Another dramatic finish backed by a true team effort sealed the third straight title for the Powell Panther girls’ track and field — earning 105.5 points and defeating Worland by 2.5 …
Another dramatic finish backed by a true team effort sealed the third straight title for the Powell Panther girls’ track and field — earning 105.5 points and defeating Worland by 2.5 points to secure the three-peat in Casper last weekend.
Just like last year when the team only won three total events, the Panthers did not have top heavy finishes this year.
“Some years teams are built around a few kids that win a lot of events,” coach Scott Smith said. “This team did it with depth. It really shows that we had a large number of girls that really came together and worked hard and improved a lot every week to get to this point.”
The team had two event wins, as Sydney Spomer broke a more than 30-year-old school record with a leap of 36 feet, 3 1/2 inches.
The previous record of 36-0 was set by Jessica Barlow in 1992.
Spomer was not alone in the triple jump scoring, joined by Ine Kollstad just behind her in second place (35-10) and Waycee Harvey in fifth (35-2 1/2).
“The triple jump was huge,” Smith said. “We hadn’t had a girl over 35 feet all year and to get three of them was crazy. Sydney hitting that huge personal best was incredible to watch. Any time you win a championship it is great, but to do it that way and break a very long-standing school record is phenomenal.”
The Panthers’ other victory came in the 4x800 relay, where the team of Kinley Cooley, Kenna Jacobsen, Megan Jacobsen and Anna Bartholomew won by 12 seconds over the nearest competitors with a time of 9:58.91.
Second place finishes came from Addy Thorington in the high jump (5-2), Kollstad in the long jump (16-9 1/2) and the 1600 sprint medley relay team of Kami Jensen, Kollstad, Audrey Johnson and Megan Jacobsen (4:20.95).
Powell’s only third place finish came from Lauryn Bennett in the pole vault (9-6).
Despite these top finishes the Panthers were in a battle for the team title with Worland, who stormed back on the final day thanks to a deep sprinting core that made it a tight team battle heading into the 4x400.
Unlike last year where the Panthers had to score a certain amount to pass a team ahead of them, Powell just had to not allow Worland to finish too far ahead of them to overcome the 4.5-point gap heading into the race.
Worland came in second in the race, but the team of Johnson, the Jacobsen sisters and Bartholomew came in third (4:11.73) to earn enough points to hold off the charging Warriors.
“We always like to load up that relay to be able to close strong,” Smith said. “Sometimes, like with our boys, it doesn’t map out that way — but it sure feels good in a tight race to know you have four kids you can count on to do whatever it takes.”
Overall Powell had 11 athletes earn points in individual events and placed in the top seven in all four relays — including scoring in every event the Panthers had an athlete compete except for the 100 meter hurdles.
The title was the third in a row for the Panthers, who had not won a team title since 1992 prior to this current streak.
Powell has earned five track titles in school history.
After securing a third team title in a row, the Panthers will lose significant points from this year’s edition of the roster, but that has not deterred Smith’s hopes for next year’s team looking to compete for a fourth title in a row.
“(The) Worland girls get everyone back and we lose some great kids, but we have a lot coming back to have a great nucleus to start with,” Smith said. “We may be underdogs but with this core coming back I feel confident that we can make a lot of noise at state next season.”
Powell will lose 39 individual points from this year’s seniors, as well as three relay spots on the 4x100 relay and medley relay, and two relay spots on both the 4x400 and 4x800.
The 105.5 points are the most scored by the Panthers in their run of titles, just ahead of the 105 scored in 2021 and 96 scored last year.
p denotes preliminary time
Team scores: 1. Powell 105.5, 2. Worland 103, 3. Lander 85, 4. Rawlins 84, 5. Torrington 63, 6. Wheatland 55, 7. Buffalo 50, T8. Pinedale and Mountain View 46.5, 10. Lovell 22, 11. Lyman 17, 12. Moorcroft 10, 13. Glenrock 7.5, 14. Thermopolis 4, 15. Douglas 3
200 meters: 7. Waycee Harvey 26.78
400 meters: 4. Waycee Harvey 58.9, 6. Anna Bartholomew 59.72, 11. Audrey Johnson 1:02.26p
800 meters: 4. Anna Bartholomew 2:22.07, 7. Megan Jacobsen 2:22.96, 12. Kenna Jacobsen 2:29.11
1600 meters: 7. Kinley Cooley 5:37.08, 9. Kenna Jacobsen 5:37.98, 10. Myah Rakness 5:45.36
3200 meters: 6. Kinley Cooley 12:20.11, 11. Melissa Merritt 12:47.06, 12. Shelby Zickefoose 12:47.13, 13. Myah Rakness 12:54.93
100 meter hurdles: 14. Kami Jensen 17.3p, 15. Addy Thorington 17.72p
4x100 relay: 7. Kami Jensen, Audrey Johnson, Ine Kollstad and Sydney Spomer 51.66
4x400 relay: 3. Audrey Johnson, Kenna Jacobsen, Megan Jacobsen and Anna Bartholomew 4:11.73
4x800 relay: 1. Kinley Cooley, Kenna Jacobsen, Megan Jacobsen and Anna Bartholomew 9:58.91
1600 sprint medley: 2. Kami Jensen, Ine Kollstad, Audrey Johnson and Megan Jacobsen 4:20.95
High jump: 2. Addy Thorington 5-2, T8. Charity Siggins 4-8, T11. Blake Nissen 4-6
Pole vault: 3. Lauryn Bennett 9-6, T12. Kami Jensen 8-0
Long jump: 2. Ine Kollstad 16-9 1/2, 4. Waycee Harvey 16-8
Triple jump: 1. Sydney Spomer 36-3 1/2, 2. Ine Kollstad 35-10, 5. Waycee Harvey 35-2 1/2, 9. Catelynn Floy 32-6 1/2
Shot put: 6. Grace Coombs 35-6 1/2, 7. Katie O’Brien 35-5
Discus: 6. Katie O’Brien 114-5, 9. Grace Coombs 110-7