The road to Casper

Eddie Poe photos
Tucker Bopp (second from left) blazes down the track in the 100-meter race as teammate Jaren Fritz (right) stays close during the SEWAC meet in Lusk May 4. Bopp took home three golds at last weekend’s 2A East Regional in Sheridan and will look to repeat at the State Track and Field Championships this week as a two-time champion.  

Eddie Poe

Last weekend’s 2A East Regional in Sheridan served as the final audition for Glenrock before this week’s State Track and Field Championships in Casper. The boys and girls finished second and third, respectively, and a pair of Herders earned top Southeastern Wyoming Athletic Conference (SEWAC) honors.
Glenrock head coach Ryan Collier was named the SEWAC Coach of the Year, while senior Tucker Bopp was awarded SEWAC’s Athlete of the Year. For a team that preaches incremental improvements from finish to end of each track and field season, last weekend’s regional meet was a reflection of exactly that.
Bopp put on a show in Sheridan, giving spectators an early glimpse of what to expect in Casper. He took home gold in the 100-meter, 200-meter and 400-meter. He also helped the 4x100-meter relay team capture the top spot, running with Ian Arnold, Jaren Fritz and Payton Steinmetz. As a team, Glenrock also earned a top finish in the 4x800-meter relay with a time of 8:51.11 Brysen Collier, Kale Kuhlman, Zane Moore and Skyler Piasecki teamed up for the top finish.
A handful of other Herders placed top three or better in Sheridan. Moore finished third in the 800-meter and also took second in the 1600-meter with a time of 4:59.30. Arnold earned second in the 300-meter hurdles, while Piasecki finished third in the high jump and second in the long jump.
Senior Annelise Clark also shined at the 2A East Regional, and will be a top contender at the state championships. She finished first in the 100-meter dash and 300-meter hurdles, placed second in the 400-meter and took fourth in the 100-meter hurdles. Freshman Emily Taper took fourth in the 400-meter and second in the 800-meter, and has been running strong as of late.
The Lady Herders also earned a top finish as a team in the 4x800-meter relay, an all-around effort from Yesi Hermosillo, Abby Nunez, Adelaide Williams and Taper. Other notable finishes in Sheridan included Hermosillo in fifth in the 3200-meter and Nunez in sixth. Teammate Alescia Jenkins crossed the finish line in sixth in the 1600-meter, followed closely by Abbi Cerny in seventh.

Spectators watched in awe at last year’s state championships as Bopp nearly pulled off a hat trick. He took gold in the 200-meter and 400-meter, but crossed the finish line just short in the 100-meter to settle for second.
Bopp was ultimately focused on breaking the school record in the 100-meter and 200-meter races, and along with improving his own marks, he did everything within his own powers to turn that drive into more points for his team.
“I remember thinking that we were dominating,” Bopp said. “Individually I just wanted to help the team put together more points and put us in a good position to do well.”
A top contender at state over the last four years, Bopp will be busy in Casper. He’ll once again compete in all three sprint events, and will be joined by a slew of teammates. Steinmetz, Arnold and Fritz will run alongside Bopp in the 100-meter, while just Fritz and Steinmetz will join him in the 200-meter. Gavin Swanson, Brysen Collier and Cole Thornock will also run in the 400-meter for the Glenrock boys.
Kale Kuhlman, Moore and Collier will run for the boys in the 800-meter, while Moore will look to top his fourth place finish from last year in the 1600-meter. James Halvorsen and Piasecki will tough it out in the 3200-meter.
Arnold finished sixth in the 300-meter hurdles last year, and will run this week in the 110-meter hurdles as well. Teammate Kade Guenther will join him in the 110-meter. Fritz and Piasecki earned their spots in the high jump, and Adrian Maas, along with Skyler’s younger brother, Paxton, will represent the boys in the pole vault. Steinmetz will air it out in the long jump again after placing 14th last year. Skyler Piasecki will jump alongside Steinmetz. Senior Urian Moreno will be the lone representative for the Herders in the throwing events, securing his spot in the shot put after taking eighth last year.
The boys will also send teams to Casper in all four relay events -- the 4x100-meter relay, 4x400-meter relay, 4x800-meter relay and the sprint medley.
“Hopefully some schools from the other side of the state can take some points away from Big Horn,” Bopp said. “They’re just so tough to beat.”
Clark simply wasn’t happy with her times last year at state, and hopes to improve on her performance.
“I want to be able to run my best and know that I went out trying my hardest in my last meet,” Clark said.
Much like Bopp, Clark will be a busy athlete at the state championships. She’ll compete in the 100-meter dash, 400-meter, 100-meter hurdles and 300-meter hurdles. She finished fifth in the 300-meter hurdles last year and also took sixth in the 400-meter.
Kassia George will run in the 200-meter, while Taper is scheduled to run in the 400-meter and 800-meter. Abbi Cerny and Alescia Jenkins have their work cut out for them in the 1600-meter, while Nunez and Hermosillo secured their spots in the 3200-meter.
Clark will compete in the 100-meter hurdles and 300-meter hurdles, both events she’s hopeful will secure a good chunk of points for the Lady Herders. Katelyn Cathcart will also run in the 100-meter hurdles. Jessica Potter will represent the girls in the pole vault in Casper, while Williams will air it out in the triple jump. The Lady Herders will also send athletes to compete in the 4x400-meter relay, 4x800-meter relay and the sprint medley.
“We’ve expected a lot out of our young guys and they’ve done so well for us this season,” Clark said. “I’m excited that we took third at regionals and I think we’ll do great at state.”
The first day of the state championships begins on Thursday at 3 p.m. and concludes on Saturday.


Glenrock Independent

Physical Address:506 W. Birch, Glenrock, WY 82637 Mailing Address: PO Box 109, Douglas, WY 82633 Phone: (307) 436-2211

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