Riverside athletes post AQs at first meet

Nathan Oster

Reece Whisenant won two individual events to pace the Riverside Rebels at their first track and field meet of the season Saturday in Pavillion.
The Wind River Ice Breaker attracted about a dozen teams, with the Jackson Hole girls, with 123.5 points, and the Burlington boys, with 143, topping their respective divisions. Riverside took fifth in the boys division with 43 points and seventh in the girls division with 51.5.
“Coming out of it, I think everyone was happy with at least something they did,” said Jason Mitchell, the team’s head coach.
On a day of standout performances, no one’s star shined more brightly than Whisenant’s, as the junior won the 100-meter dash in 12.01 and the long jump with a leap of 18 feet, 8 inches.  The final meet results listed him with an 17-8, but that was an error, according to Mitchell.
“His best jump was 7 inches better than anyone else,” he said. “Obviously, a very good start for him.”
Whisenant also posted a qualifying mark in the high jump, clearing 5-8 inches to better the 5-6 standard.
Among the day’s other highlights, Mitchell said Riverside’s 400-meter relay team of Gavyn Cervantes, Avery Clifford, Ryder Kozisek and Whisenant crossed the finish line first, but was disqualified due to a handoff that occurred outside of the exchange zone.
Mitchell also praised James Bassett, who placed fifth in the 800 meters. The story was his time, a 2:18.3 which was nearly a half minute better than his personal record from last season (2:45.37).  “James ran cross-country with Burlington last fall, and when that season ended, he treated the whole winter like it was in-season.  He ran and ran and ran.  He also took off a bunch of time in the 1,600 meters.”
Bassett also placed fifth in that event, running a 5:18.5 — compared to the 5:44.76 which stood as his PR last year.
In the girls division, Vinaya VanderPloeg was listed as running a 15.03 in the 100 meters, but Mitchell said that time was later corrected to a 13.49, good for second place.  With that clocking, she bettered the 1A qualifying standard of a 13.69.
Kennedy Bassett also AQ’d in the event, running a 13.64 which was good for fourth.
Riverside’s 400-meter relay team, consisting of VanderPloeg, Bassett, Johnna Clifford and Dakota Cervantes, also earned a trip to Casper in their first attempt.  They posted a 55.83, which was good for second place behind Kemmerer and well under the 1A qualifying mark, which is a 57 flat.
“That was despite the runner of our second leg falling down and having to hand the baton off from her knees,” said Mitchell.  “For them to have that happen and still post an AQ ... that was really a good highlight for the day.”

On to Cody
The Rebels will trek to Cody for a meet today, but they’ll again be shorthanded, according to Mitchell.  Last week, it was because of the state Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) convention.  On Thursday, some will be away at a Future Farmers of America (FFA) state competition.
Asked for his thoughts on the season, Mitchell said the boys team’s team figures to be powered by “the two of the top sprinters in 1A” in Whisenant and Ty Strohshein.
He added, “We only have 10 girls out, so we’ll struggle to be competitive in the team scores because we won’t be picking up those extra points for fifth and six. But of our 10, six you can almost guarantee a trip to state in more than one event.”

GIRLS — Jackson Hole 123.5, Kemmerer 106, Pinedale 77.5, Wind River 74, Thermopolis  61.5, Burlington 61, Riverside 51.5, Encampment 38, Shoshoni 16, St. Stephens 11, Greybull 2.
100 METERS — 2, Vinaya VanderPloeg, 13.49.  4, Kennedy Bassett, 13.64.
200 METERS — 3, Johnna Clifford, 29.21.  6, Bassett, 29.46.
800 METERS — 2, Dakota Cervantes, 2:42.28.  7, Anna Stone, 3:03.69.  8, Elizah Pratt, 3:03.75.
1,600 METERS — 7, Stone, 17:00.
100 HURDLES — 3, Bassett, 18.4.
400 RELAY — 2, Riverside (Bassett, Cervantes, Clifford, VanderPloeg), 55.83.
1,600 RELAY — 6, Riverside (Varissa Olsen, Cervantes, Stone, VanderPloeg), 4:45.72.
LONG JUMP — 6, Clifford, 14-10 1/2.
DISCUS — 5, Olsen, 92-6 1/4.
BOYS  — Burlington 143, Thermopolis 111, Kemmerer 96, Jackson Hole 87, Riverside 43, Encampment 41, Pinedale 35, Shoshoni 23, St. Stephens 22, Wind River 10, Western  Heritage 8, Greybull 6.
100 METERS — 1, Reece Whisenant, 12.01.
800 METERS — 4, James Bassett, 2:18.30.  7, Paul Stone, 2:29.27.
1,600 METERS — 5, Bassett, 5:18.5.
3,200 METERS — 7, Bassett, 11:28.55.
1,600 RELAY — 8, Riverside (Loomis Alexander, Bassett, Matt Brown, Ryder Kozisek), 4:11.13.
HIGH JUMP — 3, Whisenant, 5-8.
LONG JUMP — 1, Whisenant, 18-8.
TRIPLE JUMP — 2, Avery Clifford, 38-11 1/2.