(Above) Emily Jaimez competes at the Roy Peck Invitational in Riverton. Photos by Ryan Berger
RIVERTON — Red Devils track and field traveled to Riverton for the Roy Peck Invitational track meet on Saturday, April 6. The meet took place at the Wolverine Sports Complex, with the field of teams down somewhat, perhaps due to the meet falling during spring break for many schools, along with other meets sprouting up, both in state and in nearby out-of-state locations.
For instance, Casper Kelly Walsh hosted a “mini invite,” which included last year’s Roy Peck champions in the boys and girls divisions from Natrona County, along with Sheridan, Tongue River, Midwest and the Trojans boys and girls teams.
Big Piney also played host to a small meet. Ordinarily, the Invitational draws around 22 teams. This year, 13 boys’ teams and 11 girls’ teams took part.
Size of field aside, it was a strong performance and a good meet for the Lady Red Devils, in particular, who placed second as a team with 116.5 points, with slightly more than 10 points separating Evanston from a first place finish.
Team scores were as follows:
1) Shoshoni High School, 127
2) Evanston High School, 116.50
3) Riverton High School, 104.50
4) Worland High School, 104
5) Thermopolis High School, 85
6) Pinedale High School, 73
7) Wyoming Indian, 35
8) Burlington HS, 32
9) Dubois HS, 13
10) Western Heritage Lutheran, 8
11) Wind River HS, 6
12) Lander Valley High School, 6
Among the Lady Red Devils adding to that point total, by order of events, were Maggie Cox, with a seventh place finish in the girls 100-meter dash, with the top eight places receiving points in each event. Kimberly Derrick placed ninth, 1/100 of a second away from a top eight finish in the 100-meter sprint race.
Raegan Leach placed 10th in the 200-meter dash to pace Evanston, just slightly out of contention to score points.
Taylor Bowns scored eight points with a second place finish in the 400-meter run, less than 7/10 of a second separating Bowns from Riverton’s Ashtyn Leisy, who took first place honors. Emily Jaimez added four points with her fifth place finish in the 400-meter race.
Emily Hutchinson collected three points with a sixth place finish in the girls 800-meter run.
Caitlyn Jackson ran to a third place finish in the girls 1,600-meter run, adding six points to the Lady Red Devils total, with Nicole Gerrard chipping in three points to end in sixth place, and Sina Van Salzen adding a point by placing eighth.
Kortney Freeland was second in the girls 100-meter hurdles, picking up eight points. Freeland matched her second place finish for another eight points in the 300-meter hurdles. And she wasn’t through yet. Freeland won the girls high jump, clearing four feet, nine inches in the finals and earning 10 points for the Lady Red Devils. Jessica Sepos placed second to her teammate Freeland, adding an additional eight points via the high jump competition.
Evanston’s 4x100-meter relay team collected 16 points by placing second, as team relay points are double the individual event awarded points.
The girl’s pole vault worked out well for Evanston, with four Lady Red Devils finishing in the top eight. Abigail Sepos was third, scoring six points, followed by Maggie Cox in fifth place, scoring four points, Taylor Bowns adding three points to finish sixth, and Jessica Sepos tied for seventh, adding 1.5 points for her team.
Kim Derrick placed fifth in the long jump, benefiting her team with four points.
Raegan Leach added two more with a seventh place finish in the girls triple jump.
McKensie Herold placed sixth in the girls discus throw, adding three points to her team’s total.
Red Devils boys
Like the Red Devils girls, there were some notable absences at the Roy Peck Invitational for the Red Devils boys track team, due to spring break. Coach Ryan Berger did highlight Dillon Gilpin’s first place finish in the 1,600-meter race, noting how Gilpin and Keegan HerManyHorses of the Wyoming Indian School not only pushed one another in that race, but have been fierce competitors during the cross-country season, as well. The coach also mentioned Kortney Freeland’s performances as being a standout during the competition at Riverton.
Boys team scores:
1) Wind River HS, 135
2) Shoshoni High School, 109
3) Riverton High School, 91
4) Burlington HS, 88
5) Evanston High School, 66
6) Pinedale High School, 64
7) Lander Valley
High School, 52
8) Thermopolis High
9) Worland High School, 35
10) Dubois HS, 29
11) Star Valley High
12) Wyoming Indian, 18
13) Western Heritage Lutheran, 3
Tanner Anthos scored five points by placing fourth in the boys 100-meter dash. Anthos added another three points with a sixth place finish in the 200-meter dash.
Kyle Sellers contributed six points by placing third in the 400-meter run.
James Asmus was the top finisher for the Red Devils in the 800-meter run, coming in in seventh place, adding two points to his team’s total in the process.
Gilpin’s win in the 1,600-meter race added 10 points for the Red Devils, with teammate Jace Richards placing eighth and adding a point, and fellow teammate Andrew Walk placing just outside the top eight in ninth place.
Hyrum Peterson added four points with a fifth place finish in the boys 110-meter hurdles.
Kye Odde just missed a top-eight finish in the 300-meter hurdles, coming in ninth.
In the 4x100-meter relay, the Red Devils team ended in third place, good for 12 points. The same result and point total held true for the 4x400 relay team.
Dane Kelly scored eight points by finishing second in the pole vault, with Kye Odde adding a point by placing eighth.
Tyler Barker added two points off a seventh place finish in the discus throw. Teammate Derek Smith placed ninth, just slightly out of scoring contention.
Berger noted he did not have his full complement competing in Riverton, but was proud of his team’s performance.
“We battled a loaded 2A team in Shoshoni, which wasn’t out for spring break,” Berger told the Herald. “I give their coach credit, as they came to compete, but then, so did we. We had some of our younger kids step up and, overall, I was excited, as this was the perfect meet for them to taste success.”
The coach noted keen competition can come from any size of school in the sport of track and field.
Berger mentioned it was good to see Riverton and what they have to offer.
When the glaring omission of Brinae Sanders from the lineup, with the success she has enjoyed in the long jump, was mentioned to the coach, he whole-heartedly agreed, adding Evanston also missed MacKenzee Barker, during this meet, held as spring break was underway. Would it have been enough to put Evanston over the top? Berger thinks so, also believing with his full complement of boys, Evanston could have finished first, rather than fifth, pointing out Brayton Sanders, Cole Wilkinson, Nathan Chandler and Wyatt Feuz were missing from the lineup.
“We’re talking big-time point totals with those guys, but it is what it is,” Berger shared, acknowledging families and individuals had previously set plans over the spring break period, but also stating a cultural shift he would like to see with the Red Devils track and field program.
“Everyone talks about track as being an individual sport,” Berger elaborated, “but I beg to differ. We work hard and train together, we push each other in practice together, and the support we give to each other during meets is also crucial. There’s no doubt that we miss those individuals and the points they are capable of scoring, but it is the team aspect which is equally affected.”
The coach was pleased that most of his team has five meets under their belts, with much of the competition only able to boast having competed in three, a trend he hopes will continue.
Evanston was set to host a JV track meet yesterday, but due to the weather conditions, Berger had opted to cancel.
The team should be back intact, outside of an injury to thrower Cole Wilkinson, which is being evaluated, when they travel to Rock Springs to compete this Saturday, April 13.