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April 18, 2013 8:10 am

One last chance

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Panther track members have final shot at Track Classic

Members of the Powell High School track team have their final opportunity to qualify for the 2013 Wyoming Track Classic this Saturday when they compete in Lovell and Sheridan. The event, which invites the state’s top 10 performers in most non-relay events, will freeze its performance lists at noon on Sunday to start the task of issuing invitations.

At present, the Panthers are in line for 15 event berths at the event, although the results from this week could juggle that number either direction.

For example, on the boys’ side, the Panthers’ Hayden Cragoe is tied for ninth in the pole vault after clearing the bar at 13 feet last weekend. Cragoe is also the eighth and last competitor with a spot in the field in the 110-meter hurdles, with teammate Kalei Smith just one-hundredth of a second behind him.

Track events that are run entirely in lanes are capped at the eight best performers and ties for the Track Classic.

Smith likely cemented his place in the high jump field last weekend after clearing the bar at 6-3 in Powell’s home Kohnke Invite. Only two competitors in the state currently have successful clearances above that height this season.

Another area where the Panther boys appear secure for Track Classic representation comes in the throwing events. Defending 3A champion Garrett Lynch unleashed the state’s best discus throw last Saturday while winning the event. Teammate Vince Sleep is currently third overall. The Panthers are also represented currently in the shot put by Sleep — the state’s only thrower to report a toss of greater than 50 feet — and Garrett Michael, currently eighth on the charts.

Notably missing from that list is Lynch, the state indoor shot put champion this past winter. Lynch sat out the throwing events at the Panthers’ first two track meets of the season and was denied a chance to produce his first shot put distance of the outdoor season when inclement weather moved in and forced the cancellation of late-afternoon events, including the boys’ shot put, last Saturday.

Distance runner Zander Andreasen is sitting just outside the top 10, currently at No. 11 on the charts for the 1600. Andreasen has a gap of approximately three seconds that he needs to overcome to move into a guaranteed spot in the field.

There’s drama on the girls’ side as well.

Freshman Anissa Warner’s winning height of 5-1 in the high jump moved her up from a multi-way tie in that event and should easily secure her place in the Track Classic field. Warner is also currently tied for seventh in the triple jump while teammate Jada Swires is the first-alternate’s position at No. 11 on the chart, needing to make up a gap of 2-1/2 inches to ensure herself of a spot in the top 10 currently.

In the discus, juniors Tori Sleep and Shawnae Harrington currently sit sixth and seventh overall and, barring a major statewide push this week, should be securely in the field for that event. In the shot put ring, Harrington moved up to No. 4 on the state chart after winning the event at the Kohnke Invite on Saturday. Sleep is presently at No. 9 on the shot put chart with a host of competitors clustered just below her.

On the track, KaDee Harrison currently sits in sixth position in the 200 meters, another event canceled this past weekend due to rain and snow moving into the Powell area mid-meet. Teammate Danna Hanks’ sub-17 second time in the 100-meter hurdles vaulted her from 14th to fifth on the state chart, placing her in a favorable position for an invitation to participate.

The Wyoming Track Classic does not include relay events.

Competition in the Wyoming Track Classic will take place starting at 4 p.m. on Friday, April 26, at Casper’s Kelly Walsh stadium.

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