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

By Alex Kuhn
Sports Editor 

Excitement building around Ten Sleep track team


March 21, 2018

TEN SLEEP - As one of the smaller schools in 1A, Ten Sleep track and field coach Desiree Egger is used to getting one or the other, in terms of the athletes she has out for the team. It's either mostly girls with one to two boys or vice versa. Egger won't have to worry about having either/or because for the 2018 season, Ten Sleep has 12 athletes out, six boys and six girls.

"I can't even remember having six boys in my tenure here," said Egger.

Last year the Lady Pioneers finished third at the 1A State meet, which was all the more impressive by the fact that they placed with just seven athletes.

For 2018, only one member of last season's team returns, Kelli Holiday, 1A's defending champion in the 400-meter, 800-meter, 1,600-meter and 3,200-meter.

Having so many new team members, Egger has not set specific team goals, like bettering their third-place finish from last year, just yet. Instead, she will let her athletes feel things out in the early parts of the season. Then once they feel comfortable with their events, that is when team goals will come into play.

"I've put all my eggs in the basket and it didn't pan out like I would have liked. We have big plans and they're more in the back of our minds, for now. We'll see how things go for us during this beginning part of the season.

"Not a lot of team's go through the kind of turnover we have, we have one girl coming back from last year. But the cool thing for us is we have girls out this season who have just as much potential. We're looking at our state options because we have faith in those girls and their abilities. And there's a little pressure there but it's from them because they know they can do well," Egger said.

She addd, "We have good young talent, Lindsey [Holliday] and Elizabeth [Lungren] will do good things for us this season. Kinley [Erickson] has made it to state in sprints. There's potential there but you just don't want to put the cart before the horse."

Bringing home hardware last year also played a role in the Lady Pioneers ability to restock for '18.

"I think it had an impact for sure. It helps to talk up those achievements of being a third-place team at state when a lot of our kids haven't achieved that before," said Egger.

The potential for the Lady Pioneers is high but the Pioneers also have the talent to put the program on the map. Returning for the Pioneers are Zayne Cooper and Zane Taylor, both of whom qualified for the state meet last season.

"We have six kids with potential. Bo [Nichols], coming in as a freshman, we've been looking forward to for a while. He can run and jump and we'll find events where he can have the most success. Zayne Cooper, if we can get his shin splits figured out, he's good and they added that 1,600 medley relay this year. To put together a boys relay team is huge for us, and be competitive in it at that. Zane Taylor and Corey [Rice] will be good throwers. So we have runners, throwers and jumpers, I don't think we've had this versatile of a boys team in at least 10 years," said Egger.

Practice for Ten Sleep started on March 12 and in the lead up for their meet at Greybull High School this Saturday, Egger has put a focus on conditioning for the first two weeks of practice.

"Right now it's about getting them into track shape. Some of them did basketball but a lot of them didn't. Track is a bit different and we're working on getting them into shape. We're looking forward to Greybull to see which events they'll do best in. The first week is always interesting we're not in event-mode just yet," said Egger.

Along with waiting to set team goals, Egger is taking the same approach with individual goals. Opening the season in Greybull, Egger wants her athletes to perform to their best abilities and once the meet has concluded set their goals from there.

"We'll ask them what their goals are and may even wait after Greybull. That way they can see what they did and we can go from there. So this meet won't be about me setting a goal for them but them looking at their performance and setting a goal for themselves.

"We're going to be able to cover different events, we've been girls-heavy these last few years and 10 years ago we were boy-heavy. It will be fun to put a full package together. I'm looking forward to the season and excited to see what these 12 kids can do," said Egger.


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