CASPER – On the first day of the track season, members of the Lingle-Fort Laramie boys’ track and field team told coach Mike Lashley they wanted to hang a championship banner in the gym.
They accomplished just that on Saturday winning the Class 1A state championship by 46.5 points.
“I reminded them of the amount of work it would take to accomplish such a feat. They took that to heart and made it happen,” Lashley said. “State championships are not easy to win. It requires the right combination of talent, resilience, work ethic, and luck. This group of guys was determined to stay focused throughout the season, work hard, and support each other.”
It was the ninth state title in the team’s history.
The Doggers ended the weekend with eight all-state performers, setting multiple new state records. In all, the Doggers won five individual state championships.
The Doggers scored points in all but one event they were entered in.
Senior Kyland Fuller set a new mark in the 400-meter dash in 50.02 seconds. Fuller also ran the final leg of the 4x400 relay with Nolan Spears, Slade Hopkins and Louden Bremer, who completed the race in 3 minutes, 27.43 seconds, breaking a record which stood since 2006 and was set by LFL.
“The boys’ performance was truly amazing,” Lashley said. “From the first event to the final event, they rose to the occasion. The boys seemed determined to perform their best.”
Fuller also won the 800-meter run in 2:04.62, beating out Spears, who finished second, and sophomore Myles Wilson, who placed fourth. Fuller also placed third in the 200-meter dash.
Bremer placed in both hurdle races, winning the 300-meter event in 41.12 seconds and placing fourth in the 110. Freshman Cooper Smith also placed sixth in the 110.
The sprint medley relay team of Quirt Lee, Wyatt Sylvester, Bremer and Spears also earned a state title with a winning time of 4:01.64, a full two seconds ahead of second place Cokeville.
In field events, junior Boyd Oliver finished second in discus with a throw of 125 feet, 2 inches and placed fourth in shot put at 42-4.5.
As a team, the Doggers scored 129.5 points, while Southeast was second with 83. Upton was third with 76 points.
In the girls’ division, the Lady Doggers finished third with 86 points, needing to win the final event of the day to place on the podium as a team.
“Our girls fought tooth-and-nail the entire meet to bring home the third-place trophy,” Lashley said. ‘They could have settled for fourth, but that is not the nature of these young ladies.”
The team claimed two with the 4x400 relay team picking up the much-needed win to bring home the third-place trophy.
Brenly Shipp, Emma Walker, Jada Kaufman and Maddy Saul knew they’d have to win the event to guarantee third.
“The pressure was on those kids, but they ran their best time of the season by seven seconds and secured the gold medal,” Lashley said.
They finished the race in 4:14.96, beating Cokeville, who the Lady Doggers were in a team points battle with, by five seconds.
Sophomore Izzy Spears won the other event of the weekend in discus with a throw of 106-5.
Saul finished second in the 100-meter dash in 13.29 seconds and third in the 200-meter dash in 27.86 seconds. Tiah Meyer also finished sixth in the 200.
Sophomore Natalie Speckner also scored points in the 800-meter run and the mile, placing seventh and eighth, respectively.
In hurdles, Kaufman led a trio of Lady Doggers in the 100-meter event with a fifth-place finish. Grace Gibson was seventh and Walker eighth. In the 300, Walker was sixth and Gibson eighth.
The 4x100 relay team of Gibson, Meyer, Saul and Kenzie Wilkins finished second in 54.27 seconds, while the sprint medley relay team of Kaufman, Meyer, Shipp and Speckner also placed second in 4:41.97.
In field events, Shipp finished fourth in long jump at 14-10.5, while Meyer was fifth at 14-7. Shipp also finished sixth in high jump, clearing 4-6.
The Saratoga girls won the 1A state team title with 128 points. Southeast was second with 104.
“It was a great way to culminate a tremendous season. I could not imagine either team performing better than they did at regionals, but these kids did exactly that,” Lashley said. “Never once did I hear any of our athletes complain about the weather. In fact, a few of them mentioned that the inclement weather actually helped them focus more on technique and performance. They just locked in and got the job done.”