Encampment High School’s track team may have been short by quite a few athletes because of a conflict with another school activity, but the seven athletes who attended the meet Friday in Casper brought home plenty of glory for the school.
According to the team’s coach, Kegan Willford, only seven of the team’s 18 athletes could travel to Casper this weekend because of a conflict with the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) convention that was attended by many of the team’s athletes. Despite the scant attendance, Wilford said the team has done well during its two outings so far, and he is seeing athletes meet the goals they and he are setting.
Senior McKenzie Powell pre-qualified for state finals on both the 1-mile and 800-meter runs. Powell placed second overall in both events, and her mile time of 5:41.10 beat Encampment High School’s record by 17 seconds, Willford said.
Another trackster from the Encampment girls’ team, Hailey Barkhurst, also pre-qualified for state with her 102’6” discus throw, a distance good for ninth place at the meet.
Freshman Reid Schroeder completed the 1-mile run in 4:54, a time that earned him a sixth place finish at the meet, and pre-qualified him for state finals.
“We didn’t have the numbers of students we were hoping for, but for the kids that went I thought we did pretty well overall,” Willford said. “It looks like everyone is improving on their marks either by a wide margin or a slim margin.”
Consistent improvement, even if it is slight, is the key to success Willford added, saying that seeing improvement is his personal goal for the team. “If it’s a large margin or a small margin, I think we’re heading in the right direction,” Willford said.
The teams next meet is in Rawlins Friday, and Willford is hopeful his entire team will be able to compete. If so, it will be the first time this season the entire team will have turned out for a meet.
At the team’s inaugural event, the Glen Legler Invite in Casper, which was held two weeks ago, 14 of the team’s 18 athletes attended.
By having the entire team present at a meet that is still early in the season, he hopes he will be able to see all the athletes—some of whom are in track and field for the first time this year—in action, see their improvements and figure out their individual strengths.
Willford said he hopes to be able to come up with some relay teams to bring even more wins home to Encampment.
The Encampment Tigers have a busy weekend coming up, with Friday’s meet in Rawlins and another Saturday in Wheatland.
“I’m excited to see how some of these individuals can progress toward their goals,” Willford said.