EVANSTON — The 2019 Wyoming High School Activities Association Track and Field Championships took place in Casper, Thursday - Saturday, May 16-18, and some outstanding performances were turned in by the Evanston Lady Red Devil and Red Devil athletes.
While not quite able to break the one-minute barrier as she had during the 4A West Conference regional meet, Tia Nelson did place third overall in the 400-meter dash with a time of 1:00.35, scoring six team points.
Breila Fuller came in fifth in the 800-meter run, adding four points to the team total, with her final’s time of 2:23.53.
Gabby Hall rose from seventh in the preliminaries of the 300-meter hurdles to place fourth in the finals with a 48.43 time, good for five team points.
The girls 4 x 400-meter relay team of Shelyse Ellingford, Heidi Barton, Hall and Nelson came into the state championships as the fastest team on the west side of the state. When all was said and done, they came away with second place to Thunder Basin, with a 4:08.14 time, scoring eight points for the team.
In the 4 x 800-meter relay race, the Evanston team of Fuller, Reghan Worley, Hailey Cardon and Lexi Demander took fourth place and added five points to the team tally, clocking 10:06.80.
For the Red Devil team, Tyrell Halladay and Gabe Morris scored six and two points, respectively, in the 400-meter dash, placing third and seventh. Halliday’s time was 50.65 seconds while Morris sprinted the 400 meters in 51.96.
Halladay added 10 team points for his state title finish in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:59.82.
Dallin Cardon finished in seventh place in the 1600-meter run with a time of 4:32.15, adding two team points and was three-hundredths of a second away from finishing in eighth place for the 3200-meter run.
Jamin Barker added a point for an eighth-place finish in the 110-meter hurdles with a final’s time of 17.27 seconds.
The 4 x 400-meter relay team won the regional meet in Evanston by more than four seconds and had the fastest seed time entering the state meet. The team of Garrett Berger, Kody Smith, Morris and Halladay did not disappoint, winning a state title with a time of 3:26.07. That team also previously set a new school record in the event on May 4 in Provo.
Evanston placed eighth in the 4 x 800-meter relay to add a point to the team total with a time of 8:52.01. The 4 x 800-meter relay team was comprised of Logan Driver, Logan Hunt, Robert Gomez and Brandon Sepos.
Perhaps the biggest highlight of the the state meet for Evanston came from the 1600-meter sprint relay team, which won a state title and set a new Class 4A state record in the process, with a time of 3:35.13, adding 10 points to the team total. The team of Smith, Morris, Halladay and Cardon also won the “Best of the Best” in the event, having the fastest time among all classifications, 1A-4A, during the 2019 WHSAA State Track and Field Championships.
Cheyenne Central repeated as state champions for Class 4A girls, scoring 90 points to best runner-up, Laramie (85) by five points. Rock Springs was the top point-getter from the west side of the state, garnering 69 points to place third. The Lady Tigers were followed by Kelly Walsh (64); Cody (61); Thunder Basin (51.5); Sheridan (50); Cheyenne East (45.5); Natrona County (37.5); Riverton (35); Jackson Hole (30); Evanston (28); Star Valley (19.5); Campbell County ( 16.5); Cheyenne South (7) and Green River (4.5).
On the guys’ side, the host Kelly Walsh Trojans won the 4A crown with 101 points, and have won three of the last four state titles. Sheridan placed second with 97 points and Star Valley was third, scoring 76 team points. Following the Braves were Natrona County (75); Cheyenne East (69) and Jackson Hole and Rock Springs tied for sixth, each with 48 points. Cheyenne Central was next with 46 points, followed by Evanston in ninth place among the 16 teams, scoring 42 points. The Red Devils were followed by Thunder Basin (38); Laramie (35); Cody (17); Riverton (4) and a tie for 14th place between Campbell County and Green River, with each team notching three points.
EHS track and field head coach Roy Barker reported the weather was nice on Thursday, very windy on Friday and that it rained most of the day on Saturday. The wind and rain obviously had detrimental effects on times for the running events and also adversely affected the field events, as finals times and distances were generally not as good as preliminary event and/or seed times entering the state meet.
“Some of our kids just ran average, I thought, and we had others who turned in very good performances,” Barker told the Herald.
While the same could possibly be said for other teams, Barker said some illness permeated his team right before and during the state meet, especially on the girls’ side of the ledger.
“I felt bad for Breila Fuller, who had a chest cold that made it really difficult to breathe. We were hoping she could close out her career in the way she had envisioned but she still gave the best she had,” Barker said.
“And Reghan Worley, running on a sore foot, could have finished stronger if she was 100 percent healthy,” the coach added.
Smith, who came from behind to defeat his teammates, Halladay and Morris, in the 400-meter dash during the regional meet expressed his disappointment to the coaching staff.
“Kody was disappointed. He told us he just didn’t run a good race in the 400 at state,” Barker shared.
Overall, the coach was pleased and is especially proud of the way his relay teams performed and the leadership demonstrated by his senior class of athletes for both the Lady Red Devils and Red Devils.
“This has really been an outstanding group of young men and ladies. They’ve set great examples of what it takes to succeed for our younger kids to emulate and follow,” the coach said.