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Worland track and field season underway this Saturday in Wind River

WORLAND - The Wyoming outdoor track and field season gets underway this weekend and for the Worland High School Warriors and Lady Warriors they will start the season at Wind River High School in Pavillion.

It's a little closer and we weren't sure about the weather, so we thought we'd try Wind River out this year," said WHS track and field coach Tracey Wiley.

For the first meet of the season, Wiley will take around 60 of her 72 athletes to Wind River, with some missing the meet due to speech and debate commitments.

Since taking over in 2016, having 72 athletes continues Wiley's trend of growing the WHS track and field program. Adding to that is the growth of the Lady Warriors team. During Wiley's first season she had around 18 out, last season it was 22 but in 2019 the Lady Warriors have a roster of 36.

"Having the number of kids that have been with me since I took over the program and the great senior leadership I have, we're really excited about this season," said Wiley when talking about the programs increased participation numbers. "The thing that's different this year is last year we had about 22 girls and this year we have about 36 girls out. We'll be able to put together some relays with those girls, and we have a lot of girls, especially our younger girls, that really like to run distance.

"Kait Wassum is out for track and I coached her in middle school, she's always been extremely fast and I'm excited to see her run. Julie Seidel is going to be fun to watch in her jumps and her sprints. Denali Jones is running the 400."

Wiley is also excited about the potential of her boys team as well. Led by a strong group of seniors, Andy Deniz, Tommy Eckert, Porter Harman, Joseph Keller, Chris Nicholas, Victor Olvera and Charles Rishel, the Warriors should score plenty of points this season.

"We've got a good group of throwers coming back and a good group of boy sprinters in the upper level. Then we've got a bunch of freshmen boys that are fast as well and I'm excited to see what they can do. All across the board, we've got a variety of kids trying a bunch of different things," said Wiley.

Wiley also believes a successful indoor track season helped athletes like Julie Seidel, Olvera and Keller, as they come into the outdoor season primed and ready to go.

Another positive for the Worland track is having a few athletes who will continue their track career at the collegiate level. Hallie Hunter signed her letter of intent last week to run for Dawson Community College in Glendive, Montana, and Rishel will run for Rocky Mountain College in the fall.

"Victor, Joseph and Julie, Julie kept improving with every meet in indoor. She'll be ready to go and it helped her a lot," said Wiley. "Hallie Hunter, when I watched her run the mile in strength training this fall it was just beautiful, just like a deer. She had a successful cross-country season and she's going on to college to run as well. Her and Charles, Porter will probably run as well, so we got some collegiate athletes on the team. That always helps with the training and have the younger kids watch them."