TORRINGTON – The Wyoming High School Activities Association gave the go-ahead for the 2021 indoor track season on Tuesday, Nov. 24.
Much like the rest of 2020, the season will look different for everyone involved.
For starters, indoor track competitors from Goshen County will now compete under the Torrington High School Blazer colors.
At the Nov. 2 Goshen County School District school board meeting, it was approved unanimously to fund and sponsor an indoor track program for this season.
In years past, the area athletes have competed under the Cheyenne Central High School Indians. The schools have worked together since 2004.
“They don’t want kids from different places intermingling,” Lingle-Fort Laramie Athletic Director and track coach Mike Lashley said. “With all the travel, it just seemed like a good year to try and see what happens.”
In recent years, the three schools – Southeast, L-FL and Torrington – have “averaged in the upper 20s” who have competed for the Indians, according to Lashley.
“Cheyenne Central has treated us wonderfully,” he said. “We could not have asked for a better host. Depending on how things go, we might be back with them in the future. They’ve treated our athletes like their own.”
Lashley is also hopeful this will continue further down the road beyond just this season with a good turnout. There are hopes those numbers will remain in the upper 20s to maybe even increase this season without having the added time and travel to make the trip to Cheyenne multiple times a week.
The plans right now call for the athletes to practice in Torrington.
“Coach (Mark) Sims has already got some things together, utilizing the gymnasium at the Central Office,” Lashley said. “In the last few years, (THS agricultural teacher) Jason Groene built an elevated pole vault runway so kids can vault. They’ve also built a couple throwing rings so we can throw shot. We can do high jump in there. The field events are well taken care of.”
As far as the running events go, they’ll use the outdoor track as much as the weather allows. If they aren’t able to go outside, the athletes will run the halls as they have done in the past.
Goshen County athletes have seen success over the last couple of seasons during the indoor season.
Southeast’s Jordan Stoddard won the 400-meter dash final, won the 4x400-meter relay, finished second in the high jump and placed third in the 200-meter dash final.
In all last season, eight area athletes won 11 medals in the 2020 Wyoming State Indoor Track and Field Championships.
“The Goshen County kids have represented Goshen County very well through the years,” Lashley said.
Practice for the indoor season beings Monday, Jan. 4, 2021 with the first contest date set for Thursday, Jan. 14.
“We are thankful for the opportunity to have a Goshen County squad,” Lashley said. “It will be cool that the kids will be wearing Torrington uniforms instead of Cheyenne Central.”
Restrictions for indoor track
Much like every other sport, indoor track will have a set of restrictions this season.
A maximum number of 300 athletes will be allowed at one meet. No fans will be allowed to attend regular season meets, allowing athletes to socially distance. Anyone in the facility, including coaches, athletes and meet personnel will be required to wear a mask at all times unless an athlete is competing. There will be no pre or post-event handshakes. If athletes use the same equipment, such as a pole in the vault, it must be cleaned and sanitized between each use. Gloves will be allowed only during relay events.
The other big change will be the fact the boys’ and girls’ state championships will be held on different dates. The boys’ event takes place on Feb. 27, and the girls’ meet is scheduled for March 6.