Honing their Kraft: Herders keep an eye on T.J. for long distance running

Eddie Poe photos
T.J. Kraft runs the 1600 meter. Kraft earned 6th in this race and 10th place in the 800 meter.

Eddie Poe eddie@glenrockind.com

As he crossed the finish line of the 1600-meter race at the Natrona Invitational this past Friday, senior T.J. Kraft grimaced with exhaustion. He leaned over to catch his breath and, as he did, his teammates made their way to his side to offer their support.
Kraft completed the mile run with a time of 5:10.99, earning him sixth place.
“T.J. is one of our stronger long-distance runners,” coach Ryan Collier said.
A two-sport varsity athlete at Glenrock, Kraft has garnered the expectation of qualifying at the regional level in the 800 meter, 1600 meter and 4-by-800 meter relay events. At the state championship meet in Casper last May, Kraft qualified for and participated in the 800-meter race, earning 13th with a time of 2:12.85.
“(We) can expect him to qualify for and run strong in (those) events,” Collier said.
To those who view long-distance running as a tiresome and exhaustive affair, the same doesn’t seem to apply to Kraft. And for good reason.
The senior is a part of the 4-by-800 meter relay team that has already qualified for May’s state meet. Kraft will run in the event with Brysen Collier, Kale Kuhlman and Zane Moore.
On the coaching side for the Herders, Collier is in his second season at the helm of the Glenrock track and field squad. Both a track and field and football coach for the past 16 years, the transition from the first to the second season as head coach boils down to the minor details.
“For me, the biggest thing I’ve taken from last year to this year is logistical,” Collier said. “Mainly knowing which events to put certain people in and being able to recognize where we can best utilize them.”
As for Glenrock’s outlook and expectations for the season, the focus will continue to be simple — incremental improvement. 
“Our goal is no different from last year,” he said. “It’s to keep building off of each meet.”

Team Outlook
Junior Tucker Bopp accumulated a slew of points for the Herders, placing first in the 400-meter contest with a time of 51.43, third in the 100 meter at 11.75 and fourth in the 200 meter with 23.35.
Adding to the boys’ effort for Glenrock, junior Patrick Bruno earned ninth in the 100-meter contest and 16th in the 400-meter run. Senior Gannon Guenther also finished 10th in the 100-meter hurdles.
In the field events, sophomore Cole Thornock took 11th in the triple jump and junior Adrian Maas pole vaulted his way to 14th place. Senior Brock Jones launched the shot put 42 feet, 6 inches for a fourth-place finish and muscled his way to 15th in the discus throw. Senior Richard Harris also nabbed 14th in the shot put.
With 31 points, the boys earned themselves a fifth after taking sixth the week prior.
On the girls’ side, junior Annelise Clark earned 11th in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 19.06. She also took sixth in the 300-meter hurdles, crossing the finish line at 52.88. Brock’s twin sister, Mikalah, threw far enough for eighth place in the discus throw and 15th in shot put.
The Glenrock girls also ran a respectable 4-100 relay, finishing seventh out of 13 teams.

Looking Ahead
The Herders will be in Wright on Thursday for the Pre-Easter Invitational as they look to improve upon last week’s performance.
“We want to keep improving in a way that we’ll be able to truly compete by the end of the season,” Collier said.


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