by nathan oster
Until the wind picked up in the afternoon, Saturday was a perfect day for a track meet as athletes from Big Horn County’s four 1A and 2A high schools, Shoshoni, Ten Sleep and Western Heritage Lutheran Academy got in their first runs, jumps and throws of the season in the Bill Gerrard Invitational.
The early bird on the prep track schedule, the Greybull meet was won by the Shoshoni boys, who tallied 130 points, and the Burlington girls, who racked up 102, one more than the Shoshoni girls.
Greybull finished second in the boys, fifth in the girls.
“It was a smaller meet, so it was good especially for our younger kids to see where they are at this early in the season,” said Coach Jeff Sukut.
The strength of last year’s boys team was its 400-meter relay foursome, and if the first meet is any indication, that’ll be the case again this year. Even minus Kyler Flock and Alex Hebb, who formed half of last year’s relay team, the Buffs were able to AQ in their first attempt this season.
The two holdovers from last year, Calder Forcella and Ryan Sylvester, teamed with Wyatt Nielson and Chris Ogg to run a 46.7. The hand-held AQ time in the event is 46.9. While good enough to punch their tickets to Casper, it wasn’t good enough to win the Greybull meet. Shoshoni’s foursome ran a 46.63.
“I’m really happy for those four,” said Sukut, whose sprinting corps will soon be further bolstered when late-starting speedsters Dustin Fox and Fabian Davila log the required practice time to compete.
Ultimately runoffs will be used to determine who stays on that team, who focuses more on individual events and who gets transferred to the 1,600-meter relay team. The foursome of Cade Dooley, Jake Harrold, Dante Sylvester and Zack Zeller took first place on Saturday, although their time, 4:25.87, will need to improve for them to be competitive at larger meets on the schedule, according to Sukut.
The Greybull girls also capped the meet in style, as Aftin DeRosa, Sydney Eckman, Karla Corral and Brittany Ogg captured first place in the 1,600-meter relay in a time of 5:10.27, nearly 20 seconds faster than second-place Rocky Mountain.
Ryan Sylvester was the team’s top scorer in the individual events, winning and qualifying for state in the long jump with a leap of 20 feet, ¼ inch, and placing second — both times to Wyatt Ramsey of Shoshoni — in both the 100 meters (12.01) and 200 meters (24.67).
Greybull saw two of its athletes place in the top four in the 300-meter hurdles, as Chris Ogg ran second (46.63) and Cade Dooley fourth (49.48). On the girls’ side, Hannah Good was fifth, finishing in 61.79.
Sydney Eckman claimed second in the 800 meters, finishing in 2:47.54.
Brittany Ogg was also second, running the 400 in 1:16.15.
Among the Greybull highlights in field events, Calder Forcella won the discus with a throw of 130 feet, 2 inches and placed second in the shot with a put of 41-1; Aftin DeRosa came within 7 inches of an AQ in the long jump, going 14-8 to place fifth; newcomer Justin Bacus proved his versatility, placing in the discus, triple jump and shot put, and Wyatt Nielson’s effort of 111-8 was one of his better throws in the discus, according to Sukut.
“Overall I’d say we were right about where we thought we’d be,” said Sukut. “But it was a good way to start the season. We’ve got a ways to go. We just have to keep training and working to get into better shape.”
The Buffs will compete at the D&D Invitational Thursday in Worland.
Greybull schools will be out next week for spring break, but Sukut said he plans to offer kids the opportunity to return to practice on Wednesday and compete at a meet Friday in Burlington and possibly Saturday in Powell.
BILL GERRARD INVITATIONAL
BOYS SCORES: Shoshoni 130, Greybull 105, Rocky Mountain 85, Riverside 72, Burlington 19, Western Heritage 8.
100 METERS — 2, Ryan Sylvester, 12.01. 5, Chris Ogg, 12.75.
1,600 METERS — 3, Kadence Kinsman, 6:28.02.
200 METERS — 2, Ryan Sylvester, 24.67.
300 METERS — 4, Cade Dooley, 49.48.
800 METERS — 3, Kadence Kinsman, 3:01.47.
DISCUS — 1, Calder Forcella, 130-2. 4, Wyatt Nielson, 111-8. 6, Justin Bacus, 102-1.
HIGH JUMP — 5, Cade Dooley, 5-8.
LONG JUMP — 1, Ryan Sylvester, 20-0 ¼.
SHOT PUT — 2, Calder Forcella, 41-1. 4, Justin Bacus, 34-2. 6, Elias Ewen, 31-1 ¾.
TRIPLE JUMP — 4, Zack Zeller, 36-6 ¾. 6, Justin Bacus, 32-6 ½.
400 RELAY — 2, Greybull, 46.7.
1,600 RELAY — 1, Greybull, 4:25.87.
GIRLS SCORES: Burlington 102, Shoshoni 101, Rocky Mountain 88, Western Heritage 62, Greybull 40, Riverside 25, Ten Sleep 20.
1,600 METERS — 5, Serenity Kinswoman, 7:21.86.
300 METERS — 5, Hannah Good, 1:01.79.
400 METERS — 2, Brittany Ogg, 1:16.15. 3, Karla Corral, 1:16.79.
800 METERS — 2, Sydney Eckman, 2:47.54. 6, Serenity Kinswoman, 3:20.32.
LONG JUMP — 5, Aftin DeRosa, 14-8.
SHOT PUT — 6, Hannah Good, 25-0 ½.
1,600 RELAY — 1, Greybull, 5:10.27.