by nathan oster
McKenzie Mazur claimed Greybull’s only win of the day at Saturday’s Bill Gerrard Memorial Invitational, taking first place in the long jump to propel the girls’ team to a fourth-place finish in the team standings.
Eleven teams attended the meet, and while the weather is typically a factor the third or fourth weekend in March, it wasn’t as much this year. The wind was a factor at times, but otherwise it was “partly sunny” and “reasonably warm,” said Coach Jeff Sukut.
All things considered, it was a good day for the Buffs.
“You could tell we had one more meet under our belt,” said Sukut, whose team was the only one from Big Horn County to enter the previous week’s Wind River Invitational. “The exchanges on our relays were pretty sharp. Marks were a lot better. The kids seemed just more relaxed and comfortable in their events.”
Sukut said the highlight of the day might have been his team’s effort in the girls long jump. Mazur won it, doing so with a leap of 14 feet, 7 1/2 inches. Three others also placed, with junior Sydney Tschiffely taking fifth (13-3) and freshmen Kaylyn Burns (12-11) and Monique Velasquez (12-9 1/2) claiming sixth and seventh.
That event alone was worth a combined 19 team points for the Lady Buffs, who finished the day with 73. Tongue River won it with 114, followed by Ten Sleep with 99 and Burlington with 77.
Some other highlights from the girls side:
- The 400-meter relay team finished second, running a 56.28. Rocky won it, crossing in 54.41.
- A new event on the prep track landscape this year is the distance medley relay. The four legs of the race total 1,600 meters. The Greybull girls took second in 5:21.8, with Mazur and Tschiffely running the 200s, Velasquez the 400 and Paige Flock the 800.
- Tschiffely was eighth in the 100 meters (15.09).
- Burns took eighth in the 200 meters (31.62).
- Flock began the day in which she would be crowned prom queen with 12 productive laps around the oval. The senior took third in the 3,200 meters (16.37.74) and fifth in the 1,600 meters (6:59).
- Velasquez posted a sixth in the 400 (1:08.48) and a third in the triple jump (29-2 1/2). In the latter, she set a PR, bettering her jump from the previous week by about a 2 feet.
- Freshman Shayla Cheatham again excelled in the throwing events, taking third in the shot put (30-11) and fifth in the discus (75-2).
- Mazur tied for second in the high jump, clearing 4-8. Her best effort in the event last year was 4-10, so “she’s getting pretty close to that right out of the chutes,” said Sukut.
- And while they didn’t place, Sukut noted that several others set personal records, including Ivette Guttierrez in the discus, Eden Hansen in the discus and shot put and Heidi Araiza in the long jump and shot put.
The Buffs were 10th in the 11-team boys division with 27 points. Rocky Mountain, with 113 points, topped the field, followed by Burlington with 94 and Tongue River with 76.
Greybull’s top finish came in the 400-meter relay, where Zack Keisel, James Robertson, Dale McBride and Caleb Bottom ran a 49.2. That was good enough for second place, less a tenth of a second behind Kaycee’s 49.12.
Other Greybull placers in the boys division included Caleb Bottom, fourth in the long jump (a personal best 18-4 1/2) and seventh in the 100 meters (12.95); Branden Welsh, seventh in the 110 hurdles (21.54); and Zack Keisel, third in the 100 (12.22) and fifth in the shot put (38-10 1/4).
Sukut also credited McBride (shot put and discus) and Ian Vannesdale (long jump) for setting PRs.
Gaven McColloch, who’d placed at the Wind River Invite, didn’t run due to a sprained ankle.
Sukut said the meet was a good stepping stone for his athletes. “We saw a good mix of athletes from 1A and 2A,” he said. “Good competition, like it always is. Even though it’s early in the season, and with only the two meets under our belts, we see performances improving and that’s the most important thing.”
The Buffs will compete at a meet in Ethete today (Thursday, March 29) before shutting down for Easter. With spring break next week, athletes won’t be required to practice or to attend any meets. There are two on the schedule — the first Friday, April 6 in Burlington, the second Saturday, April 7 in Powell — for those who don’t leave town with their families and want to participate.