CASPER – Kendra Sloan had a hard time finding pole vault competition this spring.
The Pine Bluffs senior typically didn’t make her first attempt at meets until the bar reached 9 feet. It often didn’t take long for Sloan to be the last competitor standing.
As a result, Sloan was rarely pushed.
That changed Friday morning at the Wyoming Class 2A state track and field meet.
Sloan and teammate Maddie Fornstrom were the last two athletes left when the bar reached 10 feet, 6 inches.
Sloan was able to clear the bar on her fourth attempt to claim the state championship.
“I was determined to make it on my last attempt before they moved the bar down 3 inches. I didn’t want to finish second,” said Sloan, who also won the pole vault title in 2017. “I have wanted to have competition all year, and I finally got it.
“It was a lot of fun to be out there competing against one of my teammates for the state title. I have wanted to be pushed all year, and that’s what (Fornstrom) did.”
The Hornets got 21 team points from pole vault. Nineteen of those came from Sloan’s and Fornstrom’s 1-2 finish. Freshman Jaden Shelit added two more by clearing 8-0 and taking sixth.
Pine Bluffs leads the 2A team race with 104.5 points. Kemmerer is second at 56.
“That was an absolutely amazing competition,” Hornets coach Dustin Lee said. “(Sloan) caught a rhythm about 9-0, 9-6, and vaulted really well. (Fornstrom) has been really good these past two weeks and reached her goal of 10-0 for the season.”
Fornstrom had to rush off to the preliminaries of the 300-meter hurdles immediately after her fourth attempt at 10-6. She didn’t know Sloan had won pole vault until Harry Geldien Stadium’s public address announcer called for the event’s medalists to meet at the awards stand.
“We both wanted to win, but we’re still out there having fun and encouraging each other,” Fornstrom said. “This year hasn’t been great because we haven’t had a lot of time to practice or compete because of the
“Being able to finish second at state despite that feels really good,” Fornstrom said.
Sloan later joined Shelit, freshman Kami Tangeman and junior Jourdaine Cerenil on the winning 4x100 relay team.
“All of our handoffs except the one between Kami and Jourdaine were a little rough,” Sloan said.
“We might have been a little too pumped up, and been going a little too fast, or leaving a little too early. We were still able to overcome them and add 10 points to our total.”
Sloan will compete in the 100-meter dash final today.
Pine Bluffs junior Sophie Howard struggled to throw the discus at the 2A East Regional, and entered the state meet seeded ninth. She put any fears of a repeat performance to bed early when she unleashed a toss of 107 feet on her first attempt.
Howard followed that with a mark of 114-2 to win the state title. Senior Paige Thompson was third (102-10).
“I wasn’t confident in myself (at regionals), I lost all of my fundamentals and I didn’t throw very well,” Howard said. “You can’t dwell on the past because it’s not going to make you a very good person.
“I tried to use my bad performances as motivation to do better this week.”
The Hornets also got a third-place effort from Cerenil in long jump (15-10¾). Senior Kammie Ragsdale was fifth in long jump (15-6).
Cerenil also was third in triple jump (34-2¼). Ragsdale placed fifth (32-5½).
The quartet of sophomores Shelby Thurin and Maegan Madden, junior Kenzie Sloan and freshman Alexis DePaulitte placed fourth in the 4x800 (11:28.50).
On the boys side, Big Horn leads with 98.5 points. Pine Bluffs is fifth in the 2A race with 38.
Seniors Tucker Norman and Hunter Jeffres placed fourth and fifth in shot put, respectively. Norman heaved the shot 44-8, while Jeffres marked at 44-2¼.
Hornets senior Seth Tangeman leapt 20-4¼ to place fourth in long jump.
In Class 3A, Burns sophomore Wade Pollock placed third at 46-2. Senior Aiden Carroll cleared 13-0 to take fourth in pole vault.
Junior Wyatt Ebben clocked in at 2:05.29 to place fifth in the 800-meter run.
The Lady Broncs’ quartet of freshmen Grace Steenbergen and Emma Gonzales, sophomore Madison Thompson and junior Piper Perez took fourth (10:34.61).
The Burns boys team of Ebben, Carroll, Jack Ickes and Colby Stockton placed fourth (8:47.23).