Impressive performances highlight dedication of PHS athletes
Coach Scott Smith waves the white flag, motioning that everything is all clear
Coach Scott Smith waves the white flag, motioning that everything is all clear
Nalani Jordan

Hundreds of people cheered for the athletes dashing down the last hundred meters, the smell of funnel cakes wafted through the air, and the unpredictable occurred. 

From Thursday, May 16, to Saturday, May 18, the 2024 Wyoming State Track and Field Championships took place in Casper, Wyoming.  

PHS Senior Jeremy Harms pole vaults at the state meet in Casper. The Dickinson State commit placed forth, with a vault of 13’0. (Nalani Jordan)

Girls Team Performance

The Powell girls team brought home some hardware. With 75 points, they secured fourth. Although 41.5 points away from first place Lander, the Powell girls are looking forward to gaining talent next year; however, they are losing a strong senior base that had been a part of three state championship teams. 

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“We got some good kids coming back,” Head Track Coach Scott Smith said. “[They] seem to enjoy what they’re doing, and I’m looking forward to working with them.”

We got some good kids coming back. [They] seem to enjoy what they’re doing, and I’m looking forward to working with them.”

— Head Track Coach Scott Smith

Waycee Harvey broke another school record in the long jump, and she currently has records in the triple jump and the 400m. She also was part of the 1600m school record relay team consisting of Jenna Hillman, Anna Barthomew, and Megan Jacobsen

Lauren Bennett and Katie O’Brien were the other senior standouts on the girls side, with Lauren taking fifth and eighth place individually and sixth in the 4×400 relay. Katie had personal bests in both the shot put and the discus throw, securing second and fifth, respectively.

“One of my highlights was seeing Katie get second in the shot,” Smith said. “I wish I could’ve seen her throw, but I got there right at the end, so I gotta see her smile, her happiness. That was pretty cool.”

Team scorers are listed below. Courtesy of The Powell Tribune 

100 meters — 6. Waycee Harvey 12.87

400 meters — 2. Waycee Harvey 58.34, 6. Audrey Johnson 1:01.03

800 meters — 6. Kinley Cooley 2:24.92, 8. Kenna Jacobsen 2:27.28, 14. Myah Rakness 2:35.39

1600 meters — 5. Kinley Cooley 5:29.11, 7. Kenna Jacobsen 5:39.77, 11. Brynn Hillman 5:50.15, 13. Karee Cooley 5:51.65

3200 meters — 3. Kinley Cooley 11:49.47, 7. Kenna Jacobsen 12:25.07, 8. Karee Cooley 12:28.65, 9. Shelby Zickefoose 12:44.1

100 meter hurdles — 10. Lauryn Bennett 16.86p, 17. Charity Siggins 18.34p

300 meter hurdles — 8. Lauryn Bennett 48.91

4×100 relay — 8. Paige Sanders, Ashlee Jacobsen, Naomi Whipple and Audrey Johnson 53.53

4×400 relay — 6. Lauryn Bennett, Myah Rakness, Naomi Whipple and Audrey Johnson 4:18.59

4×800 relay — 3. Kinley Cooley, Karee Cooley, Myah Rakness and Kenna Jacobsen 10:20.5

1600 sprint medley relay — 7. Naomi Whipple, Paige Sanders, Audrey Johnson and Myah Rakness 4:38.5

High Jump — 9. Addy Thorington 5-0, T12. Charity Siggins 4-8

Pole vault — 5. Lauryn Bennett 9-6, T10. Kate Williams 8-6

Long jump — 3. Waycee Harvey 18-1 ¼, 10. Paige Sanders 16-5 ¾ 

Triple jump — 4. Waycee Harvey 34-10 1/4, 7. Paige Sanders 33-5

Shot put — 2. Katie O’Brien 40-5 1/4

Discus — 5. Katie O’Brien 125-0, 12. Anai Torres 96-8, 14. Nalani Jordan 89-5

PHS Senior Lauren Bennett comes out of the blocks in an attempt at the 100m hurdles, placing tenth at the championships. (Nalani Jordan)

Boys Team Performance

The Powell boys team took home third, with 77 points. 

Caden Nelson, a current sophomore, broke the school record in the long jump. 

Standout seniors included Stuart Shoopman (5th and 6th place), Jeremy Harms (8th place), Isaiah Woyak (2nd and 3rd place), Adam Williams (tied for 2nd), and Seston Shoopman (5th). 

Looking forward to next year, the coaches are optimistic about continuing the PHS legacy. 

“I think we have some good 8th-grade boys and girls coming in that are going to help us reload,” Distance Coach Tracy McArthur said. “[Help] continue to bring home hardware from state track in both the boys and the girls [divisions].”

I think we have some good 8th-grade boys and girls coming in that are going to help us reload. [Help] continue to bring home hardware from state track in both the boys and the girls [divisions].”

— Distance Coach Tracy McArthur

Team scorers are listed below. Courtesy of The Powell Tribune

100 meters — 3. Caden Nelson 11.37

200 meters — 2. Caden Nelson 22.18

400 meters — 12. Evan Whitlock 55.5p

1600 meters — 8. Liam Taylor 4:44.08

3200 meters — 13. Korbyn Warren 10:55.65

110 meter hurdles — 5. Stuart Shoopman 15.92, 7. Nathan Preator 16.65

300 meter hurdles — 6. Stuart Shoopman 42.38, 8. Nathan Preator 44.01

4×100 relay — 4. Stuart Shoopman, Nathan Preator, Breckyn Kobbe and Caden Nelson 45.49

4×400 relay — 8. Jeremy Harms, Landon Hyde, Liam Taylor and Evan Whitlock 3:43.95

1600 sprint medley relay — 4. Stuart Shoopman, Marshall Lewis, Evan Whitlock and Liam Taylor 3:46.11

High jump — 2. Isaiah Woyak 6-4

Pole vault — T2. Adam Williams 13-3, 4. Jeremy Harms 13-0

Long jump — 1. Caden Nelson 22-9 ½, 14. Marshall Lewis 19-0 ½ 

Triple jump — 3. Isaiah Woyak 43-0

Shot put — 5. Seston Shoopman 47-4 1/2, 8. Gabriel Weimer 45-5, 11. Johnathan Harms 41-11

Discus — 12. Johnathan Harms 127-10

Reflections From Athletes (Q/A)

Q: How do you feel like the rest of the season helped prepare you for state?  

A: “Just being more loose…” sophomore Caden Nelson said. “I ran super tight at the beginning, just super like tense, and then towards regionals and state for sure. I noticed my biggest difference. I was loose. I felt good. I just felt better about it all. So I would just say practicing and stretching a lot [has helped].” 

A: “I feel like because the weather wasn’t the best during practices and other meets, it really prepared me for regionals and state weather-wise,” sophomore Kate Williams said. “And just practicing with other team members really helped me push myself to be better for the state meet.”

Q: Do you have a pre-race ritual?  

A: “I usually stretch while listening to music, kind of just between the zone,” Nelson said. “Then like 5 minutes before the race, I pray and then just lock in from there, just all about the race.” 

A: “I think our big group prayers are a really important part of my pre-race ritual,” junior Kinley Cooley said. “The night before, I like to visualize my races and what times I need to be at each lap to kind of help me figure out how my race is going to go before it happens.”

Q: Looking forward to next year, how are you going to be preparing?  

A: “For me, I think I need to get a little bit stronger so I can prevent some injuries I’ve been dealing with a little bit this season,” junior Kenna Jacobsen said. “That’s going to be different for me next year. Well, honestly, even starting now.”  

A: “I am definitely going to be training over the summer, and there are a few track camps that I am going to be attending,” sophomore Audrey Johnson said. “Overall, just setting goals for next year.” 

Q: Favorite memories from 3A State Track?  

A: “I had never podiumed individually at a [outdoor] state meet and so when I podiumed for the first time that was a pretty good memorable moment,” Jacobsen said. “I was proud of myself because that had never happened before. Our cooldowns with the Worland girls are also a really good memory.”

A: “One of my most memorable moments at state was watching Liam [Taylor’s] mile, because he made a move on the third lap and he got up to the front, and then the last 100, a couple of people got around him,” Cooley said. “We were screaming and cheering loud, and we didn’t know if he made it up onto the podium or not, but he did and it was really exciting to see him do that.”

Kenna Jacobsen, Karee Cooley, and Shelby Zickefoose stay close together in the two-mile race. (Nalani Jordan)



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