High school indoor track and field’s 2019 season gets underway Saturday in Casper for Laramie High School and it’ll be another full of expectations.

The Laramie Plainsmen are the defending state champs, while the Laramie girls were runner-up a year ago.

Sixth-year head coach Greg Schabron said the start of a new season brings about questions regarding their numbers and what the squads will be like.

“To be honest, we have probably the youngest team since I’ve been coaching. That’s kind of exciting because we’ve got a lot of young kids that are hungry for success, but they’re very coachable, and they’ve been working hard the last several days, here.”

There are 75 student-athletes out for indoor track at LHS this winter.

Both squads return a number of top-level competitors, but only the Lady Plainsmen actually return individuals that earned All-State honors in 2018. There are four, and they are Ketisa Akambasi, Kyleigh Bingham, Rachel King, and Colby Stickelman. Other top performers to watch include seniors Jason Upton and Matt Smith, and junior Emmy Johnson, just to name a few.

KOWB’s David Settle caught up with Johnson and Upton to preview the season from the student-athlete perspective.

Schabron said the previous generations have done a nice job of setting the level of expectations for this program.

“We do have some returning upperclassmen, not as many as we’ve had in the past, but having those seniors and juniors, they’ll take care of the expectations, and the serious attitude when we approach a competition.”

He also referenced the fact that the first couple of meets will be low-pressure, as the coaching staff just wants to see which events the student-athletes best fit in to succeed.

Schabron does feel they’ll have a strong jumps crew returning for both teams, a lot of girls’ hurdlers, and a larger mid-distance and distance group. It all has him excited for the season.

Laramie opens at the Natrona Invite in Casper Saturday at 10 a.m. This is a brand-new facility that Schabron’s excited to compete in.

“Being able to race on another 200-meter track in Wyoming is going to be helpful for times.”

This is the only time LHS will compete in Casper. They’ll be in Gillette for three competitions, and host another three at War Memorial Fieldhouse on the UW campus.

Schabron adds, “The expectations the kids put on themselves I think will be the biggest burden.”

Still, Laramie has high goals they want to achieve once the state meet rolls around March 1 and 2 in Gillette at the Campbell County Recreation Center.

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