EVANSTON — The Mountain View Buffalos won the Class 3A state championship in track and field held May 16-18, in Casper, scoring 129 team points, to separate themselves from runner-up Buffalo (102) by 27 points. Buffalo defeated Mountain View in last fall’s Class 2A state championship football game, so besting the Bison had to be gratifying for the Buffs. Powell was next with 98, followed by Lander Valley (79); Lovell (76); Douglas (43.5); Torrington (41); Rawlins (33); Burns (31); Wheatland (17.5); Pinedale (14); Lyman (12); Thermopolis (9); Worland (8); Newcastle (5) and Big Piney (4).
This was the first state championship for Mountain View in track and field since 1990-91, when the Buffs won back-to-back state titles.
State-title performances were turned in by Briggin Bluemel in both the 110-meter and 300-meter hurdles with a time of 15.32 in the shorter race and 40.79 seconds in the 300-meter hurdles.
Travis Harmon came in second in the 1600-meter run, clocking 4:40.07.
The 4 x 100-meter relay team of Ashton Schofield, Bluemel, Tanner Collins and Kimball Madsen placed first, notching a 44.55 time in the finals.
Mountain View track and field head coach Joel Giorgis was extremely proud of his team’s performance and had words of praise for two underclassmen who will return next season, Bluemel and Madsen.
“Briggin is sort of the nucleus of our track team. He scored 38 points at state and he and Kimball really showed the way for us,” Giorgis told the Herald.
“And both those guys will be back next season so we’re pretty excited about that,” the head coach added.
The 4 x 400-meter relay team of Bluemel, Hunter Gross, Trenton Wells and Sam Porter was the state runner-up in Class 3A, with a time of 3:33.37.
The 4 x 800-meter relay team placed third, clocking 8:31.47, in the finals. The team was comprised of Tanner Erickson, Wells, Harmon and Justin Hamblin.
Freshman Conner Micheli cleared 15 feet, two inches, to capture the pole vault title and the “Best of the Best” in the event among all classifications, 1A-4A, at the state championship meet.
Mason Ozuna placed second in both the long jump and triple jump with leaps of 21 feet, 11 inches and a little over 44 feet, respectively.
Colby Rees placed fourth in the shot put with a heave of 46 feet and Madsen placed sixth with a toss of 45 feet, 10.5 inches. Madsen also placed fourth in the discus with a toss of 150 feet, three inches.
The Mountain View Lady Buffs placed seventh among the 15 teams, paced by a state title in the 4 x 400-meter relay race, with a time of 4:16.36, for the team of Haylee Hereford, Lyndee Hereford, Kenzy Kellum and Jaynee Hunt.
In addition, five Buffalos — Bluemel, Madsen, Schofield, Ozuna and Micheli — were also invited to participate in the 44th annual Great Southwest Track and Field Classic from June 6-8, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Mountain View had some big wins during the season, including the overall championship for 1A-3A divisions at the Mr. Mac/BYU Invitational, in which Madsen won both the javelin and the discus individual titles. The javelin is not a sanctioned event in Wyoming track and field, though Madsen would sure like it to be, according to his coach.
“He gave the javelin a try during his sophomore season and he was hooked,” Giorgis said.
“Kimball is a great baseball pitcher and has a cannon for an arm. He was just kind of a natural with the javelin and he’s pushed to try and get it to be an event in Wyoming, but that’s not likely going to happen. He bought his own javelin and has basically coached himself.”
Giorgis himself was an outstanding track and field athlete and competed for the track and field team at the University of Wyoming, where he’s still among the record-holders in the 55-meter hurdles from the mid-90s. When asked if Bluemel has what it takes to compete at that level, Giorgis responded in the affirmative.
“Yes, he most certainly does and that’s what we’re pushing for. He’s knocking on the door and I believe he definitely has what it takes to become a division-one track and field athlete. He’s a good one.”
Giorgis stated his girls’ team just didn’t have the numbers in terms of girls out for track to vie for a state title and that his seniors, especially Charity Harmon and Giorgis’ daughter, Kelsey Giorgis, were injured throughout much of the season, hindering their chances to make the impact they ordinarily would have had.He would like to see more girls come out for track next season.
As far as the boys’ program, the future looks bright. In addition to Bluemel and Madsen, the other two members of the state title 4 x 100-meter relay team, Schofield and Collins, also return.
“We had a kid in every event at state and I think we scored in almost every event, as well,” Giorgis said.
Now, if they could just get the javelin as a field event in Wyoming...