Northern Wyoming Daily News - Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

By Alex Kuhn
Sports Editor 

A great season to be a Warrior

2017 Worland track and field continues to grow


June 7, 2017

COURTESY/ Shaun Nicklas

Warrior Brad Lyman clears the bar in the high jump during the 3A East regional meet in Thermopolis on May 13 at Hot Springs County High School.

WORLAND — Since taking over as the head coach of the Worland High School track and field program in 2016 one of Tracey Wiley’s goals was to grow the program.

In 2016 Wiley had around 35 athletes, this season Wiley saw those numbers grow with 55 athletes running, jumping or throwing for WHS.

Along with the boost in numbers the Worland track and field team had another strong season. Porter Harman (1,600, 3,200) and Lyndzi Rich (discus) were regional champions. Five athletes earned 3A East All-Conference honors by finishing in the top two at the 3A East regional meet in Thermopolis; those athletes being Josh Garza (pole vault), Harman (1,600, 3,200), Brad Lyman (high jump), Cody Newell (300 hurdles) and Rich (discus).

At the 3A state meet, Lyman was the only Warrior to earn All-State honors after finishing second in the high jump.

Also at state sophomore Porter Harman finished fourth in both the 1,600 and 3,200.The Lady Warrior throwers of Mariah Alcaraz, Alex Caballero and Lyndzi Rich had a strong outing in both the discus and shot put. Alcaraz was fifth in the shot put and 16th in the discus; Caballero 11th in the shot put and 13th in the discus; Rich fourth in the discus and seventh in the shot put.

Newell ended his Worland track career with a seventh-place finish in the 300 hurdles. Newell was poised to finish second before clipping the final hurdle; still the senior was able to stay determined and cross the finish line.

The Lady Warriors 4x100 relay team of Kylah Mills, Kylie Woffinden, Julie Seidel and Sierra Borovatz finished fifth. The finish allowed for the team to podium while sending their two seniors, Borovatz and Woffinden, off on a high note.

The Warriors 4x100 team of Blaine Kroger, Stone Ramos, Hayden Lambeth and Cody Newell podiumed by finishing in eighth-place.

Next year’s WHS team looks to have a strong core returning with the likes of Maclin Wiley, Garza and Rachel Drake, to name a few, all three state competitors.

“Maclin has been on the podium his freshman and sophomore years. The one he threw out of bounds would have put him on the podium, so that was heartbreaking. He said that he choked and that he’s going to get it next year,” said Wiley. “Josh didn’t jump as high as he had been. His goal is 13-3 and I know he can get there next year. Hopefully, there won’t be any injuries in football because I do think that set him back some with his training and conditioning.”

After setting a personal record at the regional meet to tie for eighth and advance to state, Drake, a sophomore, set another personal record by clearing 7 feet.

“Every meet she’d set a goal for herself and at state the opening height was 7 foot. Which was something new for us because at other meets it was lower. At first she was like ‘oh my gosh’ but she went out, persevered and got it. It was a good way for her to end the season being able to get that only being a sophomore. We’re really looking to see what she can do in the pole vault next year,” said Wiley.

Losing 12 seniors to graduation is tough but Wiley is excited for the incoming freshmen and what they will bring next year.

“We lose 12 seniors and not all of them have been a part of the program all four years but it’s still hard to see them go. The eighth-grade group coming up has done pretty well and there are a lot of them. We started the season with 63 and ended with 55, so we want to keep growing that number,” said Wiley.

Increasing the number of athletes not only helps the program with strong internal competition but will also allow for Worland to maximize their point potential at the regional and state meets.

“We didn’t take everyone to regionals but that’s because we were full in certain events,” said Wiley. “We did have some open events. I discussed with the kids about filling those events in the season and next season that’s something I need to be better at, getting the kids in those events open events.”

Wiley continued, “That’s the reason Star Valley runs away with it at state, don’t take me wrong they are talented but they also fill every event. It’s all a numbers game. So that’s my goal to fill all 17 events with four athletes and that way we’re not leaving as many athletes at home.”

Boosting the numbers along with watching her athletes succeed in rain, wind or snow, and sometimes all three, were the most memorable moments of the 2017 season for Wiley.

“Getting the numbers up and having 20 more kids out was great. The enthusiasm and the great things we did each meet. Seeing the kids compete in whatever weather condition,” said Wiley. “We were pretty fortunate all year with the weather then to have that hit us at state, the kids never even blinked an eye and were just competitors. Porter Harman had a 13-second PR (personal record) in the two-mile, who does that under those conditions? It was unbelievable.”

Next year’s goals will be the same for Wiley, continue the upward trend of participation, take a shot at some championships and keep building the pride in the program.

“The goal next year is to have 70 kids or more. We upped this year and we want to keep that going. We’ll continue to aim for a regional and state championship, but to do that you have to have the numbers.

Wiley added, “As Saige Jones said ‘it’s a great day to be a Warrior,’ the pride these kids have for their school and the track program is second to none.”


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