Herders rack up PRs at Douglas Twilight, head to Lusk Invite Saturday

Mike Moore photo

Jaren Fritz arches his body over the pole in the high jump during last Thursday’s Douglas Twilight Invitational. Fritz cleared a height of 5 feet, 4 inches to set a PR in the event and the boys team finished in fourth overall with 108.5 points.

Eddie Poe eddie@glenrockind.com

One after another, they planted their back foot in the throwing circle and spun their bodies toward the open throwing area just beyond the track at Glenrock Jr./Sr. High School. It was a late afternoon practice for the Herders track and field team and every throw of the discus became a tool of measurement. A measurement of how far each thrower has come this season and where their gradual improvements may be taking them.
Head coach Ryan Collier stood off to the side, instructing and encouraging his athletes to dial in their focus and find whatever it is they may be chasing. Sophomore Jonah Young launched a throw high into the air, landing harshly in the dirt in a midst of teammates that essentially served as discus “shaggers.” “You’re right there,” Collier said to Young. “Keep that thumb down and you’re on it.”
Some throwers are young and inexperienced. Others are practiced, yet still learning and growing as they face the head-on battle of mastering the intricacies of the discus throw.
“What I tell them is ‘don’t worry about distance . . . just trust that it will get better,’” Collier said. “Trust that you will make the changes and learn from the mistakes.”
It’s business as usual for Collier’s team at this point in the season. Glenrock is scheduled to compete at two more meets before regionals, including Saturday’s Lusk invite at Niobrara County High School.
Collier has always kept the focus for his athletes on improving each week and strongly advocates on their behalf. When a thrower is doubting him or herself and beginning to lose confidence, he reminds them of their capabilities. He’s their trusted leader.
“We want to start building up from where we started at the beginning of the season,” he said. “The goal is to be clicking as we head into regionals and state. We’re getting pretty close.”
As he walked toward the throwing circle, Collier didn’t mince words for his team: “There’s no time for thinking, just go.”

The boys team finished in fourth at last Thursday’s Douglas Twilight Invitational with 108.5 points and in the process racked up more than a dozen personal records.
Senior Tucker Bopp continues to cut time off the sprints, this time in the 200-meter. He finished in third with a PR of 22.43. Behind him, Gavin Swanson recorded his own PR of 24.27 in eighth. Bopp also took third in the 100-meter in 11.24 and was joined in the top-10 by Jaren Fritz’s PR time of 11.50 in eighth. Both seniors helped clock a PR in the 4x100-meter relay, also run by fellow seniors Ian Arnold and Payton Steinmetz. 45.24 is now their best time of the season.
Arnold recorded a PR of 15.97 in the 110-meter hurdles for the top spot and Kade Guenther also recorded a PR of 18.31 in sixth. Arnold followed that up with a first-place finish in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 42.31.
In the mid-distance events, Zane Moore took second in the 1600-meter and Skyler Piasecki earned fifth in the 3200-meter. Kale Kuhlman and Brysen Collier also took sixth and seventh in the 800-meter, respectively.
The Herders also recorded several PRs in the field events, including Casey Sebesta’s best leap of the season in the triple jump. He landed in the sand pit at a distance of 37 feet, 1 inch in second. Fritz also set a PR in the high jump, clearing 5 feet, 4 inches, while Piasecki took fifth at 5 feet, 8 inches. Cole Thornock notched a PR of 17 feet, 5 inches in the long jump, and was joined in the top-10 by Steinmetz and Dawson Blaylock. Thornock took ninth, while Steinmetz and Blaylock finished sixth and eighth, respectively.
Glenrock also piled up PRs in both the shot put and discus throw. Moreno took third with a PR toss of 46 feet, 3 inches and Alex St. Gelais secured fifth with his own PR throw of 41 feet, 7.5 inches. Archer Young’s shot put landed in the dirt at 35 feet, 5.75 inches for a PR. Moreno took it a step further and set a PR in the discus throw with a launch of 116 feet, 6 inches in sixth. Padon Eckhardt and Jonah Young followed suit with PRs of 99 feet, 6 inches and 98 feet, respectively.

Six different girls recorded PRs in Douglas, including Kassia George in both the 100-meter dash and long jump. Her time of 13.96 in the 100 earned her 12th, while her jump of 12 feet, 3.5 inches placed her in 10th.
Senior Annelise Clark also notched a PR of 13.10 in the 100-meter in fifth, and Skylar Harford took eighth in the 200-meter with a PR of 29.17. Abby Nunez added her name to the list with her best time of the season in the 800-meter. She finished with a time of 2:54.37 in seventh.
Alescia Jenkins and Courtney Taper didn’t secure PRs, but they each finished in the top-10 in the 1600-meter. Jenkins crossed the finish line in fifth, while Taper took eighth. Clark placed second in the 300-meter hurdles, an event that Emma Cotton earned her own PR of 1:05.35 in 10th.
Yesi Hermosillo, Emily Taper, Courtney Taper and Nunez teamed up to set a PR in the 4x800-meter relay as well for the Lady Herders, crossing the finish line in 11:36.49. Hermosillo also set a PR in the long jump with a leap of 12 feet, 10 inches in a tie for seventh. George’s PR landed her in the sand pit at 12 feet, 3.5 inches in 10th.
The Lady Herders finished sixth as a team in Douglas with 52.5 points.

Collier and his crew of Herders will travel to Niobrara County High School Saturday morning to compete at the Lusk Invitational. The opening gun is set to go off at 9 a.m.


Glenrock Independent

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