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SPORTS GUY: Prepare to be shocked

According to the saying, lightning never strikes the same place twice. The Sports Guy begs to differ.

Last season, lightning struck on the surface of the Harry Geldien Stadium track when the Powell Panthers produced some last-minute magic in the boys' 4x400 relay. That head-to-head battle with Cody determined a team title and brought the state championship home to Powell.

There are storm clouds gathering once again.

The Sports Guy recently found himself with a few free minutes, so he did what sports editors are prone to do. He simulated the entire state track meet. Twice.

The track website Milesplit Wyoming includes a neat feature that allows users to simulate a track meet. Based on the best times, heights and distances from results input into the site's database, a hypothetical order of finish can be established for any collection of schools one cares to include.

Naturally, I had 3A track on the brain.

According to the machine, Panther fans had best prepare for a nerve-wracking weekend. Its state track scenario has Powell lining up opposite Douglas in the boys' 4x400 relay with a state title on the line.

Sound familiar?

Of course, not every track meet in the state of Wyoming — including last weekend's regional meet —has found its way into Milesplit's database. That's why yours truly spent some quality time with 36 pages of regional track results strewn about the office simulating the state track meet based solely on the results from 3A's two regional meets.

The verdict again has Powell lining up in the 4x400 with a state title at stake. Only this time, the Panthers will be running down Jackson rather than Douglas to defend their title.

Hey, this is starting to sound like fun.

But the possibilities don't end there. Take a look at the girls' regional data and there's a chance we could be looking at a 3A state track meet against which all others will someday be compared.

If the data from the regional meet holds true, runners will line up for the 4x400 relay final with only two points separating first from fourth place in the team standings. If you thought last year's boys' 4x400 head-to-head race against Cody was the peak of drama, imagine how insane the atmosphere at Kelly Walsh will be if four schools — half the field —step into the starting blocks this Saturday knowing that a state title could be a little more than four minutes away.

Of course, there's no guarantee that any of these scenarios will actually come to pass. After all, that's why they play the game and why we love to sit back and watch every minute of the action.

Nevertheless, the data does point in one very clear direction. Both Panther track teams have the opportunity to make some noise in Casper this weekend. Both teams have a chance to come home sporting new trophies for the trophy case, and both are looking at a situation where every performance matters if they're going to make it a reality.

That's exactly how things should be on the final sports weekend of the 2009-2010 school year.

The Sports Guy has a new electronic toy and, weather and wi-fi permitting, will be posting a regular blog from Casper. Check the Powell Tribune's blog frequently to check in on him and get his latest observations from the state track and field championships.

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