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2017 YEAR IN REVIEW: PHS track and field battled weather to bring home 22 medals at state

Track and field athletes competed in snow, wind and, eventually, sunshine in Casper. Powell High School freshman Jay Cox receives the handoff from sophmore Alan Merritt during the 4x800 meter relay at the state track meet in Casper May 18th. The relay team finished seventh with a time of 8:56.22. Track and field athletes competed in snow, wind and, eventually, sunshine in Casper. Powell High School freshman Jay Cox receives the handoff from sophmore Alan Merritt during the 4x800 meter relay at the state track meet in Casper May 18th. The relay team finished seventh with a time of 8:56.22. Tribune file photo by Mark Davis

The Powell High School tracksters battled the weather at the state track meet in Casper, bringing home 22 medals. To medal, one has to place in the top eight in the respective event.

JuliaKay O’Neill earned All-State honors with her runner-up finishes in the 400 meter dash and 800 meter run.

Among the 16 teams who competed at the state tournament, the Panthers finished sixth and the Lady Panthers finished ninth.

“This is about as bad a state tournament I’ve been at weather wise,” said PHS head coach Scott Smith. In his 25 years of coaching track, this was the first time he could remember events being rescheduled to another day instead of just delayed.

For the original schedule for the first day of the meet, four running events and 18 field events were scheduled, but in the end, only two races were held ­— the 3200 meter run and the 4x800 meter relay.

“It was a lot of fun,” Smith added. “I thought our kids competed really well, both in the bad weather and then when it got nicer, they did a nice job there, too.”