The state of Wyoming has been strongly represented on the national stage as of late. A few Wyomingites have defied the odds of their sparsely populated surroundings and worked their way to the pinnacle in their respective professional sporting worlds.
The city of Cheyenne should feel pretty darn proud at the moment. The state’s capital currently has four former residents — Josh Creel, James Johnson, UW’s Bryce Meredith and Brandon Nimmo — making waves nationally in various sporting arenas.
• Creel made his first-ever career start on the PGA Tour Thursday at the Texas Open. The Cheyenne Central graduate won Monday’s qualifier, in bogey-free fashion, to earn himself an afternoon tee time Thursday.
And he’s acquitted himself quite well thus far.
After Thursday’s opening round, Creel — a graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma — sat in a tie for seventh place after a round that featured five birdies.
• Johnson currently suits up for the Miami Heat, who trail 2-1 in a series against No. 3-seeded Philadelphia in the opening round of the NBA Playoffs. Johnson, a former Wake Forest Demon Deacon, played in 73 games this season and started a career-high 41 in what is his 10th season as a pro. He averaged more than 10 points and nearly five rebounds per game during the regular season.
The Cheyenne East grad, has elevated his game under the playoff lights, tallying a combined 43 points on 16 of 25 shooting in three playoff contests.
• Nimmo is carving out his way in Major League Baseball for the New York Mets. He broke into the league in 2016 and has earned more playing time every year since.
Nimmo, who also attended East, is currently hitting .333 with a home run and an RBI. He boasted a three-hit game in a victory over Milwaukee over the weekend.
• Meredith has begun his post-college wrestling journey. The UW Cowboy signed with Adidas Wrestling earlier this month. Meredith, a three-time All-American at 141 pounds, made a name for himself as an under-seeded sophomore when he came within one point of a national title. He made another strong push for a National Championship as a senior before falling in the waning seconds of the title bout.
The Cheyenne Central graduate, has always represented the state and the University of Wyoming remarkably well for his performance on and off the mat. Meredith is easily one of the most recognizable collegiate wrestlers in recent memory — with his swag and unique hairdo — and will have my support in wherever his future endeavors take him.
The state of Wyoming has a smaller population than any other state, but the small bunch that do call it home have a tremendous sense of state pride. From the beautiful views of Yellowstone to the evidently athletic city of Cheyenne, our state should feel proud of its current position in the sporting world.