The Lovell track and field squad started the post-Easter portion of their schedule with the Jerry Campbell Invitational in Buffalo Saturday, and the team enjoyed outstanding weather to produce some strong performances.
“It was picturesque, perfect weather,” coach Joshua Sanders said. “It was one of the few shows in town (Wyoming track meets), so it was a big meet.”
The Lovell girls placed sixth in the 16-team field that included three class 4A schools, ending the day Saturday with 47 points, just behind Douglas and Casper Natrona with 49 points each. The Lovell boys placed 10th with 26.5 points.
Relay teams scored significant points for the Lady Bulldogs Saturday. The 3,200-meter relay team of Charri McArthur, Jessica Caldwell, Karlee Burton and Jaclyn Caldwell captured first place by 30 seconds over second-place Glenrock and pre-qualified for State with a time of 10:54.
“C Sanders (Caleb) had a goal (for the 3,200-meter relay team) of prequalifying. He felt it was doable this week, and they did,” Sanders said. “Charri looks really good in her running right now, and Karlee put in 30-plus miles last week.
“I think the whole crew (distance runners) of boys and girls is doing some great stuff. They’re really motivated to push themselves.”
The 400-meter relay foursome of Emily Snell, Gracie Hall, Bailey Mitchell and Madison Bryson placed second at 54.66.
“Coach (Josey) Allen did a good job of getting them ready,” Sanders said. “We’re pretty confident we can put together a four by one team that will be at least a second faster than that.”
Placing fourth was the 1,600-mile relay squad of McArthur, Burton, Shelby Wardell and Trysa Flood, recording a time of 4:31.93.
In other running events, senior Jaclyn Caldwell placed third in the 3,200 meters with a time of 13:04.58, and sister Jessica, a sophomore, placed fifth at 13:50.09. Junior Shelby Wardell finished ninth in the 300-meter low hurdles with a time of 55.05.
In field events, freshman Megan Cornia made a successful high school debut by placing fourth in the long jump with a leap of 15-4, and freshman Gracie Hall placed seventh at 15-½, beating her jump at Cody by nearly a foot. Cornia also placed eighth in the triple jump at 31-6, and Trysa Flood was ninth at 31-3½.
Sanders said coaches chose Cornia as the female athlete of the week.
“We had some surprise performances from the girls, starting with Megan,” Sanders said. “She must have put on her jumping shoes. She had some great leaps. She showed significant improvement (from indoor track).
“She had several jumps at that distance. It was her day.”
Sanders also noted Hall’s strong performance.
“A warm day helps with that (strong jumping), and they were feeling pretty springy,” he said.
Wardell placed fifth in the pole vault, clearing the bar at 8-2.
“She’s hit eight feet twice this year, so she’s showing experience in that event,” Sanders said.
In the throws, senior Sierra Montanez placed seventh in the discus with a personal-record toss of 93-11.
Other Lovell girls results in Buffalo were as follows:
100m dash – Gracie Hall 17th, 14.18, Emily Snell 21st, 14.27, Bailey Mitchell 28th, 14.58, Madison Bryson 35th, 14.94, Emily Mangus 39th, 15.03, Andrea Monterde 45th, 15.15 (PR), Taylor Woodford 59th, 15.64 (PR), Elizabeth Price 68th, 16.21, Milaviza Patrisha 70th, 16.51 (PR), Sage Mickelson 75th, 16.85, Abyaska Saksono 78th, 17.79; 200m dash – Snell 16th, 29.06, Megan Cornia 21st, 29.75, Mitchell 30th, 30.71, Mangus 37th, 31.69, Woodford 43rd, 32.62, Mickelson 54th, 36.93; 400m dash – Mitchell 17th, 1:09.65, Paige Bischoff 21st, 1:12.27 (PR), Woodford 26th, 1:14.39 (PR), Patrisha 28th, 1:24.30 (PR); long jump – Price 33rd, 12-2, Monterde 34th, 12-1¾, Mangus 35th, 12-1½, Bischoff 37th, 11-11¼; triple jump – Mandi Jo Baxendale 20th, 28-3, Savanna Savage 22nd, 28-1, Bischoff 24th, 27-3½ (PR); high jump – Savage and Jade Minchow 17th each, 4-5, Hall 19th, 4-5; pole vault – Snell 12th, 5-8; shot put – Sierra Montanez 18th, 28-5, Richellena Rule 34th, 23-7, Minchow 43rd, 22-3 (PR); discus – Grace Edwards 43rd, 53-4, Rule 50th, 50-9.
Like the girls, the Lovell boys scored points in the relay races. The team of Merrill Beck, Kaleb Mayes, Dalton Nixon and Jacob Newman won the 3,200-meter relay with a time of 8:45.85, prequalifying for State in the process. The 1,600-meter relay quartet of Brent Snyder, Mayes, Will Lillard and Newman placed fifth at 3:39.92, just three seconds off the prequalification time.
Sanders said the mile relay team could have run even faster had they been pushed. He said they ran in the slower heat based on their time in Cody two weeks earlier, whereas some coaches provided times from the end of last year for seeding position.
“They ran solo (in the heat),” he said. “We entered the time from Cody and should have been in the faster heat. We could have placed third. Teams entered based on the end of last year. I’m upset about that. Coaches need to enter accurate times.”
In individual events, sophomore Will Lillard placed eighth in the 200-meter dash with a personal-record time of 23.89, and junior Kaleb Mayes finished 12th in the 400-meter dash with a time of 55.30.
Coaches named Lillard as the male athlete of the week, Sanders said.
“I was impressed,” he said. “We haven’t had anybody run in the 23s since Carson Hessenthaler, I believe.
“He (Will) is an efficient runner, an economical runner, which means he lets his form help him. He has good form.”
In field events, sophomore Brent Snyder placed second in the pole vault by going over the bar at 12-1, prequalifying for State.
“Brent was exceptional in the vault and was another candidate for athlete of the week,” Sanders said. “He also went 18-7 in the long jump (16th for a personal record) and filled in for Porter (Nichols, injured) in the four by four relay. He did a great job without any endurance training.
“He’s been working on his speed and I think it showed. He improved by a foot and a half in the long jump and a foot in the pole vault.”
Junior Jaret Collins placed sixth in the shot put with a toss of 43 feet, a personal record, and Kyle Burton threw 42-1 to place eighth.
“Kyle and Jaret had a personal battle between them,” Sanders said. “Kyle threw 42 feet for the lead, and on Jaret’s last throw he threw a personal record 43 feet. I thought that was kind of fun.”
Freshman Jacob Grant almost placed in the high jump, clearing 5-3 to finish ninth.
Other Lovell boys results in Buffalo were as follows:
100m dash – Will Lillard 17th, 12.16 (PR), Brent Snyder 37th, 12.57 (PR), Jacob Grant 45th, 12.72, Hudson Wilkerson 70th, 13.39 (PR), Kyle Burton t-74th, 13.57, Chris Lopez 81st, 13.92, Daniel Luna 95th, 14.97; 200m dash – H. Wilkerson 45th, 26.36 (PR), Richard Mangali 70th, 28.61, Lopez t-73rd, 28.88, Dillinger Wilkerson 77th, 29.90, Cade Zeller 78th, 30.22 (PR); 400m dash – Merrill Beck 28th, 59.70, Zeller 40th, 1:08.15; 800 meters – Hunter Steenbakkers 23rd, 2:30.02; 1,600 meters – Steenbakkers 24th, 5:35.89, Mangali 36th, 5:55.27, D Wilkerson 44th, 6:15.38; 300-meter intermediate hurdles – Ben Cornia 13th, 48.84 (PR), Antonio Garza 14th, 50.49, Grant 18th, 54.64; long jump – Garza 47th, 15-4¼, Mangali 48th, 14-10½; triple jump – Mat Savage 19th, 32-1½; shot put – Dylan Hereth 22nd, 37-5 (PR), Luna 43rd, 29-6; discus – Kyle Burton 13th, 100-4, Jaret Collins 14th, 100-0, Hereth 19th, 96-10, Frank Minchow 38th, 86-5 (PR).
The Bulldogs are scheduled to participate in two meets this week: the Burlington Invitational Friday at 1 p.m. and the Powell L.A. Kohnke Invitational Saturday at 9 a.m.
Sanders said the team won’t “load up on events” at either meet, though
students taking the ACT test on Saturday may put more emphasis on the Friday meet.
By David Peck