The Spring season came to a close on Saturday afternoon with a few obstacles and hiccups throughout, but after a 2020 calendar year that canceled both soccer and track, the 2021 season was smooth sailing by comparison.
The weather was hardly cooperative, roads were closed and many meets were canceled.
In other words, a typical Wyoming slate.
In Casper, the Star Valley contingent took some savvy stars like Peter Visser and a lot of young guns who will be expected to help lift the team even higher next season.
Visser either scored or was part of 38 of the Braves’ 59 team points as they finished fourth in the team standings. He set a new state record in the 3200 Meter on Thursday and then ask dominated the 800 Meter event on Friday. On Saturday he cruised to a 1600 Meter championship and combined with junior Lane Oesch, junior John Hunting and fellow senior Gabe Clinger in the 4 x 400 Meter Relay to a second place finish to wrap the meet.
Clinger, won the High Jump with a leap of 6’ 2”; an event in which his father, Charles, still holds the overall state mark. Clinger also placed fourth in the Long Jump and seventh in the Triple Jump as he was part of 25 points in the team total.
Hunting also placed eighth in the 800 Meter run while combining with J.D. Morris, Oesch and Jesus Carrillo-Zarate to place seventh in the Sprint Medley. Carillo-Zarate also placed eighth in the Pole Vault.
The Sheridan Broncs won the title with 130.5 points while Natrona County was a distant second with 82.0. Kelly Walsh was third with 70.0. Campbell County finished with 50.5 points to round out the top five.
The Lady Braves scored 23.5 team points which put them 11th out of the 16 teams in attendance. All of the girls’ competitors will be able to return next season, led by Junior Sara McKen and freshman Valerie Jirak. The duo placed fourth and sixth respectively in the 100 Meter dash. In the 200 Meter, Jirak placed fifth and McKen was eighth. Sophomore Ava Morgan overcame a fall in the 100 Meter Hurdles but still gutted out a seventh place finish.
The quartet of Jirak, McKen and a pair of freshmen in Sadie Hulse and Kammi Merritt placed fourth in the 4 x 100 Meter Relay, less than one second off the school record.
Jirak placed in all four of her events by tying for sixth in the High Jump. Finally, Emily Gertsch placed eighth in the Discus.
Cheyenne Central came out atop the 4A Girls team score with 85.5, edging Campbell County’s 82.0 and Kelly Walsh’s 80.0. Natrona scored 62.0 for fourth place and Laramie rounded out the top five with 60.0.
• Cokeville Claims Another Girls Title
The only thing that could stop the Cokeville girls from winning the state title was COVID-19 in 2020 as they picked up right where they left off with 115.0 team points to outpace Southeast who placed second with 91.0. Kaycee was third with 65.0.
The Cokeville girls have now won five straight 1A team titles dating back to 2016.
Bryli Groll won the 400 Meter event and the 800 Meter events and finished second in the 1600 Meter run.
Kylee Dayton won the 100 Meter Hurdles and was second in the 300 Meters and the High Jump.
The quartet of Kylee Dayton, Groll, Reagan Teichert and Abby Johnson won the state title in the 4 x 400 Meter Relay
Emmie Barnes was second in the Triple Jump and fourth in the 300 Hurdles but did not get to run in the 100 Hurdles despite having the fastest prelim time due to a false start.
The Cokeville Boys trailed Burlington heading into the final event of the meet, the 4 x 400 meter Relay. Nate Barnes, Ethan Bird, Tyler Moyes and Jack Dayton won the event and Burlington placed third, but the Huskies had a big enough cushion to win the team title by two points.
Burlington won with 110.0 and Cokeville was the runner-up with 108.0. Upton was third with 74.5.
• State Soccer
The Braves went into Friday as the early game in the Consolation Bracket where they fell behind early after a pair of goals from Cheyenne East.
Star Valley battled back with a second-half goal and had several opportunities late but could not score the equalizer as they lost 2-1.
East went on to lose to Laramie in the Consolation Finals, 5-0.
In the 4A Boys championship bracket, Thunder Basin edged Kelly Walsh 1-0 and Jackson shut out 4A East Champ, Sheridan, 2-0.
In the championship, Jackson won the title 2-1 over Thunder Basin despite playing a man down due to a red card in the final minutes.
Rock Springs completed a stellar season with a 2-0 win in the championship over Thunder Basin. Jackson finished third with a 4-2 win over Kelly Walsh.
Finally, East, blanked Sheridan in the Consolation Finals.
In 3A, the Lander Valley girls defeated Cody in overtime, 201 while Worland defeated Mountain View 2-1 in the third place game. It was the first varsity season for the Buffaloes.
Finally in the 3A Boys bracket, Worland got a tough test from Powell in a 1-0 victory, extending the Warriors’ winning streak to an amazing 46 matches.