Guenther hopes to share hurdles success with teammates

Eddie Poe photos
Gannon Guenther clears a hurdle in the 110-meter race in Lusk on April 28. His fourth-place finish is one of five top-10 finishes this season.

Eddie Poe

As he cleared the first of ten hurdles on the track in Lusk this past weekend, Gannon Guenther was on his way to another top-five finish in the 110-meter hurdles race.
He’s become accustomed to similar results. Of the six meets that Guenther has competed in this season, he’s finished in the top-10 in five of them. He’s a senior with only a few meets remaining in his high school career, but success has followed him throughout his four years at Glenrock.
During his sophomore season he placed in the top-five in every competition except for the state meet, where he finished 11th in the 110-meter hurdles. Then, last year as a junior, Guenther finished in the top-10 in every competition including 10th at state. This season, he’s taken a slight step back.
“My results this year haven’t been as I expected,” Guenther said.
Guenther’s dispirited tone towards his senior season may be best viewed in the context of his times.
After setting a personal record of 16.67 in the 110-meter hurdles last season -- third-best in school history -- Guenther’s seasonal best is 17.77. It’s not a far off from where he’s capable of finishing, but in the lens of a short distance event, his disappointment is appropriate.
With the successes he’s experienced over the course of four years, Guenther enjoys being able to share it with his teammates. He feels another Glenrock hurdler has the potential to break the record he’s not so far from reaching.
“I’m not shooting for the record but I hope Ian Arnold will,” Guenther said. “He’s doing very well this year and will be even better next year.”
Arnold, a junior, shined at the Dennis Zowada Invite in Lusk this past weekend, earning first in the 110-meter hurdles with a personal best of 16.58. He also placed second in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 45.33.
Although he missed much of the first half of the track season because of snowmobile competitions, Arnold has quickly found his form.
“I feel that I’m improving in both hurdles events,” Arnold said. Regarding the 110-meter hurdles record, he added, “breaking any record would be very exciting.”
Even without looking at his finish times, it’s evident why Guenther thinks Arnold is capable of breaking the record. His hopes for the hurdles events even extend further into the Glenrock pool, and to a sibling.
“I hope to pass down my knowledge to Ian, Jeffery Winger, my brother Kade and any other hurdlers that come up in the future,” Guenther said.
Guenther’s younger brother, Kade, a freshman, already has a top-10 time in the 110-meter hurdles at Glenrock. With the help of his older brother, he too could soon become part of the discussion.
“As of right now, he’s doing very well but there is always room for improvement,” Guenther said. “I believe he can be a very good hurdler in the future.”

At the invite-only Wyo Track Classic on April 27, Tucker Bopp broke Drew Nielsen’s nine-year-old record in the 400-meter dash with a time of 49.53. Wildly enough, Bopp finished second in the race to Brodie Roden of Riverton who clocked in at 48.90.
Bopp was the lone representative at the meet for the Herders.
The next day, April 28 at the Dennis Zowada Invite in Lusk, two relay teams took home top finishes as well as a handful of other top finishes in both track and field events.
Run by Patrick Bruno, Brysen Collier, Payton Steinmetz and Tucker Bopp, the 4-by-100 meter relay team separated themselves from the rest of the competition by nearly two seconds, finishing in first with a time of 45.94. The same group of guys, minus Bruno and with the addition of Zane Moore, also took first in the 1600-meter sprint medley. Lingle-Ft. Laramie’s anchor runner made up substantial ground down the final stretch, resulting in a photo finish as Moore ran out of steam in a tie for first.
Later in the day, Moore took first in the 1600-meter race, finishing a healthy 28 seconds ahead of the second place finisher. His time of 5:04.63 marked a seasonal best.
In the field events, Payton Steinmetz set a personal best in the long jump with a leap of 19 feet, 9.5 inches. He finished second to Korby Campbell’s 21 foot, 1 inch jump for Gordon-Rushville. Ian Arnold also impressed in the pole vault, clearing a height of 11 feet, 1 inch, taking home third.
As he’s done for the entirety of the season, Brock Jones stood tall with the competition in the throwing events. He earned second in the shot put with a distance of 46 feet, 3 inches and third in the discus throw with a toss of 126 feet, 8 inches.
Annelise Clark carried the torch for the girls with top finishes in the 300-meter hurdles and 400-meter race. She nabbed first in the hurdles, clocking in at 53.11 and second in the 400-meter with a time of 1:04.17.
In the 200-meter, Paige James took fourth and set a personal record with a time of 30.37. Abby Nunez also set a personal record in the 800-meter, finishing in 2:59.43 and earning fourth.
Mikalah Jones finished in the top-five once again in the discus throw, taking home fifth with a throw of 101 feet, 5 inches.

The Herders will host the six-team SEWAC conference meet on Saturday beginning at 10 a.m. It will be their final meet before regionals in Torrington, May 11-12.


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