A season in which the Panthers boys’ track team relied on depth in distance and field events finished with a podium finish, as Powell finished comfortably in third place at the Wyoming State …
A season in which the Panthers boys’ track team relied on depth in distance and field events finished with a podium finish, as Powell finished comfortably in third place at the Wyoming State Track and Field Championships in Casper this past weekend.
“The boys had a great season and getting third with the late season injuries we had at the last two meets was a great result,” Panthers Head Track Coach Scott Smith said.
Smith said that Lander, who earned the team title, returned some athletes who were missing before the state championships, which helped push the Tigers to a team title.
Smith said he is unsure how much of a difference it would have made had the Panthers been at full strength, but he believes it would have tightened up the race between Powell, Mountain View and Lander.
The Panthers main point getters were the throwing events – a group that has helped them win numerous meets throughout the season.
Leading the way in shot put was a trio of seniors: Toran Graham, Sheldon Shoopman and Lane Shramek.
Graham placed second overall in the shot put with a throw of 52 feet, 6 inches; Shoopman placed behind him in third with a throw of 49 feet, 4 3/4 inches; and Shramek placed in fourth with a throw of 47 feet, 5 1/2 inches.
The Panthers only had two throwers in the discus. Sheldon Shoopman placed second with a throw of 143 feet, 7 inches, and Graham placed fourth with a throw of 133 feet, 10 inches.
Another event in which the Panthers had strong depth proved to be the triple jump, as the Panthers took three of the top eight spots.
Senior Dylan Escalante led the way in fifth place, jumping 40 feet, 4 1/2 inches; freshman Cody Seifert placed behind him in sixth with a jump of 40 feet, 1 1/2 inches, and senior Zach Ratcliff placed eighth with a leap of 39 feet, 7 inches.
The Panthers also had two placers in the 110 meter hurdles, as sophomore Stuart Shoopman placed sixth with a time of 16.98 and junior Hyrum Jeide placed eighth with a time of 17.20.
“The boys’ team was not as deep across as our girls were, but when you can put events like the triple jump and the shot put with three placers, and discus and 110 hurdles with two placers, it adds up just as well,” Smith said.
In the distance races, junior Daniel Merritt placed strong in all three races. He placed second in the 1600 meters with a season best time of 4:28.93; third in the 3200 meters with a time of 10:20.96; and sixth in the 800 meters with a time of 2:01.87.
Merritt’s time in the 1600 broke a school record that was set 30 years ago by Chris Large.
Ratcliff also added a strong second place finish in the long jump, finishing with a season best leap of 20 feet, 6 3/4 inches.
Senior Eli Weimer placed seventh in the high jump as he cleared 5 feet, 10 inches. Sophomore Jeremy Harms tied for eighth place in pole vault as he cleared 11 feet.
The 4x800 relay of seniors Ben Whitlock and Ethan Bartholomew along with juniors Jace Hyde and Merritt placed fifth with a time of 8:51.87.
The Panthers graduate significant talent from this year’s placers.
Out of the 75.50 points the Panthers scored, 42 individual points are going to be lost to graduation in Graham, Sheldon Shoopman, Shramek, Ratcliff, Escalante and Weimer.
The Panthers will also lose Bartholomew and Whitlock on the only qualified relay team to state.
Despite those losses, Smith feels that the Panthers will bring back a strong core next year in addition to a strong eighth-grade class coming up from Powell Middle School.
STATE TRACK MEET
^ Denotes preliminary mark
Team scores: 1. Lander 98, 2. Mountain View 88.50, 3. Powell 75.50, 4. Torrington 61, 5. Worland 55, 6. Wheatland 54, 7. Lovell 52, 8. Rawlins 51, 9. Douglas 48.50, 10. Burns 47, 11. Buffalo 24, 12. Kemmerer 23, 13. Lyman 20.50, 14. Pinedale 2, 15. Thermopolis 1
800 meters: 6. Daniel Merritt 2:01.87
1600 meters: 2. Daniel Merritt 4:28.93
3200 meters: 3. Daniel Merritt 10:20.96
110 meter hurdles: 6. Stuart Shoopman 16.98, 8. Hyrum Jeide 17.20, 9. Simon Shoopman 17.10^, 10. Eli Weimer 17.47^
4x800 meter relay: 5. Ethan Bartholomew, Ben Whitlock, Jace Hyde and Daniel Merritt 8:51.87
High jump: 7. Eli Weimer 5’, 10”, 9. Jace Hyde 5’, 8”
Pole vault: T8. Jeremy Harms 11’
Long jump: 2. Zach Ratcliff 20’, 6 3/4”
Triple jump: 5. Dylan Escalante 40’, 4 1/2”, 6. Cody Seifert 40’, 1 1/2”, 8. Zach Ratcliff 39’, 7”
Shot put: 2. Toran Graham 52’, 6”, 3. Sheldon Shoopman 49’, 4 3/4”, 4. Lane Shramek 47’, 5 1/2”, 13. Sam Belmont 42’, 3 1/2”
Discus: 2. Sheldon Shoopman 143’, 7”, 4. Toran Graham 133’, 10”