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    Lady Tigers – State Champs!

    There is an adage in track and field that quality beats quantity in a big meet. There is a more modern one from the movie, “Remember the Titans,” “Run it up, leave no doubt.”

    It wasn’t exactly running it up by the Lander Lady Tigers in the final event of the three days of the Class 3-A state track championships in windy Casper over the weekend, but it had the same effect.

    Paisley Hollingshead into the straightaway – h/t Randy Tucker
    Paisley Hollingshead closed in the final three hurdles to win the state championship – h/t Randy Tucker

    Lander led Worland by 11.5 points entering the 4×400 meter relay. The Lady Tigers had already won the state title without even running the relay. Instead, the quartet of Ava Gerlach, Daisy Goklish, Ella Giesmann, and Ellie Kaufman set a new state record in the event, breaking the previous mark of 4:04.20, set by another Lander relay in 2001. The Lady Tigers pulled away from the competition with Kaufman crossing the line in 4:03.66.

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    This wasn’t about a single relay. Lander was a distant third a week ago in the Class 3-A West regional meet at Mountain View.

    Ameya Eddy in the 1600 meter run – h/t Randy Tucker

    Worland dominated the regional with 175 points, Powell was second at 140, and Lander tallied just 125 for third.

    Quality came through with a freshman and sophomore for the Lady Tigers. Freshman hurdler Paisley Hollingshead tallied 21 points to lead the team over the weekend. She was third in the 100-meter hurdles, fourth in the high jump, and was in third place with three flights of hurdles remaining in the 300-meter finals when she found another gear and won the state championship in the event.

    Adelyn Anderson set a new 3-A record in the shot – h/t Randy Tucker

    Sophomore Adelyn Anderson was predicted by experts to finish behind Pinedale’s Katy Dexter, a thrower considered to be unbeatable entering the season. Anderson beat her twice in the shot put in the final two meets of the year, winning the event in a new Class 3-A record of 44-7.25. Anderson was second in the discus, that’s another 18 points from one athlete.

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    Lander won another title with a first-place finish in the 4×800-meter relay. Ameya Eddy, Sandra St. Clair, Katy Anderson, and Kauffman ran to gold with a time of 10:04.02.

    Avery Bever battling in the 100 – h/t Randy Tucker

    In a lesson learned from Lander’s stellar swimming program, first places are nice, but state championships are won by placing athletes in almost every event.

    The Lady Tigers did just that, scoring in all but the long and triple jumps.

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    Daisy Goklish and Ameya Eddy moved into second and third in the 800 after the first lap – h/t Randy Tucker

    The kids are the athletes, but it takes coaching to get them into competitive positions and a head coach who understands relays and knows how to arrange a relay team.

    Head coach Ben Gose is all of those things. Two relay golds might be written off to raw talent, but the Lady Tigers almost won three relay events. The sprint medley team was just .37 behind Wheatland with anchor Daisy Goklish almost holding off the Bulldog anchor runner. Avery Bever, Alexa Colman, and Kaufmann ran legs of this relay.

    Alexa Colman handed the baton to Avery Crane in the 4×100 – h/t Randy Tucker

    In the 4×100 meter relay, the team of Giesmann, Bever, Colman, and Avery Crane ran 49.98, believed to be the only Fremont County girls’ 4×100 team to ever break 50 seconds. They finished third.

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    With points at a premium, Lander’s competitive diversity came to the fore. Assistant coaches Kevin Green, Jordan Cooper, Joe Motherway, Josie Rounds, and Sara Kimsey got the best out of their athletes throughout the meet.

    Anderson’s 1-2 in the throws was gigantic, but fellow sophomore Deagan Rheinhardt adding to her career best by 12 feet in the discus with a throw of 120-2 for sixth place was huge, giving the Tigers three more points.

    Avery Bever third in the 100 – h/t Randy Tucker

    Worland has outstanding sprinters, breaking them up was a challenge, but Lander found a way to carve eight points in the 100 and 200-meter dashes behind senior Avery Bever who finished third and seventh respectively.

    You can’t ask for more than a season-best at the state meet and Kaufman provided that with a 59.21 fourth-place finish in the 400.

    Daisy Goklish and Ameya Eddy ran 2:23.51 and 2:23.93 to finish third and fourth in the 800-meter run, scoring 11 points in the process.

    Eddy continued to add precious points, cutting her regional qualifying time in the 1600-meter run by 10 seconds in a 5:16.64 performance for second place. She added a sixth in the 3200-meter run on Thursday.

    Ava Gerlach to Daisy Goklish – h/t Randy Tucker
    Daisy Goklish to Ella Giesmann – Green baton in the lead – h/t Randy Tucker
    Ella Giesmann to Ellie Kaufman final leg 4×400 – h/t Randy Tucker
    Ellie Kaufmann on the final 4×400 leg – h/t Randy Tucker

    As Eddy rounded the Kelly Walsh oval in the 1600, fellow teammates, both boys and girls lined the fence around the track yelling encouragement. All the Tigers knew the importance of the eight points Eddy brought the team in this race.

    Another six points came from senior Avery Crane with a 10-3 height and a third-place finish in the vault.

    Worland and Powell have outstanding track teams, but when it came to crunch time on Friday and much more on Saturday, each time the Lady Tigers had the opportunity, they pushed a little harder with an orange and black uniform in the race with them.

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