The Star Valley High School track & field team completed one of their most successful seasons in history as both the Braves and Lady Braves brought home a State Runner-Up finish from the 2015 Wyoming State Championships in Casper.
For the Braves, they eventually ended in a tie for second place with Cody High School with 88.0 points. The Douglas Bearcats pulled away to win their second title in the last three seasons with 152.5 points.
The Lady Braves trailed the Cody Fillies by 30 points heading into Saturday but fought and clawed their way back to just a five-point deficit as the final event was about to be run. The ladies finished the 4 x 400 meter relay in second to earn eight points, but the Fillies team finished fourth to help their team win their eighth straight team championship by just two points, 95.0-93.0 over the Lady Braves.
“It’s tough to work so hard for so long and come so close to a title,” said head coach Ty Draney. “We would have liked to have won but the girls are very pleased with how well we id this weekend. It’s easy to analyze it but we are proud of our girls and guys and what they have accomplished this year.
It is the first time in school history that both teams have finished in the top two slots in the team standings in the same year. The closest came in 2007 when the girls placed third and the boys were runner-up. It is the best finish for the Braves since that 2007 season. Going back the last six seasons since the Lady Braves won the state title in 2010, they have finished runner-up in three of the last four seasons. Prior to this six year span, the Lady Braves program had only finished in the top-two one time (2003) in program history.
Star Valley did very well in the All-State department. For the ladies, they didn’t have a state champion performance but several all-staters. Aspen Heward notched all-state status the 300 hurdles and along with Caitlyn Turner, Faith Robbins and Lindi Moore was second in the 4 x 400 meter relay. Janice Hall was second in the 100 meter dash.
For the boys, Shane Henderson won the 800 meter run and set a new school record in the process. It wasn’t the only state title for the freshman who joined with Brian Campbell, Nic Demler and Mitch Rider to win the 4 x 800 meter relay as well.
Demler picked up two more all-state nods by placing second in the 1600 meter and 3200 meter events. He broke the SVHS mile record set by Kevin Hyde in 1972 in the process. He broke the two-mile record earlier this season.
“What I told them was I wanted to see us compete with ferocity and class, that was our goal,” Draney said. “The marks that we were able to achieve and others along with us pushing them were great. The excitement and the fun the kids had was a nice way to end the season.”
Look for expanded coverage of the 2015 State Track & Field season in the May 27, 2015 edition of the Star Valley Independent.