Rangers 20th, Lady Rangers 24th at Alpha Invite

Last year’s KHS track and field school record breakers gather for a photo prior to the start of the 2023 season. From left: Ella Thatcher, Natasha Martinez, Kiera Heiner, Owen Burnett, Laynee Walker, Tyler Thatcher and Jolee Swasey. (COURTESY PHOTO/Bobbee Rudy)

Burnett wins 3200 meters; Walker 7th in pole vault

After weeks of indoor training and canceled meets, the Kemmerer High School track and field teams finally had the opportunity to compete outdoors over the weekend, taking part in the 2023 Alpha Invitational in Orem, Utah.

The Rangers placed 20th in the 30-team field, while the Lady Rangers placed 24th. Owen Burnett was the Rangers’ top finisher, winning the 3200 meters in a time of 9:33.25, while Laynee Walker was the top finisher for the girls, placing seventh in the pole vault, clearing a height of 8 feet, 6 inches.

“I thought things went pretty well for us, considering,” said KHS head coach Phil Thatcher. “We ended up with eight individuals who qualified in 11 events for state, so that was a great way to start the season. But it was just really good to get the kids on an actual track and an actual pit — have them get actual marks and start getting an idea of what they need to work on, besides just trying to get into shape, some technique stuff, things like that.”

With everyone on the western side of the state waking up to over a foot of snow Monday morning, it’s anyone’s guess when the KHS track teams will be able to compete again, though meets are tentatively scheduled for April 12 in Evanston, April 14 in Roosevelt, Utah and April 15 in Rock Springs.

“We’ll see what happens — the Rock Springs meet might be our best bet, as far as what will still be available to us,” Thatcher said. “They were pretty clear before this storm, and hopefully, they didn’t get as much as we got. But I’m hoping by the 15th, they’re still planning on doing theirs.”


Kemmerer senior Owen Burnett had a solid first meet of the outdoor season, winning the 3200 meters (9:33.25), and finishing sixth in the 1600 meters, posting a time of 4:26.49; the defending 3A state champion in both events also ran a leg in the 4x400 relay — along with teammates Hunter Burnett, Mason Riding and Skylar Rogers — finishing 10th in a time of 3:41.93.

“Owen had some really fast times down there — it was good for him to get out there and run that,” Thatcher said. “He’s been doing indoor track — and had good competition — but it’s different on the outdoor one. Our 4x400 relay also qualified for state, so that was good to get those boys a good step forward.”

Other notable performances on the boys’ side included Hunter Burnett in the 300 hurdles (23rd, 44.37) and the 110 hurdles (41st, 19.34), Landon Heaps in the discus (25th, 104 feet, 10 inches), Bryson McGill in the high jump (31st, 5 feet, 2 inches), Skylar Rogers in the long jump (34th, 18 feet, 8.5 inches) and Mason Riding in the 400 meters (47th, 56.71).

Lady Rangers

On the girls’ side, Laynee Walker qualified for state in all three of her individual events, placing seventh in the pole vault (8 feet, 6 inches), and 26th in both the 100 hurdles (18.10) and 300 hurdles (51.40).

“Laynee Walker had a great day — she qualified in the 100 hurdles, the 300 hurdles and the pole vault,” Thatcher said. “Tyler Thatcher also qualified in the pole vault, so it was a good opening weekend, and the kids were just happy to be in no snow for a change.”

Lady Ranger senior Keira Heiner set a PR in the 400, finishing 11th, with a time of 1:00.78. Heiner also qualified for state in the 200 meters (19th, 27.65), and the long jump (12th, 15 feet, 10 inches), an event she competed in for the first time on Saturday.

“Keira also qualified for state in the 400 with a PR, so that was great for her,” Thatcher said. “She also qualified in the 200, as well as the long jump, something she’s never tried until this meet, so that was very exciting for her.”

The girls 4x100 relay team of Walker, Heiner, Jolee Swasey and Tyler Thatcher qualified for state, placing seventh, with a time of 52.68.

“The girls did pretty well — the 4x100 relay struggled a bit with their handoffs, but they just powered through it,” Thatcher said.

Other notable performances on the boys’ side included Nadia Runnion in the discus (8th place, 90 feet, 1 inch), Kylie Price in the shot put (25th, 28 feet, 8 inches) and Jolee Swasey in the 100 meters (23rd, 13.38).

Alpha Invitational

Girls Results

100 Meter Dash

23. Jolee Swasey 13.38, 103. Olivia Preshaw 15.06, 108. Laranda Waldner 15.18, 110. Hadlee Wood 15.31

200 Meter Dash

19. Keira Heiner 27.65, 42. Jolee Swasey 28.84, 91. Olivia Preshaw 31.90

400 Meter Run

11. Keira Heiner 1:00.78

800 Meter Run

49. Tyler Thatcher 2:42.90

100 Meter Hurdles

26. Laynee Walker 18.10

300 Meter Hurdles

26. Laynee Walker 51.40

4x100 Relay

7. Jolee Swasey, Laynee Walker, Tyler Thatcher, Keira Heiner 52.68

Long Jump

12. Keira Heiner 15’10”, 25. Jolee Swasey 14’10”, 45. Olivia Preshaw 13’1.5”

Pole Vault

7. Laynee Walker 8’6”, 9. Tyler Thatcher 7’6”

Shot Put

25. Kylie Price 28’8”, 40. Hadlee Wood 25’3.25”, 46. Nadia Runnion 22’3.5”, 49. Cambree Dearden 21’8.5”, 55. Janae Skidmore 18’3.75”

Discus Throw

8. Nadia Runnion 90’1”, 20. Kylie Price 78’1”, 36. Cambree Dearden 68’7”, 48. Janae Skidmore 48’10”

Boys Results

100 Meter Dash

92. Skylar Rogers 12.37, 94. Landon Heaps 12.40, 133. Austin Ruvalcaba 13.45

200 Meter Dash

75. Skylar Rogers 25.35, 82. Landon Heaps 25.70, 104. Bryson McGill 27.42, 108. Austin Ruvalcaba 27.59

400 Meter Run

47. Mason Riding 56.71, 59. Austin Ruvalcaba 1:00.75, 64. Bryson McGill 1:03.56

800 Meter Run

77. Bowman Sandall 2:35.67, 78. Jacob Platt 2:37.93, 80. Jayce Winkler 2:43.16, 81. Gabe Platt 3:17.88

1600 Meter Run

6. Owen Burnett 4:26.49, 127. Bowman Sandall 5:32.72, 132. Jacob Platt 5:42.69, 136. Jayce Winkler 6:15.81, 137. Gabe Platt 7:14.91

3200 Meter Run

1. Owen Burnett 9:33.25,

110 Meter Hurdles

41. Hunter Burnett 19.34

300 Meter Hurdles

23. Hunter Burnett 44.37

4x400 Relay

10. Owen Burnett, Hunter Burnett, Mason Riding, Skylar Rogers 3:41.93

4x800 Relay

17. Mason Riding, Malachi Villarreal, Jayce Winkler, Bowman Sandall 9:47.81

High Jump

31. Bryson McGill 5’2”

Long Jump

34. Skylar Rogers 18’8.5”

Shot Put

44. Landon Heaps 32’10.25”,

Discus Throw

25. Landon Heaps 104’10”