SHERIDAN — While the origin may change depending on which party one talks to, the message remains the same. The Sheridan High School boys track and field team has looked forward to this weekend for quite some time.
Some may have thought about this year’s state meet as soon as last year’s season ended, knowing all too well what the Broncs had returning. Some may have turned their focus to a potential state title once Sheridan logged an indoor title back in February. Some may have begun thinking about the magnitude of a state title midway through this dominant 2019 season.
Whenever it started, the time is finally here, and the Broncs are soaking in the opportunity.
“We know if we run well, we have a good chance to win state,” Sheridan’s Brock Bomar said. “At the end of the day, that’s all you can ask for is a chance.”
The Broncs finished second at state last year, which was the highest finish in program history. The returners and youthful pieces from that squad have matured throughout the year.
Sheridan authoritatively claimed the East Region title — for the second consecutive season — over the weekend. The Broncs boasted seven first-place finishes and 20 top-three finishes.
“These kids have worked really hard for this,” Sheridan Head Coach Taylor Kelting said. “… We talked about, earlier in the week, that (regionals) is a step for our next goal. One of our goals is trying to win a regional title again, and that just gives an extra boost going into the state track meet.”
Natrona County and Cheyenne East provided the most resistance to Sheridan at regionals, however, the word ‘resistance’ should be taken lightly. The second-place Mustangs were a distant 48 points behind the Broncs.
Kelly Walsh and Rock Springs, the top two teams at the West Regional meet, will throw its respective names into the ring at state. The Trojans, much like Sheridan, eased past the competition at the region meet, winning by a margin of 48.5 points.
Kelting has zero doubt that his team will be tested come Thursday, but he also has zero doubt that they are up to the challenge.
“Any team is beatable, so how are we going to go in there and fix what we didn’t get done last year, and try to do it right, so we can maybe stand on top of the podium,” Kelting said. “… Our guys want to finish the season the right way. It will be fun.”
The Lady Broncs will also look to contend near the top of the podium at state. Sheridan’s girls team took fourth at the regional meet with a workmanlike, blue-collar mentality.
If the region meets on both sides of the state gave any insight on how state will play out on the girls side, it’s that it will be much more tightly packed at the top than the boys. The Lady Trojans were only 15 points clear of Cody at the West Regional, and Laramie finished just 14.5 points ahead of Cheyenne Central in the East.
The state meet kicks off Thursday.
Fourteen 4A finals will take place both Thursday and Friday, along with all the preliminary races. Saturday will encompass a lion’s share of the finals. For more information visit the WHSAA website.