Records fall at Best in the West

SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. – Southeast freshman Jordan Stoddard, junior Morgan Ekwall and Lingle-Fort Laramie senior Kaelyn Riley had a record-breaking day, setting four school records and one meet record Tuesday at the annual Best in the West Invite in Scottsbluff, Neb., featuring the top track athletes from Southeast Wyoming and the Nebraska Panhandle.

Southeast High School

Stoddard went 4-for-4 on the day, winning the 100-meter dash (12.85 seconds), 200-meter dash (26.18 seconds), high jump (5 feet, 6.5 inches) and was the final leg of the 4x400-meter relay (4 minutes 9.99 seconds).

“It was pretty great. It’s a good feeling, actually. It was very tiring but very, very worth it,” Stoddard said.

Stoddard’s height of 5-6.5 in high jump, not only set a new Southeast record, but it broke a Best in the West record which stood since 2002.

She went for a height of 5-7.5 but was unable to clear it on three attempts.

“High jump, that was a blast,” Stoddard said. “I was really hoping I would’ve gotten the last height, but that’s already, I still broke the record.”

The record-breaking performance set the tone for the rest of her day, capping it off with a thrilling come-from-behind win on the final lap of the 4x400 relay.

Stoddard joined senior Ellie Schmitt, freshman Marjie Schmitt and senior Kelci Lovercheck to win the event.

Southeast ran second for more than three and a half laps, until Stoddard took the handoff of the final leg. She caught and passed a Chadron runner with a little more than 200 meters left, capping off the day for the Lady Cyclones.

“In the 4x400, I just threw my heart out there,” Stoddard said.

However, Stoddard wasn’t the only Lady Cyclone to pick up a win. Junior Morgan Ekwall’s toss of 39-6.5 won shot put and was also set a new school record.

Meanwhile, seniors Candee Coxbill and Kylie Carson placed fourth and fifth in discus with throws of 107-11 and 106-1, respectively.

In the boys’ division, the lone group of Cyclones – Hayden Anderson, Sawyer Anderson, Greg Logsdon and Brant Fullmer – finished fifth in the 4x400-meter relay in 3:39.99.

Lingle-Fort Laramie High School

For Riley, her final triple jump attempt landed 35 feet, 8.5 inches from where it started, setting a new Lady Dogger record.

“Mentally, I’m a lot stronger than I was,” Riley said. “I think coming back from my knee injury and not doing well at state last year, I just have a new mentality. Mrs. (Kim) Lenhardt, Mr. (Mike) Lashley and Mr. (Brandon) Gifford coaching me has been day and night for me.”

She led the event throughout until her final jump when the athlete before her topped her distance.

“I told myself not to shut down and told myself to take off like I was running a 100,” Riley said.

She felt it was a good attempt when she landed but wasn’t sure until the 35-8.5 distance was announced.

“It’s cool seeing my progress from when I was a freshman to now,” Riley said.

Riley also came home second in her other three events, including the long jump (16-9) and the 100 (13.1 seconds) and 200-meter dashes (26.8 seconds).

In the boys’ division, freshman Kyland Fuller was the lone Dogger to compete, finishing seventh in the 800-meter run in 2:08.92.

Torrington High School

Blazer junior Corbin Harris recorded the Torrington’s only win of the day.

His toss of 49-10 topped the field of seven of the region’s best shot putters. Harris also placed sixth in the discus with a throw of 140-10, being edged by teammate Scotty Woodruff.

Senior Bryan Lemmon had a pair of top five finishes, coming home third in the 110-meter hurdles in 15.25 seconds and fourth in the high jump at 6-1.

The Blazers also had a pair of relay teams compete. The 4x800 team of Pake Haun, Nick Sherbeyn, Jacob Polkowske and Kevin Parish placed fifth in 9:07.58, while the 4x400 team of Haun, Sherbeyn, Parish and Cody Pierce closed out the night with a seventh-place finish in 3:45.62.

In the girls’ division, the Lady Blazers brought home a pair of medals.

Senior Nakalyn Garner finished third in pole vault at a height of 9-6, while sophomore Sera Glass was third in the 800-meter run in 2:30.99.


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