LSRV boys seek 3rd state title of school year
April 11, 2011
The quest for three state titles in a school year is underway in Baggs, Wyo.
After the Little Snake River Valley School football team won the six-man state title in November 2010, the boys varsity basketball team followed up with a state title in March.
Now, under the helm of Mike Bates, the Rattlers track and field team is seeking to complete the trifecta.
Three meets in, Bates said a state title is a realistic goal.
"We only have about 14 boys on the team, but most of the athletes are three- or four-event stars," he said. "If they aren't state champions, it is the coach's fault for not putting them in the right events."
The boys aren't the only team vying for a state title, Bates said, as the girls team has a great shot, too.
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With long seasons in football, volleyball and boys and girls basketball, the athletes have stayed in great shape, he said.
"Wyoming is a hard state to get track started in because of the weather," Bates said. "But, we've had a great start with almost every boys and girls relay running qualifying times for the state meet, already."
For the boys team, Bates said junior Daniel Wille has had a fast start to the season.
Wille has qualified for the state meet in the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash and the 400-meter dash by beating the qualifying times of 12.01 seconds, 24.16 seconds and 54.40 seconds, respectively.
"Daniel knows how to complete races," Bates said. "In a couple of relays, he has helped us catch two or three teams."
The four-by-100-meter relay has also scored points for the boys team, even beating the school record Friday in Cheyenne.
The team, comprised of Skyler Lee, Grayson Lee, Miles Englehart and Cole Gourley, ran the relay in 45.79 seconds, beating the previous time of 46.15 seconds.
Bates said the girls team has had strong performers in sprints, distance and field events.
Junior Morgan Wille has qualified in the 400-meter dash and the 200-meter dash.
Fellow junior Shelby McKee has qualified in the 800-meter dash and as a member of the four-by-800-meter relay.
"When Shelby started, we thought she was going to be a sprinter," Bates said. "She can do sprints and distance as well as pole vault, something I just brought back to the school after a decade of absence."
Bates said senior Cora Foster is on pace to win the best-of-the-best title in high jump, which means she will beat out everyone in each class.
At last years state meet, Foster won the 1A state title with a jump of 5 feet, 5 inches, but took second place in the best-of-the-best title.
This season, Bates said, Foster is already jumping 5 feet, 4 inches, and the closest competition to her in any class is 4 feet, 11 inches.
"The girl that beat Cora last year graduated," Bates said. "To be jumping 5 feet, 4 inches already this season, she is definitely on the path to win best-of-the-best, this year."
At the 2010 state track and field meet, the boys team took second place to Burlington High School.
Bates, who is also the LSRV head football coach, said the boys team has a chance to capture a rare feat this season at the May 19 to 21 state track and field meet in Casper.
"In all my years coaching, I have never seen anything like what the boys are going for this year," he said. "It happens, but rarely, and it has never happened in three sports here at Little Snake River."
Bates said it is "incredible" to have so many good athletes at a school the size of LSRV.
"Usually, you have a guy who is really good at football, but just average in basketball and track, or any combination," he said. "To have guys who are this good and diverse in athletics is something special."