CASPER — The quest for history for the Laramie High girls track team will have to wait. Instead, Saturday turned out to be a repeat of history.
For the second consecutive year, the Lady Plainsmen finished second to Cheyenne Central at the Wyoming State Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Harry Geldien Stadium. Laramie was seeking its first-ever girls outdoor state title.
Laramie finished with 85 points. Central had 90.
It came down to the second-to-last event to determine the champion. Laramie trailed Central 80-77 heading into the 200-meter dash, and Lady Plainsmen junior Emmy Johnson had the fastest qualifying time on Friday.
But in cool and wet conditions, Casper Kelly Walsh junior Taylor Rowe edged Johnson at the finish line for first place. Rowe’s time was 25.98 seconds. Johnson’s was 26.05. That, and the fact Central senior Jenna Goodrich finished third (26.76), gave the Lady Indians an 86-85 lead over Laramie heading into the final event — the 4x400 relay.
Laramie did not have a team in that event. Central did, and it finished fifth.
“It’s disappointing, but it happens,” said Johnson on her team not winning a state championship. “It is not the most important thing.”
“I felt okay in the 200, but (Rowe) just got out faster than I did. My first 50 meters felt slow. I started to close the gap, but she runs like I do where she gets faster at the end.”
Johnson finished third in the 100 (12.93) earlier in the day in a steady rain. Johnson was the defending state champion in the event. Rowe was the winner (12.67).
However, Johnson defended her title in the 300 hurdles (45.71), which was 1.13 seconds than second place.
“I felt pretty confident because I think this is my best event,” Johnson said.
Laramie scored eight points in the 1,600-meter run as junior Abigail Whitman finished fourth (5 minutes, 17.80 seconds) and sophomore Libby Berryhill was sixth (5:21.88). Central senior Claudia Miller led from start to finish, and her winning time of 5:10.11 was nearly four seconds faster than Cody sophomore Riley Smith (5:13.98), who finished second.
“It was actually pretty nice conditions because there was no wind and we like running in the rain,” Whitman said. “I didn’t place as high as I would have liked, but the others ran a really good race and tried my best to stay with them.”
Berryhill was pleased she did better than at last year’s state meet, where she said she finished, “dead last — like by five feet.”
Laramie missed out on some points when sophomore Taylor Gardner was disqualified from the 100 hurdles after she touched a hurdle with her hand during the race. Gardner would have finished in the middle of the pack had she not been disqualified.
“We didn’t have that many girls and we all performed well,” Berryhill said. “We had a few mishaps that we didn’t expect to happen, but we gave it our all.”
Senior Derk Lyford (4:30.70) and junior Mason Swingholm (4:31.96) finished fifth and sixth, respectively, in the 1,600.
Laramie, last year’s 4A champion, finished 11th this year with 35 points.
Senior Tristan Bunce was fifth in the 1A boys 100 (12.20) and sixth in the 200 (24.89).
Junior Zariel Mallery-Coulter was seventh in the 1,600 (5:06.20), and junior Anthony Davila was seventh in the 200 (25.20).
The Longhorns finished 12th out of 18 teams with 19 points.