The Plainsmen Seek an Elusive Crown
With the prospect of winning the school’s first state track title in 20 years, the Laramie Plainsmen and Lady Plainsmen are set for the season finale.
The 2016 Wyoming State Track Championships are Thursday through Saturday at Harry Geldien Stadium in Casper.
Laramie High School has 32 state qualifiers competing over the three days. It’s the most Laramie’s had in quite a while.
Coming off a regional title last week, the Plainsmen have a shot at the school’s third championship and first since 1996. Laramie’s boys have at least one entry in 16 of the 17 events. Their chief competition will be West Regional champion Kelly Walsh.
Head coach Gil Bradfield says they’ll have to step up to win it.
“We had a lot of PR’s (personal records) last week, and we’re just going to have to get better PR’s from last weekend to this weekend.”
Bradfield added it has to be a total team effort.
“The team’s that do well usually can score some big points, but then those seventh and eighth’s help out too. If we can do that, I think we’ll be in good shape.”
Senior Chris Henry and junior McCade Johnson have chances at individual titles.
Johnson is considered a favorite in both the 110 and 300-meter hurdles. His approach is focusing on that one race every time out.
“Just go out there and have fun, that’s what I’ve done. Indoor state meet, regionals has worked out pretty good. Not hardly thinking about anything, just run the race, that’s all you can do.”
Johnson also believes in his teammates.
“I think we can definitely win the team title. We have guys in every single event, and regional placers in almost every single event. It’s a really strong team. If everyone goes and does what they can do, we’ll definitely get the title, I think.”
Natrona County is the two-time defending champions and have won five of the last six 4A boy’s titles. Laramie was sixth last year.
The Lady Plainsmen have 13 student-athletes in action in 13 of the 17 events. They came in third place at regionals last weekend. Regional champs Gillette and Natrona County are the favorites.
The Camels are the three-time defending 4A girl’s champs. The Laramie girls’ best result has been second place. The last time that happened was in 2012. They came in fourth a year ago.
Bradfield has confidence in both squads, as he stated a top three finish for both is very realistic.
The State Track Championships begin at 11 a.m. Thursday and will continue at 9 a.m. both Friday and Saturday.