by nathan oster
The final tune-up for the Class 2A West Regional was a successful one for the Greybull High School track team.
After coming close several times, the girls 400-meter relay team of McKenzie Mazur, Kaylyn Burns, Sydney Tschiffely and Shayla Cheatham finally bettered the 2A qualifying standard to ensure their place in the upcoming state meet.
“Their handoffs were right on and they ran a great race,” said Coach Jeff Sukut.
The girls took third in a fully automated time of 54.42 seconds; their previous best was a 54.7.
While it was the first AQ for Burns, Tschiffely and Cheatham, Mazur had previously qualified in the high jump and the long jump. They’re going to Casper next week. Who will be joining them will be answered later this week at the Class 2A West Regional in Lander.
The relay team ran its best time of the season at a preregional meet Friday afternoon in Lander. With 21 teams from 1A, 2A and 3A in the field, it was “by far the biggest” meet the Buffs attended this year, said Sukut.
The girls placed 10th overall with 29 points while the boys were 16th with 15 points.
The Big Piney girls and the Lovell boys claimed the team titles.
Mazur placed in two individual events, tying for second in the long jump with a 4-9 clearance and soaring 15 feet, 6 inches to capture fourth in the long jump.
Shayla Cheatham, a freshman, captured seventh in a field of more than 50 throwers in the shot put. She threw 31-1 1/2; four of the six girls in front of her were seniors. She was also sixth in the discus, throwing 93-6 1/4. In the process, she bettered her previous best by nearly 10 feet.
Brooke Flock, another freshman, captured eighth place in the 1,600.
Paige Flock, a senior, rounded out the individual scoring with an eighth in the 3,200 (14:42.14).
Brittany Ogg placed eighth in the triple jump, going 30-0.
Also setting personal records on the girls side were Angel Moon in the 200 meters, Paige Flock in the 1,600; Yvette Gutierrez and Eden Hanson in the throwing events.
The girls medley relay team claimed sixth place.
In the boys division, Gaven McColloch took seventh in the 1,600 meters, shaving more than 12 seconds off his previous best with a 5:09.
Caleb Bottom had a good meet, going 19 feet, 9 1/2 inches to capture second in the long jump.
Zack Keisel contributed a sixth in the shot put, throwing 42-8 3/4. Like Cheatham, he faced a big field, as more than 60 kids threw.
The 400-meter relay team took seventh, finishing in 48.74.
While they didn’t place, Branden Welsh (400 meters) and Dale McBride (discus) each set personal records, Sukut said.
With Thermopolis in the rear-view mirror, the Buffs will set their sights on the regional meet this weekend in Lander. The meet will be spread out over two days, starting Friday and ending Saturday.
Sukut said the Rocky Mountain and Lovell boys and the Kemmerer and Big Piney girls are the teams to beat in their respective divisions. While he admits to lacking the numbers to challenge them, Sukut believes his team can make noise in individual events.
To qualify for state, an athlete must either place first in an individual event or in the top four of a relay event. So far the only athletes to qualify are Mazur, Cheatham, Burns and Tschiffely, but Sukut said several others have posted times, distances or heights that figure to put them in the mix for a place at the regionals. Foremost among them are Gaven McColloch, Paige Flock, Brooke Flock, Brittany Ogg and Zack Keisel.
“That would put us around nine or 10, which would be great,” he said.