Emma Marsing, [email protected]
ROCK SPRINGS, WYOMING — After one of the most unpredictable weather seasons for the Rock Springs High School Track and Field Team, they are concluding their season with high anticipation at this year’s 4A State Track and Field Meet in Casper, Wyoming.
The State Team consists of 11 boys and 7 girls who have qualified for this year’s meet, many of whom also competed at the Indoor State Track Meet this past winter. Alongside the team is Head Coach, Casey Walker, with Assistant Head Coach and throws coach Shawn Muir. The team is also joined by their other throws coach Levi Stephens, long-jump coach Sid Chaulk, pole vault and sprint relay coach Blaine Christensen, high-jump coach Wendy Bieder, Mesa Weidle, who is the relay and 400 and 800 coach, and lastly then the mile/4×800 relay coach, Josue Palacios.
Walker added that Maddix Blazovich is one of the top two pole vaulters in the state and is coming into the meet with a 15-foot jump from Regionals, with his personal best at 15′ 3″. Another competitor to keep an eye on is Ava Andrews, who is also a pole vaulter. At this time, Andrews is tied for the Rock Springs High School Pole Vault record against her aunt, at 10′ 6″. Walker noted that Andrews 10′ 6″ jump, ranks her within the top five in the state. One of the Boys Medley Relay teams, Saben Carlsen, Kael Anderson, Brayden Killpack, and Ethan Sholey rank within the top three in the state with their time. Walker is hoping the boys’ place within the top four, however, noted, “When you get to state everyone gets amped up and competes very well”. On the hurdling side, Presley Nacey has continually been making personal bests over the past three weeks and has a very high chance of making the finals in the 100-meter hurdles. Alongside her is Jonas Slater who has also been making personal bests over the past three weeks and has a high chance of making the finals in the 110-meter hurdles.
Due to the four-day week that Sweetwater County School District #1 implemented, the team does not start practice until 4:45 p.m. From 4:45 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. the team gathers together where they warm-up. From there, the team breaks into three 45-minute segments. Depending on the day, each athlete will either get in two segments of their events or conditioning. Depending on the event and each athlete depends on what segment they are in. The team overall practices every day from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Walker noted that Natrona County, Cody, and Cheyenne Central will be the hardest teams to compete against on the boys’ side. At the Indoor Track Meet this past winter, Natrona County won the meet with an extremely high margin over the rest of the teams. On the girls’ side, he stated that it’s very similar with Natrona County, Sheridan, and Cheyenne Central fighting it out for the top spots.
The advice that Walker gave his State athletes and especially his seniors as they compete in this meet is “You’ve been here before. It’s a track meet, just like any other track meet. Trust your training”.
Walker ended by stating, “Thank you to my staff, they work extremely hard and they put in as many hours as I do with stuff. I want to thank the kids that came out for track and put in the time and the effort because track is not a glory sport, and we only get one home meet a year so, it’s not the same as the other sports, so I appreciate their efforts greatly. I would also like to thank Tina Frady and our track parent committee and parents. They have done a ton of work this year. Also, I would like to thank my wife. I have been a three-sport coach for the past 25 years which means that she knows the routine, and she was a college athlete herself, but it’s not easy being a coaches wife and she’s done it for the past 25 years now.”