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By Alex Kuhn
Sports Editor 

Worland Track brings home plenty of medals from state meet


May 23, 2018

COURTESY/ F.E. Whiting/ Buffalo Bulletin

Warrior Jaden Mickelson clears a hurdle during the 300-meter hurdles at the 3A State track and field meet at Kelly Walsh High School in Casper.

Worland Track brings home plenty of medals from state meet


Sports Editor

WORLAND - The early goings of the 2018 track and field season were spoiled by weather, and in a fitting measure the season's final meet, the 3A State meet in Casper, had plenty of bad weather.

Still, with all the lousy weather at Kelly Walsh High School, the Worland athletes were able to endure and bring home some medals.

"I took 23 kids down to Casper and 19 of them brought home medals. Saturday under terrible conditions the kids still competed very well, I couldn't be more proud of the boys and girls that went to state," said WHS track and field coach Tracey Wiley.

Jaden Mickelson finished second in the triple jump, earning him All-State honors. Mickelson also finished eighth in the 110-hurdles. Jaden's sister, freshman McKenna Mickelson, earned herself a medal as well, taking eighth in the triple jump.

"Jaden got second in the triple jump an All-State certificate and a statue in the trophy case. David, my husband and our bus driver, said that Jaden made a point to thank him for driving him and the team around this season," said Wiley. "You don't have many kids that do that and that's a Jaden Mickelson, he is above and beyond a great kid, and so is McKenna."

Added Wiley about McKenna Mickelson, "McKenna was our high point scorer as a freshman this year. She got eighth in the triple jump and she and another girl were the only freshmen in the top eight. She ended the year with a two foot PR [personal record]. She's an athlete and I was very excited for her."

Other Worland athletes that podiumed Saturday were Porter Harman, fourth in the 1,600-meter run; Luke Mortimer seventh in the 110-meter hurdles and seventh in the 300-meter hurdles; Maclin Wiley third in the discus; and the sprint medley relay team of Chris Nichols, Tommy Eckert, Victor Olvera and Tyler Hasbany came in sixth.

Mortimer's performance in the 300-meter hurdles was one of the many impressive accomplishments by a Worland athlete at state and it also showed Wiley just how mentally tough some of her athletes are.

"In the finals for Luke it was a tight race all the way. In the terrible rainy conditions, he went over the hurdle and slipped as he was coming down. He about does the splits and I immediately thought he might have hurt himself but he got up and finished in seventh place. It speaks to the type of kid he his. Most kids would have got off the track but he buckled down and finished. I was so proud of him.

"He was our high point kid all year and only being a sophomore he's just going to get bigger, stronger and faster. I had coaches from other schools ask if he was a junior and I had to tell them he's only a sophomore," said Wiley.

The wet conditions at state affected the outcome of the 3A boys high jump, as six-foot wound up being the winning height.

"Luke and Andy [Deniz] had terrible weather conditions, just terrible, terrible and I know everyone has to compete under those conditions. But I'll tell you if it were under better conditions it would have been a whole different game," said Wiley. "Six foot won it and I feel bad for Luke and having terrible conditions at regionals and at state. If the weather were better I know, he would have been up on that podium."

The state meet marked the final competition for six Worland seniors, Pete Douzenis, Josh Garza, Saige Jones, Kylah Mills, Gabe Webster and Maclin Wiley. Along with the other Warrior and Lady Warrior seniors, each brought strong leadership skills and excellent work ethic to the team and will be greatly missed by Wiley and her staff.

"They worked hard all their years of track and I couldn't ask for better leadership from those six seniors. They led the team and they'll be hard to replace. It's always hard to see them go. I had parents come up to me and say we're going to miss the seniors' positive influence. That's what it is all about and every kid that's coming up, that's what they need to realize that other eyes are watching with parents and other coaches. To have that compliment with these seniors shows what a Class A group they are," said Wiley.

One of those senior leaders who showed great determination throughout their career was Saige Jones. Jones had been working toward making the state meet and just missed out in years past, but this year she broke through and went to state in the shot put and discus. Making the accomplishment even sweeter Jones brought home an eighth-place medal in the shot put.

"Saige being a senior and the athlete she is, I was so glad she got to be on the podium her senior year. We're going to miss seniors like her. She fought and battled and got up on that podium, I'm so proud of her.

"She was close to making state last year and in March of this year, I told her that she was going to make it to state in both her events and she did. She's a great competitor and she's going to go to Sheridan and play volleyball, that's her passion and she's going to do great things at the next level playing volleyball," said Wiley.

The Warriors and Lady Warriors returning for next season's campaign, like junior sprinter Chris Nicholas, will be out to improve on their state performances or make their first state meet.

"Chris was one of my fastest boy sprinters," said Wiley. "Only being a junior he was in some tough competition in the sprints. I was really proud of him getting to state in the 100. He's improved a lot this year and if he improves like that next year he'll be right up there again."

A strong eighth-grade group looks to bolster the Warrior and Lady Warrior ranks, giving both teams an even blend of experience and youth.

"Alexa [Cabellero] we got one more year, she's big and athletic and we're looking forward to seeing what she can do next year," said Wiley. "The girls are young and the eighth-grade group coming up is pretty big and we're looking forward to getting those athletes join the program."

Added Wiley, "I've enjoyed this group and they've persevered through the weather this season. I'm excited for next season and all they're going to do and just like Saige Jones said 'It's a great day to be a Warrior!'"

Results from the 3A State meet are as follows.


Triple Jump

8, McKenna Mickelson, 33-2.75.


6, Alexa Caballero, 106-2.

Shot Put

7, Alexa Caballero, 35-4.

8, Saige Jones, 34-9.5.



4, Porter Harman, 4:34.32.


3, Porter Harman, 10:07.34.

110-meter hurdles

7, Luke Mortimer, 42.89.

8, Jaden Mickelson, 17.45.

300-meter hurdles

7, Luke Mortimer, 42.89.

Sprint medley relay

6, Worland (Chris Nichols, Tommy Eckert, Victor Olvera, Tyler Hasbany), 3:52.04.

4x800-meter relay

6, Worland (Tyler Hasbany, Gabe Webster, Charles Rishel, Porter Harman), 8:42.20.

Triple jump

2, Jaden Mickelson, 41-0.75.


3, Maclin Wiley, 139-0.


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