Photo Courtesy of Anna Bartholomew

Senior Anna Bartholomew stands at eighth on the podium, cementing her place as the first girl in Powell High School Indoor Track history to do so in her event, the 800 Meter Dash.


Inaugural Indoor Track Team Compete at 3A State: Panthers 7th, Lady Panthers 9th

Within the environment of Wyoming, the winter months tend to welcome lackadaisical actions in all facets of school life, whether it be academic or athletic. For a select few, the weather didn’t deter them from participating in the inaugural season of the Indoor Track team. 

Venturing over the snow and ice covered roads, PHS’s Indoor Track team competed in Gillette Feb. 3-4 for the opportunity to represent Powell for the first time in school history at State. 

“I think it’s really cool that I was a part of this inaugural season…” sophomore Kenna Jacobsen said. “ It’s been something that many of us [the team] have been wanting for a long time.” 

For the Panthers, sophomore Cody Seifert took home first in the triple jump, landing a new indoor record of 42-7 ½. Shoopman brothers senior Simon and junior Stuart each competed in the 55 meter hurdles, with Stuart emerging fourth with an 8.42 and Simon following a few tenths of a second later coming in sixth with an 8.45. 

“I feel as if I individually performed well and as a team we did very well,” Simon said. “The expectations were definitely lower [at state] but we strive to always exceed the expectations.” 

In the team events, Seifert, senior Daniel Merritt, Simon Shoopman and junior Chance Franks were the only ones to grace the top three spots of the podium for the 1600 Meter sprint medley, coming in third. 

“I was excited to compete against better opponents so I could push myself better and get ready for outdoor track,” Simon said. “I’m even more excited to see how I individually and our team performs, especially aftering training during indoor, giving [us] the advantage during the outdoor season.”

On the girls end, the 23.5 points finish was celebrated and the overall ninth place finish gave way to a large amount of anticipation for the spring season, even with the pressure from competing at State.   

“For me, state always feels like a much higher competition even though we are running against the same people,” senior Gretel Opps said. “The energy there is at such a higher level, so everyone is competing at their best. It makes every race a lot more fun. While I didn’t place, I felt confident with my performance at state because I was mainly using the indoor season to prepare for outdoor.”

The energy there is at such a higher level, so everyone is competing at their best. It makes every race a lot more fun. While I didn’t place, I felt confident with my performance at state because I was mainly using the indoor season to prepare for outdoor.

— Gretel Opps

Sophomore Kinley Cooley consistently placed in her two events, finishing seventh in the 1600 Meter and eighth in the 3200 Meter, even after juggling commitments to numerous winter sports. 

“I am really proud of my state performance this year even though I added time,” Cooley said. “This winter season I dedicated most of my time to club swimming so I didn’t expect to place in my events at all.”

 Additionally, junior Katie O’Brien and senior Grace Coombs saw success in shot put, where O’Brien placed fifth with 33-2 ¼ feet throw and Coombs seventh with 31-9 ¼ feet. The 1600 Meter Sprint Medley Relay girl’s team composed of Seniors Anna Bartholomew, Abby Wambeke, sophomore Kenna Jacbosen and freshman Audrey Johnson earned second place in the 

“It was very exciting to see both of our teams place in the top 10 overall,” indoor track coach Mrs. Tracy McArthur said. “There were 19 teams in our division this year so both programs placing in the top 50% in our inaugural season is a great place to start.  We are hoping to improve on those finishes next season.”

Now that the days of running around in the hallways and pods of PHS are over, the next bullet on the list is outdoor track. However, even though the departure from the sport has come and gone, the sentiment and impact it holds is still treasured among many and will continue for years to come. 

“I don’t feel like I attended enough of the meets to be one of the memorable members of this first team,” Cooley said. “But it’s been amazing to see how important this first group of athletes was. All of my teammates have paved the way for future talented athletes who will come through Powell High School.”

State Medalists included (Top 8 in each event):

  • 800 Meter run – Anna Bartholomew – 8th place
  • 1600 Meter run – Kinley Cooley – 7th place
  • 3200 Meter run – Kinley Cooley – 8th place
  • 1600 Meter Relay Girls– Anna Bartholomew, Audrey Johnson, Abby Wambeke, Kenna Jacobsen – 5th place
  • 1600 Meter Sprint Medley Relay Girls– Audrey Johnson, Abby Wambeke, Anna Bartholomew, Kenna Jacobsen – 2nd place
  • High Jump – Hali Hancock – 7th place
  • Shot Put – Katie O’Brien – 5th place and Grace Coombs – 7th place
  • 800 Meter Run – Daniel Merritt – 6th place
  • 55 Meter Hurdles – Stuart Shoopman – 4th place and Simon Shoopman – 6th place
  • 800 Meter Relay Boys – Cody Seifert, Simon Shoopman, Chance Franks, Logan Jensen – 6th place
  • 1600 Meter Relay Boys – Chance Franks, McKale Foley, Logan Jensen, Daniel Merritt – 7th place
  • 1600 Meter Sprint Medley Relay Boys – Cody Seifert, Simon Shoopman, Chance Franks, Daniel Merritt – 3rd place
  • Triple Jump – Cody Seifert – 1st place – STATE CHAMPION

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