Strong performances propel Lady Grizz to sixth at State Track

David Peck

Rocky Mountain head track and field coach Tobee Christiansen spoke with pride and satisfaction this week about the performance of the RMHS team at the state meet in Casper over the weekend as many athletes turned in personal records and/or broke school records.
He also noted a trio of senior girls who concluded their athletic careers with strong performances at the state meet.
Senior MacKelle Moss brought home three individual medals and one medal as a member of a relay team, junior Brittly Boettcher earned two individual and one relay medal and Kaitey Christensen garnered one individual and one relay medal. Rylee Winland also placed in one individual event.
“They definitely put in the time and effort,” Christiansen said of his successful athletes. “It’s always fun when you see ‘em PR at State and peak at the right time.”
Noting the success of seniors Moss, Christensen and Winland, he added, “In your senior year it’s sometimes tough to finish up your track season, but they showed dedication and leadership as far as work ethic goes.”
Regarding some leg injuries Christensen has battled, Coach C noted that the senior “persevered and stayed with it,” adding, “She’s a good example of fighting through adversity and challenging yourself. It’s difficult when you can’t do what you did in the past.”
Moss won the high jump at State, clearing 5-2, and she placed third in the 400-meter dash in a time of 1:00.27, breaking her own school record of 1:00.35 set at Regionals in Shoshoni.
She also placed fourth in the 200-meter dash, running a personal-record time of 27.17, just off the Rocky Mountain school record of 27.01 set by Angelina Helms in 2017.
“It (the high jump) was tough with the wind, but I was proud of her for being consistent and mentally tough,” Christiansen said.
He also noted Moss’ mental toughness in the 400, stating, “She’s gritty. She doesn’t shy away from something because it’s hard.”
Christensen tied for sixth in the high jump, clearing 4-8, and she finished 12th in the long jump at 14-1½.
The team of Shelby Wambeke, Boettcher, Moss and Christensen placed fourth in the 400-meter relay, running the lap in 53.08, a bit behind the school record of 52.55 they had set at Regionals.
“The wind was blowing pretty hard down that back stretch,” Christiansen said. “It’s tough to break a record when it’s like that.”
Winland placed fifth in the shot put with a throw of 33-6½, and Christiansen praised her for her work in the ring that produced consistency her senior year, recording five top throws in meets at 33 feet or above, including a school-record throw of 34-6.
Junior Elliahna Scheeler shattered the school record in the discus, placing second with a toss of 114-04 that crushed the record of 107-10 set by Mikayla Campbell in 2017.
“Elliahna is a perfectionist,” Christiansen said. “She does a ton of form work. She just hammers it. She puts a lot of time into it; she’s a technician.”
Boettcher ran her best time of the season in the preliminaries of the 100-meter intermediate hurdles, finishing fourth in the prelims in 17.23. She placed seventh in the finals in 17.63. She also placed eighth in the 100-meter dash in 13.79 after running a personal-record time of 13.31 in the preliminaries.
Christiansen said Boettcher was able to three-step most of the hurdles in the 100-meter hurdles, adding, “She ran a good set in the prelims.”
All three Lady Grizzly pole vaulters tied or broke their personal records at State. Junior Tarynn Schoening placed fifth with a personal-record vault of 8-6, and sophomore Keylee Christiansen placed eighth, clearing 8 feet, a PR. Sophomore Layla Gardner tied her PR of 7-6, finishing 11th.
“They had a good day,” Coach C said. “There’s a lot of technique to the pole vault and a lot of opportunities for things to go wrong.”
The Lady Grizzlies finished a strong sixth out of 14 teams at State with 48.5 points, just a point and a half behind Big Horn and Lingle-Ft. Laramie, each with 50 points. Kemmerer won the state girls title with 113 points.
Other Rocky girls results at the state meet were:
100m dash – Shelby Wambeke 13th in prelims, 13.70 (PR); 200m dash – Brittly Boettcher 13th in prelims, 28.13; 1,600m relay – Rocky 10th, 4:48.27 (Tarynn Schoening, Layla Gardner, Charlee Welling, Kaysie Cooley); long jump – Welling 15th, 13-¾; triple jump - Keylee Christiansen 17th, 27-5½; high jump - Christiansen 14th, 4-4; discus – Rylee Winland 17th, 79-0.
Boys results
The Rocky Mountain boys team suffered a major blow when speedy junior Hudson May had to miss the meet after breaking his toe early in the week following the regional track meet. He had placed in three individual events plus the 1,600-meter relay at Regionals, breaking the meet and school record in the 800 meters in a time of 1:56.46.
“It was sad for him to not be able to compete after all the work he put in,” Christiansen said.
The only athlete to place at State for the Rocky boys was freshman Dalan Wambeke, who tied for fourth place in the pole vault, clearing 10 feet. Wambeke has improved from clearing the bar at 9 feet to now 10.
Running in a fast field, sophomore Will Watts ran a personal record in the 200-meter dash, running the half lap in 24.14 to finish 14th in the preliminaries. He also set a PR in the 100-meter dash, coming in 16th in the prelims at 11.93, his first time running under 12 seconds.
Junior Cole Minchow finished 13th in the 1,600 meters in 5:21.15 and 15th in the 3,200 meters in 12:11.82. Minchow set PRs three times in the 1,600.
“It’s been fun to see him get better and compete,” Christiansen said. “The thing I love about track is that it parallels life. You try to be a little bit better today than you were yesterday.”
He said he appreciates an athlete who “knows he’s not going to win it but still pushes to improve,” adding, “That’s a win every day in my book.”
Freshman Sam Loyning finished 14th in the 800 meters in 2:19.27, and the team of Watts, Loyning, Lafe Files and William Fuller finished ninth in the 1,600-meter relay in a time of 3:54.58.
Fuller set a personal record in the long jump, leaping 16-8¼ to finish 14th, and freshman Joaquin Scheeler finished 12th in the triple jump with a leap of 36 feet.
Junior Hayden Wambeke finished 16th in the shot put with a throw of 35-8¼, and freshman Kellan Jackson finished 16th in the discus at 98-7.