing.”

As an example, Dino Collins didn’t run the 100-meter dash in Basin, like he did in Cody, and instead ran the 200 meters, placing second with a time of 24.94. Savage was third at 25.03, Mysen McArthur fifth at 27.66 and Hyrum Hopkin sixth at 27.69.

In the 100 Friday, Cade Bischoff placed third at 12.37, Nathan Grant sixth at 12.84, Michael Brightly ninth at 13.10. Brightly placed fifth in the 400-meter dash with a time of 59.09, three seconds faster than at Cody. Mysen McArthur also improved by three seconds to place seventh at 1:01.04, and Alex Sawaya placed ninth at 1:06.40.

Hopkin won the 800 with a time of 2:19, and Jacob Beck was third at 2:25.87. AJ Dickson won the 1,600 meters with a time of 5:15, and Michael Steiner was second in the 3200 at 13:29.

The 1,600-meter relay team of Hopkin, Jacob Beck, Calin McArthur and Brightly placed second with a time of 4:11.19.

Other boys results Friday:

100m dash – Aaron Monterde 11th, 13.49, Seth Kite 13th, 13.81; shot put – Alex Connour 11th, 29-9¾, Tyler Tillett 12th, 29-9, Monterde 13th, 29-7, Payton Hetland 16th, 21-9¾, Sloan Colvin 17th, 20-6; discus – Monterde 13th, 75-10, Jacob Price 15th, 70-11, Hetland 16th, 57-2, Colvin 17th, 53-8.

Three considered

Sanders said coaches considered three Lady Bulldogs for athlete of the week honors and settled on senior Miranda Griffis, who blew away her personal record in the shot put and pre-qualified for State with a throw of 34-1¾, good for first place at the meet. She also won the discus with a toss of 106-11, which is about a half a foot from pre-qualifying distance.

Coaches also considered freshman Whitney Grant, who pre-qualified in the pole vault and improved her height from Cody by 2½ feet with a winning vault of 8-6. She also won the 100-meter intermediate hurdles with a time of 18.50 and was a member of the 400-meter relay team that pre-qualified for State with a time of 54.28, good for first place.

“That was a good day for her,” Sanders said.

The third athlete under consideration was senior Erin Robertson, who pre-qualified for State in the 400-meter dash, winning the event with a time of 1:03.

“All three had good performances Friday,” Sanders said.

Other members of the first-place sprint relay team were Chelsey Ellis, Kassidy Hetland and Alyssa Geiser.

“We have some good speed there,” Sanders said. “With times in the 13s we have some decent speed.”

Other notable performances included Geiser and Meryk McArthur going one-two in the 300-meter low hurdles, both improving their times from Cody at 51.97 and 55.44, respectively. Geiser improved her time by a full second, McArthur by four seconds.

Kim Shumway won the 200-meter dash with a time of 26.56. Hetand was fourth at 29.91, Ameesha Anderson fifth at 30.78.

Senior Susie Robertson won the 800 meters with a time of 2:30.91, and Meryk McArthur won the 1,600, chopping 11 seconds off her time from Cody at 6:16.97.

In the 100-meter dash, Ellis placed second with a time of 13.53, Hetland third at 13.81, Mercedes Haney fifth at 14.31, Anderson sixth at 14.44, Lauren Hinckley eighth at 14.91 and Ivy Abraham 12th at 15.63.

Amanda Shumway ran for the first time this season and placed third in the 400m dash with a time of 1:05.47. Hannah McCurley was fifth at 1:07.04.

Chelby Lewis placed fourth in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 19.92, a half second better than her Cody time, and Stephanie Allred was ninth at 22.21, improving on her Cody time, as well.

Lovell went one, two, three, four in the triple jump led by freshman Chayli McArthur, who won the event with a jump of 32-6¼. Jodi Walker jumped 31-3½, Geiser 30-10 and Ellis 29-11½. Kim Shumway won the long jump at 15-6. Walker was fourth at 13-10½, Erin Robertson sixth at 12-10¼ and Ivy Abraham seventh at 12-9½.

Abraham placed second in the high jump, clearing 4-4. Lauren Hinckley was second in the pole vault, clearing 6-6.

In the throws, senior Schuylar Davis placed second in the discus with a toss of 93-11 and third in the shot put at 31-¼. Katie Hoover was fifth in both events, throwing the shot 30-2¼ and the discus 77-1. Haney was sixth in the shot at 28-11. Samantha Stevens finished eighth in the discus at 64-1 and 10th in the shot at 22-3½.

The Lovell thinclads will travel to Pavillion for the Wind River Invitational today (Thursday) with action beginning at 9 a.m. Sanders said it will be good to see teams from the Southwest like Wyoming Indian and host Wind River.

“I like to see some new teams,” he said.

The Bulldogs are scheduled to travel to the L.A. Kohnke Invitational in Powell on April 14 and will host the Lovell Invitational on April 21.

By David Peck