The Rocky Mountain Grizzlies knocked on the door of a team title at the Bobcat Invitational Friday in Thermopolis, finishing second out of 24 teams in the final boys standings with 72 points, trailing only Lander with 75 points.
“They did a great job. I was proud of them,” coach Tobee Christiansen said.
The Lady Grizz placed eighth in the girls team standings with 32.33 points. Rocky finished fourth in the overall standings with 104.33 points behind only Big Piney, host Thermop and Glenrock.
Christiansen said it was breezy in Thermop but not nearly as windy as the gale force winds the North Big Horn Basin was experiencing Friday.
“It was a lot nicer than we thought it would be,” he said.
One of the highlights of Friday’s final regular season meet was the performance of junior Zac Zier, who uncorked “the big one” in the discus, shattering his own school and personal record by nearly 10 feet with a throw of 158-11½, easily winning the event by 20 feet.
“This is the second week in a row (for a throw like that),” Christiansen said. “He scratched on one the previous week at 160 feet. He’s starting to peak at the right time.”
Zier also placed third in the shot put with a throw of 44-3, and sophomore Alecx Christensen set a new personal record in the shot with a toss of 39-4½, good for 12th place.
Sophomore Jonathan Allred won the high jump by clearing 6-3, this time edging out rival Dylan Roberts of Riverside, and sophomore Lathan May jumped for the first time and placed fifth at 5-11 to prequalify for State. Freshman Ethan Price placed seventh, clearing 5-7, but prequalified earlier in the season, giving the Grizz three competitors in the event at State.
Junior Cole Simmons entered the long jump for the first time this season and won the event with a single effort of 20-4 to prequalify for State and set a new personal record.
“It was awful good to see him win the long jump,” Christiansen said. “He only jumped once. I told him that if he prequalified he could scratch the other two jumps.”
Simmons has been battling a leg injury.
Rocky hurdlers continue to perform well. Sophomore Tristan Jewell placed second in the 110-meter high hurdles with a time of 16.87, running “in the 16s” for the fifth time in the last six meets. Junior Gehrig Sweat was fourth at 17.36.
“His form is getting better and better,” Coach C said of Jewell. “He’s just been consistent for us. I’d like to see him beat the school record (held by Josh Sorenson). He’s right there. He’s just barely off of it.”
Sweat placed fifth in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles with a time of 44.40, and Jewell placed seventh at 44.80.
Junior Dominic Twomey ran his best race of the season in the 1,600 meters, placing third with a time of 4:56.14 and breaking the five-minute mark for the first time this year. His time was 21/100ths of a second off his personal record set last season.
“We’ve been waiting for that,” Christiansen said. “His pacing was a lot better this time.”
Cole Simmons ran the 200-meter dash for the second time this season and placed fifth with a time of 24.58, and freshman Skyler Drewes set a PR in the 400-meter dash at 57.84 to place eighth.
“It was fun to watch,” Christiansen said of the 400. “Skyler kind of took off at the end when the other people were dying and he passed a couple of kids.”
Other Rocky boys results in Thermopolis were:
100m dash – Cole Simmons 11th, 12.34; 200m dash – Lathan May tie-11th, 25.19; 800 meters – Skyler Drewes 20th, 2:23.01; 1,600 meters – Damon Watts 15th, 5:28.33; 110m hurdles – May ninth, 18.32; long jump – Ethan Price 18th, 17-11; pole vault – Spur Hackney 12th, 9-7, Wyatt Horrocks 13th, 9-7 (PR); shot put – Austin Grohman 34th, 33-7; discus – Grohman 29th, 96-10, Alecx Christensen 32nd, 94-5.
In the girls division, sophomore Angelina Helms had a strong meet. She tied for third in the 100-meter dash with a time of 13.91 and fifth in the 200 at 28.58.
“She’s another one who’s been consistent for us,” Coach C noted.
Freshman Jacque Leonhardt ran well in the 1,600 meters and placed seventh, rounding the oval four times in 6:07.96, her third straight meet right at the 6:07 mark, and she also ran the 400-meter dash for the second time this season, finishing 10th with a time of 1:10.11.
In field events, freshman Gabie Christensen cleared 4-9 in the high jump to tie her personal record and place third. Mya Meier and Brianna Brumwell each cleared 4-7 to tie for fifth.
Mikayla Campbell set a personal record in the shot put with a throw of 32-4½ to place seventh.
“Mikayla is inching up there for prequalifying distance,” Christiansen said.
The coach also noted that Jade Sweat cleared 7-2 in the pole vault, which is just five inches from the prequalifying height, to finish ninth.
Other Rocky girls results in Thermopolis were:
100m dash – Marissa Arnold 13th, 14.31; 200m dash – Gabie Christensen 22nd, 30.65; long jump – Kincaid Johnston 17th, 13-4¼; triple jump – Johnston 26th, 25-2½; pole vault – Abby Arnold t-13th, 6-2; shot put – Daniela Carrizal 54th, 23-2½; discus – Mikayla Campbell 15th, 86-11, Carrizal 57th, 47-1½.
Regional Track Meet
The Grizz will travel to Lander for the 1A-2A West Regional Track Meet, which takes place Friday and Saturday.
Action begins Friday at 11 a.m. and continues Saturday at 9 a.m.
The Wyoming State Track Meet is scheduled for May 19-21 in Casper.
“I think the kids are peaking at the right time,” Christiansen said. “I’m excited to go and see how we finish down there. Big Piney and Thermopolis will be tough at Regionals.”
By David Peck