photo: Kemmerer’s Louis Failoni and Lukas Mathews take their first- and fourth-place spots, respectively, on the podium after the 1600-meter race at last week’s regional meet in Lander. The two had standout performances, with Failoni finishing first in the mile and second in the 3200-meter run — a race won by Mathews. (COURTESY PHOTO/Angela Failoni)
LANDER — The Kemmerer High School track team competed at the 2A Regional Track Meet last Friday and Saturday at Lander and experienced both the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat as nagging injuries resulted in a series of near misses for the squad. Overall the boys’ team placed fourth behind Lovell, Rocky Mountain and Big Piney. Their 66 points outdistanced fifth place Shoshoni by a mere 2 points. The girls’ team finished in eighth place, with the girls from Big Piney edging Lovell for the team title.
Lukas Mathews and Louis Failoni start the 1600-meter race during the regional meet in Lander last week. Failoni won the race and Mathews took fourth. (COURTESY PHOTO/Angela Failoni)
The day started with the boys’ shot put. Colton Rydstrom punched his ticket to the state meet with a sixth place throw of 43 feet 8 inches. Anthony Tibbetts finished in 10th place, just missing the state meet. Jeydon Boyd had a personal record throw of 39 feet even, but ended in 13th place. Freshman Quin Tibbetts also competed but did not place.
In the girls’ discus, freshman Callie Bosch had a great throw of 67 feet 3 inches but ended in 12th place. Charity Chamberlain and Cheyenne Ogle also threw but were unable to place. Kaylee Hagler competed in the high jump but didn’t place. In the boys’ triple jump, Tanner Plowman finished in 10th place, just one spot from reaching the finals of the event.
In the first running event of the day, the 800-meter dash, Louis Failoni tripped up at the 200-meter mark, but recovered to place fourth with a season-best time of 2 minutes 4.68 seconds, just two-tenths of a second short of his personal record. Lukas Mathews placed fifth with a personal best time of 2:05.28. John Caugherty and Bryce Klenk competed but did not place in the event. Freshman Teryn Thatcher ran her personal record time of 2:41.58 in the 800-meter dash to place fourth for the girls and earn her spot at the state meet.
Brooklyn Hagler made the state meet in both hurdle events by placing fifth in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 18.45 seconds, and seventh in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 52.84 seconds in the preliminaries. Connor Bateman ran a near-personal-record time of 18.18 seconds in the 100-meter hurdles, but finished in 10th place. His personal record time of 44.14 seconds in the 300-meter hurdle preliminaries launched him into the state meet in seventh place. Gavin Julander competed in the 300-meter hurdles but did not place.
In the 100-meter dash, Katie Zuniga ran a personal record time of 14.01 seconds, but ended in 12th place. Zuniga also ran a personal best in the 200-meter dash at 29.12 seconds but did not place. Thatcher had a personal best in the same event at 29.62 seconds, but also did not place. Kaylee Hagler competed in both events but did not place.
For the boys, JT Van Der Zalm, Cameron Adams, Michael Grimes, Merrick Cooper, Cyrus Skidmore, Thomas Archibald and Michael Kahre competed in the sprints but did not place.
In the 3200-meter run, Lukas Mathews battled through the hottest part of the day to place first with a time of 10 minutes 50.61 seconds. Louis Failoni placed second. The two runners are the predicted favorites heading into the state meet.
The boys 4x100-meter relay team of Adams, Plowman, Julander and Van Der Zalm ended the day by qualifying for the state meet with their fourth-place time of 48.90 seconds.
Saturday started with Gavin Julander and John Caugherty both pole-vaulting for personal records and placing sixth and seventh, respectively, with vaults of 10 feet even and 9 feet even. Both boys are headed to the state meet in the event.
In the boys’ high jump, Connor Batemen cleared 5 feet 8 inches to tie for seventh and make the state meet in his second event. JT Van Der Zalm found himself in 10th place and out of the event. Cameron Adams competed but did not place in the event.
The long jump saw Tanner Plowman narrowly miss qualification by finishing in ninth place. Michael Kahre competed but did not place in the same event. The same fate derailed Colton Rydstrom in the boys’ discus. He had a good toss of 114 feet 11 inches but finished in ninth place. Jeydon Boyd threw a personal record of 106-4 but finished in 13th place. Anthony Tibbetts was close behind Boyd, and Quin Tibbetts threw a personal record 91-6, but neither one of the boys placed.
Teryn Thatcher had a good day in the triple jump, qualifying for her second state event by finishing third with a leap of 32 feet 6.5 inches. In the discus, freshman Callie Bosch hurled a personal record 27 feet 10.5 inches but finished in ninth place. Cheyenne Ogle was close behind with her personal record 27-6.5 throw and Charity Chamberlain was less than an inch shy of her personal record, but neither made it to state.
Good news came for the Rangers in the form of the 4x800-meter relay as both the boys’ and girls’ squads qualified for state in the event. The girls’ team of Chamberlain, Brooklyn Hagler, Thatcher and Zuniga placed fourth with a time of 11:49.71. The boys’ team of Mathews, Vineyard, Caugherty and Failoni placed third with a time of 8:57.99.
In the mile, Failoni battled the windy track to outrun the pack and finish first with a time of 4 minutes 50.16 seconds. Matthews placed fourth in the same event. Sammi Butler, the outstanding freshman for the girls’ team, was unable to compete at regionals due to a foot injury and will not compete in the state mile despite her prequalification.
To end the day, the boys’ 4x400-meter relay team of Julander, Caugherty, Plowman and Van Der Zalm finished in seventh place with a time of 3:53.40.
The Rangers head to Casper for the three-day state meet that starts on Thursday, May 18, at 11 a.m. The first event, the 3200-meter run, should be an exciting one for Ranger fans as Mathews and Failoni hold the top two seeds in the event.