There’s no more uncertain culmination of a season than track & field. Questions of health, motivation, dedication and momentum are constantly in motion for each program. Figure in enough programs and you’ve got organized chaos.
The 3A West version of this chaos will be in Lander this weekend where head coach Ty Draney and his staff would like to see a few specific things.
“We always want to be in the hunt for hardware and the bigger the better,” he replied in a telephone interview from the Dallas airport. “We hope we bought enough time. We’ve had a few injuries so we’re hoping to turn them around. It’s been a long season and we’ve had a lot of good things happen but it’s about having everybody perform on the given day when we need them. Our biggest step is to get as many qualified for state as we can. That’s our number one goal. Obviously the more we have the more points we score.”
Draney believes that there are no fewer than five teams battling for titles over the next two weeks.
“On the boys side there’s tons of parity and I think Douglas and Powell and ourselves can be in the mix if we perform well,” he said. It’s a matter of getting there and hopefully we can perform.”
• Crimson Corner
Each team brings their own strengths to the post-season. Not surprisingly, Star Valley is led by their depth in the distance events. It takes many different contributors to bring home track trophies, and here are a few contests to keep your eyes on as the team travels to Lander. Please keep in mind that no roster is set in stone and decisions may be made that are different from these observations.
Boys 1600 Meter: Cody Peck has forged quite a reputation for himself, but teammate Nic Demler has also shown his ability to run with anyone in the 3A class, especially over the past month. Throw in Mitch Rider and the Braves’ chances to have perhaps three point scorers look pretty good.
Girls 4×100 Relay: This one is a question of health. Caitlyn Turner has battled some injuries this season and so has Shania Warren. Still, a quartet of Turner, Lindi Moore, Aspen Heward and Faith Robbins is pretty formidable.
Boys 3200 Meter: For the same reasons above, multiplied by the fact that both Peck & Demler have the ability to run a 9:35 over the next two weeks. Again, throwing in Rider as a wild card, there’s a reason the XC team has won the last two team titles.
Girls 100 Meter Hurdles: Aspen Heward set a new school record earlier this year. There are some stellar hurdlers out there, but she could absolutely walk away with this and the 300 meter event if things clicked like they did in April.
Boys Shot Put: Otherwise known as the Powell Panthers versus Sam Gertsch. Powell, led by UW-bound Garrett Lynch, is loaded with throwers. Where Gertsch can fit into that finish will go a long way towards the final team total. Gertsch has been very consistent this season and could finish anywhere in the top five.
Girls 200 Meter: Lindi Moore is just hitting her stride in this event. She could be the one to finish first. She should also be a threat in the 400 meter run.
Boys 4×800 Relay: Peck, Demler & Rider will be the meat of this group, with team strategy putting the final runner in place.
Wildcards: Tyler Allred and Jesse Sanders in the sprint events will be key, as will the young crop of freshman girls who may surprise everybody at any given time this weekend.