CASPER — The Big Horn boys track and field team entered the final race of the state meet Saturday with eyes on beating one team — Pine Bluffs. The Hornets sat in second place of the team standings going into the 1,600-meter relay and crossing the finish line ahead of the Rams is all PB needed to take home the silver.
BH trailed PB going into the last 800 meters; however, a strong third leg from Nathaniel Lydic coupled with a strong finish from Kyler Ostler clinched a time of 3 minutes, 36.30 seconds, a fourth-place finish and the points needed to vault the Rams ahead of the Hornets who crossed sixth.
“I’m just so dang proud of them,” BH head coach Kirk McLaughlin said. “They just stepped up and gave it all they had. All four of the boys on that relay stepped up and got the job done. It was just fun to see it all pan out.”
BH ended up with 83 points while PB walked away with 82. Lovell won the state crown with 134.3 points.
Liam Greenelsh and Noah Harvey ran the first two legs, and while both were integral in the relay, they made their presence felt elsewhere on the track, as well.
Greenelsh — along with winning two individual state titles Thursday and Friday — placed third in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 15.86 seconds, just two-one hundredths of a second behind the first-place finisher. Ostler crossed fourth, clocking in at 16.48.
Harvey reeled in a fifth-place finish in the 1,600-meter run with a time of 4:53.39.
Ostler added to his day, placing fifth in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 41.14.
BH sprinters Carson Bates and Will Pelissier took fifth and seventh, respectively, in the 100-meter dash, clocking in at 11.81 and 12.00. Bates also crossed fourth in 200-meter run with a time of 23.60.
The Rams got some points in the field Saturday with Kade VanDyken taking sixth in the high jump, clearing 5 feet, 10 inches. BH scored a little in a lot of places over the course of the three-day meet and that depth carried them.
“I knew we had shot a (at second place as a team), and we just got a full team effort,” McLaughlin said. “We scored in the throws, we scored in the jumps, sprinting, distance, hurdles. We scored in everything. It was a total team thing. It’s great to have state champions like Liam, but we had a lot of kids place in their events, and those points add up.”
Sydney Atkinson and Alisyn Hutton paced the Lady Rams who finished 10th as a team with 33.5 points. The jumping duo placed fourth and seventh, respectively, in the triple jump with leaps of 33 feet, 7.25 inches and 32 feet, 1.75 inches.
Alannah Gee, who claimed a state championship in the pole vault Friday, finished seventh in the 200-meter dash with a time of 29.16.
“I thought the girls did great,” McLaughlin said. “We had so many great performances.”
Big Piney won the girls state title with 127 points.
Tongue River’s girls team came in 15th place with 16 points. The Lady Eagles got a strong performance from their 1,600-meter relay to close the meet. Kalie Bocek, Brittany Fillingham, Reagan Mullaney and Grace Sopko clocked in at 4:23.81 and scored a third of their team’s points.
Cooper Vollmer tallied eight of the nine points for the Eagles — who placed 16th as a team — Saturday. He finished fourth in the high jump, which got moved indoors because of the rainy weather, and the relocation actually helped Vollmer who cleared 6 feet.
“It helped me a lot,” Vollmer said. “Some people, it really throws them off because they’re used to outdoor. But I jump indoor all the time, so I was kind of used to the real quiet and no wind.”
Vollmer quickly made his way outside for the 1,600-meter run where he crossed sixth with a time of 4:53.59.
Arvada-Clearmont’s Riley Malli accounted for all 10 of his team points for the Panthers who placed 15th. Malli closed his state meet with a fifth place in the discus with a toss of 123 feet, 3 inches.
“I’m happy with it,” Malli said. “Of course, your end goal is to be a state champ. But I feel like I competed well and I did well with the opportunities I had.”
The Lady Panthers took 14th with 12 points, and late Friday night McKenna Auzqui’s toss of 101 feet, 2 inches placed her third.