Husky track and field season warming up

Stephanie Tolman

With the warmer temperatures in the Big Horn Basin, Burlington’s Track and Field team has been preparing for the upcoming season. Coach Ryan Olson is excited about the growth and motivation for this year’s group. “Our team seems to grow each year and this year is no exception. Twenty-five boys showed up for our first practice on March 4. Many of them played a big part of our state championship team from last year and have hopes for a repeat this year,” said Olson.
Kyler Winters is coming off a successful indoor season with the Cody Broncs, winning the individual state title in the pole vault. “He will lead a talented pole vault group with Weston Gotfredson, Greg McNiven and Levi Wardell. Our state championship cross-country team will also look to score a lot of points in the distance races.  Howard McNiven, Paul McNiven, Connor Hoyt, and James McNiven look to have some great times in those events.  Jordan Michaels, Hunter Aagard, Mickey Maroni, and Joseph Stanworth will lead a senior group that hopes to help replace 60 points lost to last year’s graduates.  These seniors are looking to wrap up a mini-dynasty, competing for their eighth state championship among all sports since they were freshman.   Jordan Broederlow, Jordan Casey, Joe Bassett, and Bruce McNiven hope to score high in the mid-distance and jump events.  One of the best parts about having a large team is the ability to fill relays with quality athletes.”
The girls’ team has also grown and almost tripled its numbers from last year, with 23 girls showing up for the first practice.  “The girls will be led by senior Jessie Michaels, who has her eyes set on the 800 meter school record, adding to her mile and two mile school records from last year.  Brynn Preator finished last season strong with outstanding performances in the 400 meters and high jump.  A talented bunch of sophomores is joining the team this year: Paxton Philpott, Naomi McNiven, Eve McNulty, and Dalley Bassett will be a huge boost to the team.  Sky Olsen and Mackenzie Mehr have recently moved into the area and will help the team in a lot of areas.  Sarah McNiven, only a freshman, already has a high jump mark that would challenge for all-state recognition.  Breanne Walker scored points at state last year in pole vault and high jump, but may need to wait a while before competing this season, after injuring her hand at the state basketball tournament. Together, this should be a team that should go far at regionals and state.
“I love seeing these big numbers. Track is a great sport because it helps kids with all different types of goals.  Some are looking for state championships.  Others want to get in better shape for other sports.  We have some that like to set hard goals and then try to reach them.  Others simply like to use track season to get themselves some exercise with their friends while spending time outside.  No matter the reason, there is a place for you in track.  Everything is more fun with more people,” ended Olson.
Cheryl Haslam and Phil Olson will join Ryan Olson and they are excited to add Mike Aagard to their staff, who will take over coaching the throwing events. The Huskies head to Pavillion on Saturday for the Wind River Ice-Breaker Meet.