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May 01, 2014 8:12 am

9 Panthers invited to Wyoming Track Classic

Written by Dante Geoffrey

Powell’s Zac Schuler (left) and Alex Johnson take off in the 100-meter dash in Powell on April 22. Powell’s Zac Schuler (left) and Alex Johnson take off in the 100-meter dash in Powell on April 22. Tribune photo by Dante Geoffrey

The top nine PHS track and field athletes were invited to compete in the Wyoming Track Classic in Casper Friday.

Athletes who rank in the top 10 (top eight for the 100-, 200-, 400-meter runs and all hurdles events) from Wyoming’s four classes will meet at 4 p.m. at Kelly Walsh High School.

The boys will be represented, should they all choose to accept the invitations, by Kalei Smith (110-meter hurdles), Garrett Lynch (discus, shot put), Riley Stringer (shot put), Hayden Cragoe (pole vault) and Brendon Phister (pole vault).

KaDee Harrison (200-meter dash), Tori Sleep (discus, shot put), Shawnea Harrington (discus, shot put) and Anissa Warner (high jump) were invited from the girls’ side.

Senior Garrett Michael (11th in shot put), senior Danna Hanks (10th in 100-meter hurdles) and freshman Kalina Smith (11th 100-meter hurdles) all sit on the cusp of qualifying to the Classic, and could attend should some athletes ahead of them drop out.

Panthers who choose to compete in Casper will stay overnight and compete again in the Kelly Walsh Invitational Saturday.

The rest of the Panther squad will be in Meeteetse on Saturday trying to build on the success they had in Lovell April 26.

Senior Zander Andreasen had four first-place finishes.

“Incredible,” said PHS head coach Scott Smith. “That many distance races with those quality times in such a short period. That will pay off greatly in a couple of weeks.”

The regional track meet in Lander is May 16-17, with state May 20-22 in Casper.

Freshman Kalina Smith is impressing as she expands her repertoire in her first season. Smith won two events, including the 200-meter dash in her first try at the event.

“She did a nice job in all of her events, especially running the 200 for the first time,” said coach Smith, who is not related to the young athlete. “She will improve greatly with experience in that race.”

Senior Brendon Phister ran the 800-meter race for the first time in his career in Lovell. He also qualified for state in the 300-meter hurdles.

“His 300 hurdles would have easily pre-quailfied and probably got him into the Classic except he hit the sixth hurdle so hard that he almost went to the ground,” Smith said.

Sophomore Anissa Warner, usually a high- and long-jump specialist, hit the track for a leg in the 4x400-meter relay.

“We always knew that she will be great in the jumps and adding some races will only maker her better,” Smith said.

The team will compete at the Cody Trackstravaganza May 10 before the postseason begins.

PHS celebrates Wyoming-bound athletes

Powell High School honored its pair of star throwers Wednedsay afternoon with a reception in the school’s library.

Seniors Garrett Lynch and Tori Sleep will continue their track careers at the University of Wyoming this fall.

Senior Zach Thompson, who will wrestle at Chadron State, was also in attendance.

Lynch and Thompson have already signed their letters of intent.

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