by nathan oster
The Class 2A West Regional is all that stands between a group of Greybull High School athletes and either the end of the season or a trip to the State 2A Track and Field Championship in Casper.
The Buffs will head to Lander Friday hoping to put the Meeteetse Invitational far in the rear-view mirror. Coach Jeff Sukut called it, “A rough meet for us,” noting that there were only a handful of personal-best performances.
“You see this is a little bit sometimes … where the kids kind of hit a late-season plateau,” Sukut said. “Now that we’re heading into the regional and state, we’ll start the tapering process this week. Hopefully it’ll pay off in the form of some better times and distances (in Lander).”
In Meeteetse, the Buffs saw many of the same teams they’ll face this weekend in Lander.
Greybull finished eighth in the boys division and ninth in the girls division. Eleven teams attended the meet, which was won by the Lovell girls and the Wind River boys.
McKenna Powers placed in all four of her events, taking third in the 400 and 800 meters, fourth in the triple jump and sixth in the long jump. The remaining three teams points came on a seventh-place finish by Sydney Eckman in the 400 and an eighth-place finish by Aftin DeRosa in the 200 meters.
Kyler Flock, Wyatt Good, Calder Forcella, Alex Hebb, and Logan Jensen accounted for all of the individual scoring in the boys division. Forcella was fourth in the discus and sixth in the shot put. Flock was sixth in the 100 and seventh in the 400. Good placed in both hurdle races, taking fourth in the 300s and seventh in the 110s. Jensen chipped in a sixth in the discus. Hebb took seventh in the long jump.
A third-place finish by the 400-meter relay team of Forcella, Hebb, Dylan Brenner and Flock rounded out the scoring for the Buffs.
Sukut noted the following personal-best efforts:
• Keegan Jenness, who trimmed 1.5 seconds off his best time in the 800 meters (2:33.08).
• Aftin DeRosa, who jumped 13-2 1/4 in the long jump, placing 11th.
• Powers, who turned in her best effort of the season in the long jump (14-7).
• Jensen, with a 34-9 effort in the shot put, good for 12th.
• Gerald Fulkerson, who increased his PR in the triple jump by 1 1/2 feet.
Sukut said that with only a few exceptions, times and distances were down across the board as athletes dealt with cool temperatures and a “fairly brisk wind” that was blowing right down the straight-away (which is the finishing stretch) of most running events.
Off to Lander
Four Buffs have already punched their tickets to Casper, and Sukut is hopeful that by the end of the two days of competition in Lander, he’ll have at least twice that many. “I’m hoping to get eight,” he said. “But my primary goal for every kid is that they show improvement, whether it be in inches or seconds.
The 400-meter relay team of Forcella, Brenner, Hebb and Flock is an automatic state qualifier.
To qualify, an athlete must finish among the top eight in an individual event or run on a relay team that cracks the top four.
“A person never really knows what to expect at regionals,” Sukut said. “It’s such a gamble when you go. Some of the stronger teams, they have a lot of kids and can take a girl who hasn’t competed in an event like the 400 all year, throw her into it, and viola, she’s running a 61 and placing out of the blue.”
GIRLS DIVISION – Lovell 125, Shoshoni 98, Meeteetse 59, Wind River 56, Riverside 51, Burlington 45, Wyoming Indian 37, Rocky Mt. 30, Greybull 23, Ten Sleep 23, St. Stephens 17.
200 METERS – 8, Aftin DeRosa, 31.94.
400 METERS – 3, McKenna Powers, 1:07.39. 7, Sydney Eckman, 1:09.93.
800 METERS – 3, Powers, 2:41.65.
LONG JUMP – 6, Powers, 14-7.
TRIPLE JUMP – 4, Powers, 30-11 3/4.
BOYS DIVISION – Wind River 137, Lovell 97, Shoshoni 90, Meeteetse 58.5, Burlington 51, Rocky Mt. 48.5, Dubois 39, Greybull 31, Wyoming Indian 27, Riverside 27, Ten Sleep 10.
100 METERS – 6, Flock, 12.56.
400 METERS – 7, Flock, 1:00.84.
110 HURDLES – 7, Wyatt Good, 19.08.
300 HURDLES – 4, Good, 47.88.
400 RELAY – 3, Greybull (Dylan Brenner, Alex Hebb, Calder Forcella, Kyler Flock), 48.09.
LONG JUMP – 7, Hebb, 17-8 3/4.
SHOT PUT – 6, Forcella, 37-11.
DISCUS – 4, Forcella, 123-1. 6, Logan Jensen, 114-7.