Laurel, Park City, and Columbus compete in Laurel Invite

By 
CONNOR WADDINGHAM
Outlook Sports Writer
Courtesy photo by Gloria Allwin. Laurel Junior Levi Taylor letting out a sigh of relief after one of his first place finishes in the Laurel Invite on April 10. He is now qualified for the state track and field meet for the 1600 and 3200 meter runs.

Courtesy photo by Gloria Allwin. Laurel Junior Levi Taylor letting out a sigh of relief after one of his first place finishes in the Laurel Invite on April 10. He is now qualified for the state track and field meet for the 1600 and 3200 meter runs.

After many cancelled track meets and snow storms in April, the Laurel, Park City, and Columbus track teams finally got to participate in another meet at the Laurel Sports Complex on Tuesday, April 10. Billings Senior and Sweet Grass also made the trip to Laurel for the meet. Laurel had two scheduled track meets cancelled, and also another re-rescheduled meet was cancelled in wake of the recent snow storms and not-so-fair weather. Neither team showed rust on their track or field skills, and all put up impressive times, per usual.

One athlete that the snow did not throw off was Levi Taylor. By now, you’ve most likely heard of Laurel’s latest track star and he put on another great performance Tuesday. After already qualifying for the state tournament in the 1600 meter run in his first tournament, Taylor fell short of his March 29 time by just one second. He placed first in the 1600, and also took first place in the 3200 meter run, winning by over 45 seconds, and improving on his first meet time by seven seconds as well, with a time of 10:08.24. He also qualified for the state tournament with this time in the 3200, so he will be going to state for the 1600 and 3200 meter runs.

In the 100 meter dash, Laurel saw a current and former sprinter place in the top six. Erik Holstein of Laurel placed fifth and Island Lucas of Billings Senior, who used to attend Laurel, placed right behind Holstein. Park City’s highest placing sprinter, Garrett Zimdars, placed third place in the 200 meter dash. 

Placing behind Taylor in the 3200 meter run were two of his teammates, Draven Earles and Anthony VanBallegooyen, came in fifth and sixth respectively.

In the 110 meter hurdles, the top six was plagued with Locomotives, Panthers and Cougars. Laurel’s Chris Abell came in second and after him followed Colt Spencer of Laurel, Michael Jacobson and Kaden Zeigler of Columbus, and Eli Larson of Park City came in sixth. The 300 meter hurdles also featured some of the same names; Abell again taking second, Jacobson in third, Spencer in fourth, and Zeigler coming in sixth.

In the relays, Laurel came in second to Billings Senior in both the 4x100 and 4x400. Columbus placed fourth in the 4x100 and also came in sixth in the 4x400.

The field events offered a good amount of success for the three teams. In the high jump, Park City’s Seth Popp tied for second place with a jump of 5-08. After him followed Colton Atkinson and Colter Bales from Laurel.

Colton Atkinson was another Laurel first place winner, and he took the crown in the pole vault, winning by a whole foot. In the long jump, sophomore Ethan Renner came in third, and Colter Bales came in fifth.

Park City’s Rylan Gauthier and Columbus’ Dylan Sutton placed second and third respectively in the boys triple jump. 

Three athletes from Laurel placed in the top six in the boys shot put; Kolter McLaughlin placing second, Ely Kraft taking fourth, and last weeks Athlete of the Week Jaren McNeil came in sixth. McNeil also came in fifth in the discus throw.

Ely Kraft continued to impress in the field events, taking second in the discus throw and fifth in the javelin throw. Logan Kennedy of Laurel came in second in the javelin, and Park City’s Devyn Shakley was right behind him in the third place slot.

The Panther, Loco, and Cougar girls teams were also very impressive in their respective events.

Right off the bat, Paige O’Toole placed first place in the 100 meter dash with a time of 13.64 seconds, and did not even do the event in the first meet. She didn’t stop there, she also came in first place with her relay team in the 4x100 meter relay, as well as the discus throw. RaiLeigh Strommen of Columbus placed behind O’Toole in the 100 meter dash, placing fifth, as well as coming in sixth in the 400 meter dash.

In the 200 meter dash, Laurel’s Aspen Cotter placed in second place, followed by Amber LeBrun of Columbus. In the 400, Laurel’s Morgan Maack and Sierra Branstetter came in third and fifth, respectively.

More Laurel girls showed up in the 800, 1600, and 3200 meter runs. Grace Timm, the star of the girl’s distance team, came in second in the 800 and third place in the 1600 meter run. Laurel’s Lizzie Wisecup placed fifth in the 800, and another Locomotive Andria Mourich came in fifth in the 1600 and 3200.

On to the hurdles, the only lady Panther to place in a track event was Alexis Goldy, who took fifth in the 100 meter hurdles. In the 300 meter hurdlers, two lady Locos showed up in the top six, Nikolle Shorey and Layne Algaard took fourth and sixth. As mentioned earlier, the Lady Loco 4x100 relay team came in first place. This team is made up of Aspen Cotter, Gracey Willis, Taylor Noble, and Paige O’Toole. The beat out Billings Senior by a split second, just 0.06 seconds. The Columbus team came in third after these two. This team is made of RaiLeigh Strommen, Brenna Rouane, Trista Teeters, and Amber LeBrun. Laurel’s relay team also placed second in the 4x400 meters. 

In the field, the Cougars did not have a top six finisher. These events were largely dominated by the Lady Locos, which had at least one girl place in every field event.

In the high jump, Laurel’s Danae Filpula-Ankey and Aspen Cotter came in third and fifth respectively. In the pole vault, Taylor Karlin and Emma Rawhouser of Laurel both tied for the sixth place spot.

The Laurel girls seemed to come into the meet with some bounce in their step, literally. In the long jump and triple jump, four of the top six were Locomotives. Starting with the long jump from second place and ending at fifth, the Locos had Taylor Noble, Gracey Willis, Sabrina Wolcott, and Aspen Cotter all very close knit in the middle of the standings. In the triple jump, Willis and Wolcott came in second and third, and Blakely Verke of Park City and Torri Craig of Laurel came in fifth and sixth respectively.

In the throwing events, freshman Teigan Harper from Laurel took fifth place. In the discus, as listed earlier, Paige O’Toole dominated the rest of the competition, out-throwing second place by well over 30 feet. Brittany Frank of Park City came in first in the javelin throw, winning by 23 feet, and also took third in the discus throw. Jessica LeFevre from Laurel also placed third in the javelin throw.

Another track meet is in the books for the three local schools. Each of these teams has had track meets cancelled due to weather and snow, and, hopefully, once the weather starts clearing up, it will start to feel more like track season is upon us. Make sure to check The Laurel Outlook for future cancellations of track meets around the state.

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