Green River Star -

By Pete Rust
contributor 

Track team improves during GR meet

 

Star photo by Lillian Palmer

Brayden Kovick maintains a lead on another runner during competition in Green River Friday afternoon.

Amidst howling winds, but otherwise decent spring weather, 14 teams descended on Green River Friday to participated in one of the largest track meets in the state, as well as a preview to the upcoming regionals competition.

The meet was also a homecoming for the Green River team and provided the opportunity for the athletes to perform in front of their families, which is both important and fun, according to head track coach Dan Hansen.

With all but Kelly Walsh High School present from the 4A Region, the Green River girls team finished fifth despite their top sprinter, sophomore Andri Dewey, being slowed by an injury and only competing in the 100-meter dash, taking third in the event. The team also competed with the absence of one of the best middle distance runners in the state, Josie Givens, who competed in Utah at the Davis Invitational, finishing the 800 meters in a time of 2:22.50, almost 10 seconds faster than the winning time at the Green River Invite. Both girls' return at full strength for regionals will provide the opportunity for enough points to make the Green River girls much more competitive.

There were some excellent performances for the girls and a number of competitors continued to work hard and improve on their personal bests, Hansen said.

The only double winner for the Lady Wolves was senior thrower Emily White, who had an outstanding day, winning the shot put with the top throw in 4A to date, measuring 37-05.50. White also finished first in the discus with the top throw in 4A to date, measuring 123-7, defeating her nearest rival from Natrona by 13 feet. Also finishing in the top ten for the Lady Wolves in the throws was Natasha Young, who improved her personal best in the discus by 6 feet finishing in ninth place.

In the girls jumps, Erika Wilson took third in the high jump, improving by 5 inches with a state qualifying jump of 5-01.00 and taking third also in the girls long jump, improving by almost a foot to 16-01.00. Also finishing in the top ten in the high jump was Eliza Morin who placed eighth, improving her personal best to 4-09.00.

In the girls 800-meter run Kaisa Arnell finished seventh and Kiersten Plott finished ninth for the lady wolves. In the hurdle events, Eliza Morin finished seventh in the 300-meter hurdles and nineth in the 100-meter hurdles completing a busy day in which she finished in the top ten in three individual events.

The boys finished in a tie with rival Rock Springs for fourth place. Among the top performers for the boys was Drew Wilson who improved to seventh place in the 200-meter dash, finished third in the triple jump with a 40-4.25 effort, as well as running on the 4X100-meter relay that took third and 4x400-meter relay that took fourth. Cole White performed well as he finished in the top ten with an eighth-place finish in the 400-meter dash as well as running on 4X100 and 4x 400 relays that finished in the top ten.

Chance Hofer was another very busy athlete, finishing fourth in the 300-meter hurdles, eighth in the high jump, 11th in the long jump and fifth in the 100-meter hurdles.

Other top ten finishers included Trey McGhee, who finished seventh and improved by almost two feet in the long jump with a 19-06.50 effort. Eric Clingenpeel finished nineth in the 800 meters, as well as running a leg on the second place 4x800 relay team. Braden Reichl ran well as he finished seventh out of more than 50 runners and also ran on the second-place 4x800 relay team along with Brayden Kovick, Miles Moffat and Clingenpeel. Finally, for the boys runners, Curtis Westenskow improved his time to finish fifth in the 3,200 meters.

In the biggest fields of the day were senior Hunter Spartz, who improved by more than four feet in the shot put, finishing fourth with a good mid-season throw of 45-3.50. He came back to also finish fourth in the discus in a field of 102 throwers. Fellow senior Matt Medina finished the day with a 12th place finish in the shot and a 10th place finish in the discus.

"The kids will all be better off come regional times as they now have had the opportunity to see all of their competitors, except Kelly Walsh," Hansen said.

Hansen was pleased with the many performances throughout the day. With more than 70 athletes on the team, 50 of whom are underclassman, the future looks bright for the Wolves. With roughly 20 upperclassman leading the way, the season remains promising.

 

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