CASPER – Claudia Miller didn’t compete as much this spring as she typically has during her Cheyenne Central track career.
But the senior showed no signs of rust Thursday afternoon.
She pulled ahead midway through the 3,200-meter run and won the Class 4A state championships comfortably.
“I’m not someone who needs to race a lot to feel confident,” said Miller, who finished in 11 minutes, 14.45 seconds. “I wasn’t really bothered by my lack of races this season.”
Casper Kelly Walsh freshman Finley Klinger placed second in 11:23.19.
Miller was content letting the other runners set the pace early since she hadn’t seen many of them during the season. The field let Klinger lead early, but the pace eventually wore on Miller.
“I was seeded behind everyone, so I thought I was going to take my time and see how the race played out,” the Cal Poly signee said. “I started that way, and did it as long as I could, but we slowed down so much that I just took the lead.
“When I take the lead, I commit to it. It’s not my favorite thing to be out front, which is why I really commit to it when I pull ahead.”
East senior MacKenzie Marler placed seventh in the 3,200 (11:46.83).
Miller had a lighter competition schedule so she could take college recruiting visits. She was confident she wouldn’t be negatively impacted by the lack of competition.
“I have run some races just so I don’t forget how to race,” Miller said, “but most of my running this season has come during practice. I pulled ahead midway through the 3,200 during the indoor season, and ended up losing the field.
“I was confident I could do it again (Thursday).”
Miller also was part of the Lady Indians’ third-place sprint medley relay team. She was joined on that team by Jessica Salinas, Elizabeth Prescott and Janessa Miller. They finished in 4:20.19, which was just ahead of fourth-place Cheyenne East (4:20.75). East’s team was made up of Marler, Madison Blaney, Dulce Carlos and Amira Cummings.
Central – which is the reigning 4A champion – sits third in the team standings with 25 points. Laramie leads the field (28), while Cody is second (26).
East’s Cummings placed fourth in pole vault by clearing 11-0. Central sophomore Kalea Reisdorfer cleared 10-0 to finish fifth.
Central senior Jenna Goodrich placed fourth in long jump with 17 feet, 5¾ inches.
Star Valley leads the boys team race with 24 points, while Casper Kelly Walsh is second with 18. East is eighth with six, while Central sits 10th with four points.
East senior Dakota Merritt placed fourth in long jump (21-11).