BAYARD, Neb. – As the Lingle-Fort Laramie track and field teams are getting into a consistent training cycle, the Doggers are finally starting to see the work pay off in the results column.
“Many of these kids are still learning what track and field at the high school level is all about,” L-FL coach Mike Lashley said. “As they continue to become more comfortable with their events, we will see even more improvement.”
At Saturday’s Bayard C-D Invite, the Lady Doggers finished fourth as a team, while the boys’ team placed seventh.
“I am very pleased with where we are at right now,” Lashley said. “Our performances have improved greatly from the first week of competition. This is a fun group to work with.”
The L-FL coaching staff limited the number of events for some of the athletes in hopes of getting improved performances, and that is exactly what they got.
The Doggers had 21 personal record performances on the day.
“We are especially excited with our distance kids,” That group is positioning themselves for some great performances at regionals and state.”
In the boys’ division, junior Kyland Fuller paced the team with wins in the 400-meter dash in 53.12 seconds and in the 800-meter run in 2 minutes, 9.88 seconds.
Fuller was also voted as the Male Athlete of the Bayard C-D Invite.
“This is a very big honor, as many of the region’s top athletes attend this meet,” Lashley said.
Freshman Myles Wilson won the two-mile in 10:59.04 and finished third in the 1,600-meter run in 5:12.4.
“He cut about 35 seconds off his previous best time and ran a state qualifying time,” Lashley said.
Senior Cooper Hill placed second in long jump with a leap of 19 feet, 5 inches. Hill also finished fifth in the 100-meter dash and sixth in the 200-meter dash.
As a team, the Doggers finished the day with 50 points. Leyton, Neb. won the team title with 80, while Burns was second with 72. L-FL was the second-highest finishing Wyoming school at the meet.
In the girls’ division, Madison Heilbrun and Natalie Speckner set state pre-qualifying performances in their respective events.
Heilbrun scored the Lady Doggers’ only win of the day, clearing 4 feet, 8 inches in high jump.
Meanwhile, in the distance events, Speckner finished second in the 1,600-meter run in 5:46.78. Not only was the time a personal record, it pre-qualified her for the state meet next month and was the fastest time in the event set by any Class 1A female runner to this point in the season.
Speckner also finished fourth in the 400-meter dash in 1:05.98.
The Lady Doggers also got top three finishes from Maddy Saul and Emma Walker.
Walker finished second in the 300-meter hurdles and third in the 100-meter hurdles, while Saul placed third in the 100-meter dash.
As a team, the Lady Doggers placed fourth with 43 points. Burns won the team title with 82.33 points, while Bayard was second with 78.33 points.
L-FL was scheduled to attend the Burns Invite on Friday, but the meet was been postponed and will be rescheduled for a later date.
The next event on the Dogger schedule is Friday, April 23 in Pine Bluffs.