Grizzly thinclads look to continue success in 2024

David Peck

Coming off a successful 2023 season that saw both the boys and girls teams place in the top three at Regionals and top 10 at State, the Rocky Mountain track and field program is looking for another strong season in 2024, head coach Tobee Christiansen said this week.
Christiansen said there are 22 boys and 21 girls out for track this season.
“Our numbers have been pretty good over the last 10 years,” he said.
The Grizzlies started with optional practices March 6-8 and went to a regular, full schedule starting March 11.
“We’re introducing things, trying to get steps down for field events – a testing period, I guess,” Coach C noted, adding that upper classmen always help with younger athletes.
“We rely on kids who know the technique, that have been coached, to pass things down,” he said.
Lady Grizzlies
The girls team has several athletes returning who qualified and/or placed at the state track meet including seniors Kaitey Christensen, MacKelle Moss and Rylee Winland, juniors Brittly Boettcher, Elliahna Scheeler and Shelby Wambeke and sophomores Lauren Bassett, Keylee Christiansen, Layla Gardner and Emma Sponsel.
“We also have some freshmen who we’re hoping will fill some events we haven’t been able to fill like distance and middle-distance events,” Christiansen said.
The girls will be strong in the sprints and jumps once again, the coach said. Moss placed third at the state track meet in the 400 meters and sixth in the 200-meter dash, and Boettcher placed fifth in the 100-meter hurdles. The 400-meter relay team of Anna Arnold (since graduated), Boettcher, Moss and Christensen placed third at State.
The 1,600-meter relay team of Sponsel, Scheeler, Bassett and Wambeke placed eighth at State.
In field events, Christensen placed third at State in the high jump, Moss third, and Winland placed seventh in the shot put.
“We’re just excited,” he noted. “This is a successful group of girls who like to work hard. We’ll see where that takes them.”
Grizzly boys
The team lost a number of boys to graduation including state qualifiers and/or placers Maddox Ames, Kelden Boettcher, Dylen Clendenen, Brady Fossen, Jackson Hanusa, Collin Haslem, Ben Simmons and Carsyn Weber.
“We’ll need to see what we’ve got and where we can help kids be successful,” Christiansen said. “We have some kids back who will be joined by others who weren’t out last year.”
One example, the coach said, is junior Bryce Haslem, whose older brothers Austin and Collin were very successful in track. Bryce Haslem played soccer in Powell in recent years but has come out for track this spring.
Returning with state track meet experience is junior Hudson May, who placed seventh in the 400 meters and ninth in the 800 and was a member of the school record-breaking 1,600-meter relay team that placed fifth at State, as well as the 1,600-meter medley relay team that placed fourth. Also returning are juniors Cole Minchow and Lafe Files (3,200-meter relay) and sophomore Landon Pruett (sprints). Files also qualified for State in the long jump.
“Hudson had some success last year, and Landon showed some promise,” Christiansen said, noting also Minchow and Files.
Working with Christiansen once again are assistant coaches Ryan Boettcher and Daniel Robertson, joined by new assistant Colton Hodge, along with volunteers John Bernhisel and Gerry Burton.
The Grizzlies open the season at the Cody Invitational today (Thursday) starting at 10 a.m., then will travel to Burlington on Good Friday, March 29.