by nathan oster
Weather conditions for Saturday’s Bill Gerrard Memorial Invitational were ideal — and the athletes from the five attending schools certainly took advantage of it.
Two meet records fell, as Riverside’s Brynnt Wood heaved the discus 143 feet, 4 inches and Burlington’s Ben Mancuso, a junior, cleared 6 feet, 8 inches in the high jump. The discus record had stood since 1980.
“The weather cooperated, that’s for sure,” said Greybull Coach Jeff Sukut, who saw a couple of his own athletes rise to the challenge by bettering state-qualifying standards.
The meet doesn’t recognize an outstanding female athlete, but if it did, that honor likely would have gone to GHS sophomore McKenna Powers.
She won all four of her individual events (400 meters, 800 meters, long jump and triple jump). Even more impressive, she automatically qualified for state in the 400 with her time of 1 minute, 3.25 seconds.
Sukut said he felt good for Powers, noting her struggles last year due to injuries sustained in a sledding mishap while she was in middle school.
“She had a hard time training last year, and I always told her, ‘You are going to continue get better, you are going to heal a little more. You have to be patient with yourself.’ She has gotten a lot stronger. She may still be plagued a little by her back, but she is compensating a little better for it.”
How much better is Powers this year? Sukut said her best time in the 400 last year was in the 70- to 71-second range. This year she started with a 63.
Lindsay Kern also had a solid debut for the Buffs. A senior, she also AQ’d with a 32-foot, 9 ¼-inch effort to win the shot put competition. Kern is assured of a return trip to Casper, where she placed second in 2A last season as a junior.
“I knew it wouldn’t take her long to get on the AQ list,” Sukut said. “Now it’s just a matter of her working on improving her technique.”
Kern also added a second-place finish in the discus for the Buffs.
Other girls who placed for Greybull were McKenzie Bollig, who was fourth in the 100 meters and 200 meters and sixth in the triple jump; Samantha Nighswonger, fifth in the shot and eighth in the discus; Jarely Carstro, sixth in the 200, and Juliana Mendez, second in the mile.
No Greybull boys automatically qualified for state, but several broke out of the chute with quality efforts.
The top finisher was Julian Wiley, who earned a second in the 400 meters. His time, a 56.6, was a good one, according to Sukut. Like Powers, he’s “a year older and a year stronger, and it shows,” he said. “The competition in that race, in our conference, is going to be really strong. Some Lovell kids opened by running 55s.
“For Julian, that 56 was by far the best he’s run,” said Sukut.
Wiley also placed third in the long jump, going 17 feet, 8 ½ inches.
Fabian Davila, a freshman, also earn a second by going 37 feet, 1 inch in the triple jump. He was third in both the 100 and 200 meters.
Wyatt Good earned a second in the 300 hurdles and a fourth in the 110s.
Sukut said the highlight of the day for the boys came in the two relays.
The 400-meter relay team of Calder Forcella, Chris Ogg, Dylan Brenner and Davila took second in 56.61. Forcella, Wiley, Ogg and Brenner claimed victory in the 1,600-meter relay, finishing in 4:03.02.
“It was a nice start to the season,” Sukut said. “We have a young team, and with only five teams, it was a good confidence builder for our kids.
“The bottom line is, everybody competed, everybody finished, and for the most part, I think everybody felt good about their accomplishments.”
The Buffs are scheduled to attend three meets over a span of six days as they get their work in before Easter and school district’s week-long spring break.
First up is the Rebel Twilight Friday in Basin, starting at 3:30 p.m.
Next week the Buffs compete at the D&D Invitational Tuesday in Worland (start time is 1 p.m.) and at the Wind River Invitational Thursday in Pavillion (start time is 9 a.m.).
BILL GERRARD INVITATIONAL
BOYS — Wind River 147, Burlington 118, Greybull 110, Rocky Mountain 102, Riverside 48.
100 METERS — 3, Fabian Davila, 11.75.
110 HURDLES — 4, Wyatt Good, 18.88. 7, Wyatt Neilson, 22.05.
1,600 METERS — 5, Cody Saenz, 6:46.88.
200 METERS — 3, Davila, 24.9.
300 HURDLES — 2, Good, 49.18. 4, Neilson, 59.66.
400 METERS — 2, Julian Wiley, 56.6. 4, Jesus Burgos, 57.31.
DISCUS — 4, Logan Jensen, 105-10. 5, Brady Shoemaker, 104-0. 7, Calder Forcella, 93-10. 8, Oscar Gomez, 92-7.
LONG JUMP — 3, Wiley, 17-8 ½. 8, Ogg, 14-10.
SHOT PUT — 3, Gomez, 39-11. 5, Aiden Jenness, 33-2 ¾. 7, Jensen, 30-8. 8, Shoemaker, 30-4 ¼.
TRIPLE JUMP — 2, Davila, 37-1. 6, Burgos, 34-3.
400 RELAY — 2, Greybull, 47.17.
1,600 RELAY — 1, Greybull, 4:03.02.
WEIGHT RELAY — 1, Greybull, 56.61.
GIRLS — Burlington 140, Wind River 99, Greybull 87, Riverside 67, Rocky Mountain 37.
100 METERS — 4, McKenzie Bollig, 14.79.
1,600 METERS — 2, Juliana Mendez, 7:33.15.
200 METERS — 4, Bollig, 32.03. Jarelly Castro, 37.16
400 METERS — 1, McKenna Powers, 1:03.25.
800 METERS — 1, Powers, 2:45.57.
DISCUS — 2, Lindsay Kern, 73-2. 8, Samantha Nighswonger, 49-1.
LONG JUMP — 1, Powers, 14-7.
SHOT PUT — 1, Kern, 32-9 ¼. 5, Nighswonger, 23-5.
TRIPLE JUMP — 1, Powers, 29-3. 6, Bollig, 25-2.