It was a beautiful day to start a long weekend for Glenrock High students, one that was made more delicious by an overall team win at home in the Finch-Lehner Invite.
Thanks to four relay race wins, four individual wins and a host of strong placings in various events, the team easily outpaced second-place Lusk High School. The boy’s team won outright while the girls took second in the team standings.
With a win this week and a second-place showing overall the week before, coach Ryan Collier said that being at home for the meet helped the athletes continue to build momentum as they approach regionals and State.
“The win felt really good, and our kids competed very well,” Collier said. “It really is about a team thing for us. Going into the Douglas meet, it’s a really big meet with a lot of 3A and 4A schools, so we’ll have to go in there and really compete. If they can keep the mindset to really grind and really compete, then we’ll be successful at the end of this.”
Morgan Schwindt pre-qualified for State in the 200-meter race, securing her second event in as many meets. Brother Garrett Schwindt was a busy man on Thursday, as he was a part of the winning relay teams on the 4x100 and 4x400 races, while also winning the pole vault competition. His winning vault cleared a mark of 13 feet, 6 inches. The school record for boy’s pole vault is 14 feet, set by Travis Kumpula in 2004. Glenrock swept the 1-2 positions in the pole vault, as sophomore Ian Arnold cleared the 11-foot mark, also setting a personal record in the process.
The 4x100 team of Tucker Bopp, Dom Griffitts, Garrett Schwindt and Payton Steinmetz won their race and improved on their State qualifying time, while the 4x400 team of Tucker Bopp, TJ Kraft, Kale Kuhlman and Schwindt also took the gold. Steinmetz also added to the win pile with the 400-meter race and the long jump.
“It was awesome to win in front of the home crowd and set a new pr (personal record),” Schwindt said. “Doing it in front of your home crowd and in your own pit, it’s just awesome.”
Payton Steinmetz’s win in the 400-meter race came in the first time he had competed in the event.
“I was really nervous about that race. The coaches had put me in the last heat, and I wasn’t sure if I could do it or not,” Steinmetz said. “I was able to get through, and the last 50 meters was the
hardest part, but I felt really good.”
The girls’ team made it a sweep of the 4x100 and 4x400 relay races for the Herders.
Tyhgahn Reynolds, Taylor Best, Brook Eldred and Marissa Wintermote recorded the team’s best time this season for the 4x100 relay race in their win, while the 4x400 team consisting of Annelise
Clark, Yesi Hermasillo, Morgan Schwindt and Brooke Williams easily outdistanced their competition, winning by 23 seconds. Mikalah Jones won the shot put event and recorded her best throw of the year, as the 4-kilogram sphere landed 32 feet, 6.5 inches away from the ring.
With only four meets left before regionals, the team is continually setting new personal records in their quest for State. Thus far, 47 different athletes have set their personal bests in 99 events, and six students have pre-qualified for State, either individually or as part of a relay team.
For the girls’ team, the personal bests established this week were set by Taylor Best (100m), Josie Bryan (800m, 1600m), Annelise Clark (100m hurdles, 300m hurdles), Brook Eldred (100m), Maribel Fernandez (shot put), Abby Nunez (400m), Keely Ottersbach (100m, 100m hurdles, 300m hurdles), Kim Reid (100m, triple jump), Elexis Ruimveld (100m, pole vault), Morgan Schwindt (200m), Mandi Tvedt (shot put, discus) and Shyla Whalen (discus).
On the boys’ side, it was Andrew Albrandt (800m), Ian Arnold (110m hurdles, pole vault, triple jump), Tucker Bopp (100m, 200m), Gage Brooks (shot put), Kendrick Bryant (400m, long jump), Brysen Collier (100m, 200m, 400m, pole vault), Cooper Fargen (long jump), Kade Griffitts (100m, 200m, 400m), Dom Griffitts (100m, 200m), Noah Halsey (100m), Richard Harris (shot put, discus), Brock Jones (shot put), TJ Kraft (400m), Kale Kuhlman (300m hurdles, discus), Adrian Maas (100m, pole vault), Urian Moreno (shot put, discus), Garrett Schwindt (pole vault), Kai Sexson (shot put), Payton Steinmetz (400m, long jump) and Jadon Williams (shot put).
The next event for the team will be a short half-hour drive to Douglas for the Douglas Track Invitational. The meet is on Friday, April 21 and the field events are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. The
running events will be starting slightly later, beginning at noon.