DAYTON — Brittany Fillingham didn’t compete in running events during her first two years of track at Tongue River High School, opting instead to stick with shot put and discus.
She started sprinting last year and found immediate success, finishing eighth at state in the 400-meter dash and running a leg on the 1600-meter relay team that placed fourth at state.
Friday afternoon, Fillingham anchored the Lady Eagles’ 1600-meter relay team that pre-qualified for state. The team of Kalie Bocek, Grace Sopko, Reagan Mullaney and Fillingham ran a time of 4 minutes, 25.62 seconds at the Tongue River Invitational.
The state-qualifying time came during the group’s first time running together this season.
“It’s nice to get that weight off of your shoulders,” Fillingham said. “We know we can shave some time off.”
Fillingham also won the 400-meter dash with a time of 1 minute, 5.96 seconds. She said she hopes to pre-qualify for state next week in the 400 and run 1:03.50 or better this year.
In addition, Fillingham won the shot put with a distance of 30 feet, 7 inches and finished third in discus with a throw of 88 feet, 9.5 inches.
The Tongue River girls team scored 168.5 points to outpace Greybull, who ended with 142 points.
The Big Horn girls totaled 126.5 points. On the boys side, Tongue River edged Big Horn, tallying 170 points compared to 159 for the Rams.
Tongue River head coach Steve Hanson said his teams had a great day overall.
“Going into Regionals, it’s really nice to have an idea where your kids are at, what events they’re going to be strongest in,” Hanson said.
“I feel like we really solidified some of those things today.”
The Big Horn boys dominated the sprinting events, winning all three individual dashes and taking first in both the 400-meter and 1600-meter relays.
Big Horn head coach Kirk McLaughlin was very pleased with the results. McLaughlin took most of his younger competitors to Dayton and sent the more experienced athletes to the Wyoming Track Classic at Kelly Walsh Friday night and the Kelly Walsh Invitational Saturday.
Tongue River’s Cooper Vollmer won three individual events — the high jump, 1600-meter run and 800-meter run — and ran the final leg for the winning 1600-meter sprint medley relay team. Vollmer began his day by soaring to a height of 5 feet, 8 inches in the high jump, which he said prepared him for the running events later on.
Vollmer won both individual races by under a half-second, outsprinting his competition in the homestretch. He ran 5:07.20 in the 1600, edging Normative Services, Inc.’s Terencio Eagle, who finished with a time of 5:07.30. Vollmer’s time of 2:17.29 in the 800 outpaced Big Horn’s Coalson Blakely, who ran 2:17.66.
Vollmer wasn’t particularly happy with his times — he hopes to run under 4:50 in the 1600 and 2:05 in the 800, respectively, this season — but he had never won four events in a meet before, which he said will help propel him for the rest of the season.
“It kind of gives me that little boost of confidence I need for the next couple weeks,” Vollmer said.
Hanson called Vollmer a special athlete.
“The sky’s the limit for that young man,” Hanson said.
Along with running in the 1600-meter relay, Mullaney won the 100-meter dash with a time of 13.46 seconds, placed second in the long jump with a distance of 15 feet and was part of the winning 1600-meter sprint medley relay team. Tongue River’s Courtney Good won the discus with a toss of 108 feet, 9.5 inches.
Big Horn’s Amanda Anderson won the 100-meter hurdles in 18.44 seconds. Seth Mullinax won the discus for Big Horn with a toss of 128 feet, 4 inches. Big Horn’s Carson Bates took first in the 100-meter dash in 11.29 seconds.
Big Horn will participate Saturday in the Kelly Walsh Invitational, while Tongue River competes next Saturday in Thermopolis.