Big Horn, Tongue River indoor track focus on personal improvement

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BIG HORN/DAYTON — For indoor track athletes at smaller schools, success is often measured in personal improvements as opposed to placing in events.

Indoor track in Wyoming only has one class, meaning students from Big Horn and Tongue River high schools compete against the largest teams in the state.

“We kind of have to take a different view,” Tongue River head coach Scott Orchard said. “That is to help them be the best athlete that they can be.”

Orchard said his team will have about 10 athletes this year, a fairly similar number to previous years. One returner is Cooper Vollmer, who took fourth at state in the high jump last year, scoring all of the team’s points.

Ryan Patterson — The Sheridan Press |
Big Horn’s Kate Brown practices for indoor track at Big Horn High School Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. Brown is one of about 30 competitors on this year’s team.

Big Horn head coach Andrew Marcure expects around 30 participants this season. This year marks Marcure’s first as head coach, replacing Kirk McLaughlin, who will be an assistant. The team philosophy won’t change, though.

“Everything I’ve learned track-wise is from Kirk and I want it to be the exact same program,” Marcure said.

Big Horn should have a few top finishers this year, including Liam Greenelsh, who took fifth in the 55-meter hurdles and fifth in long jump at state last year.

“He’s a 4A talent at our little tiny school, which makes things really nice,” Marcure said. “He’s a competitor, a tough kid. He’s worked his absolute tail off to get where he is.”

The TR and BH indoor teams have only existed for about five years. Because of the relatively small numbers and nature of the sport, the teams often practice wherever they can find an open area. Ideally, they can run on the outdoor track, but that is almost always covered in snow. More often, they practice drills in school hallways or sometimes use part of a gym.

The indoor season will give the athletes the chance to measure themselves against top-notch competition before facing mostly 2A schools in outdoor track.  It’s a lot of individual successes, according to Marcure.

Orchard agreed.

“You’re competing against yourself more than you are other folks,” Orchard said. “… It’s nice to win, but ultimately we’re trying to press ourselves to the maximum that we can (and) see what we can do.”

TRHS 2019 schedule

Jan. 12 at Stadium Sports Grill HS Classic (Spearfish, South Dakota)

Jan. 19 at Gillette Invitational

Jan. 26 at Sheridan Invitational (Gillette)

Feb. 2 at Basin Nation Meet (Gillette)

Feb. 22 at Sheridan Meet (Gillette)

March 1-2 at State (Gillette)

 

BHHS 2019 schedule

Jan. 12 at Stadium Sports Grill HS Classic (Spearfish, South Dakota)

Jan. 19 at Gillette Invitational

Jan. 26 at Sheridan Invitational (Gillette)

Feb. 2 at Basin Nation Meet (Gillette)

Feb. 9 at Natrona Meet (Casper)

Feb. 13-16 at Simplot Games (Pocatello, Idaho)

Feb. 22 at Sheridan Meet (Gillette)

March 1-2 at State (Gillette)

By |Dec. 28, 2018|

About the Author:

Ryan Patterson joined The Sheridan Press staff as a reporter covering education, business and sports in August 2017. He's a native of Wisconsin and graduated from Marquette University with a bachelor's in journalism in May 2017. Email him at: ryan.patterson@thesheridanpress.com.

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