CASPER — Every time he took the field this season, Pine Bluffs freshman Wyatt Norman got better.
Thursday was no exception.
At the Wyoming State Track Meet, Norman topped his previous best this season in the pole vault, finishing with a mark of 11 feet, 6 inches. It bested his previous jump of 10 feet, 2 inches and secured a tie for third-place in the 2A boys competition.
Not too bad for a guy who barely cleared 8 feet in the first meet of the season.
“I have no idea at all,” Norman said about his growth this season.
“I was excited for state and got on a new pole last week. That kind of helped me with another six inches on the pole. And also my mind was more in it I guess.”
Norman’s season has been a steady rise from relative unknown to state contender. Pine Bluffs coach Dustin Lee called him “very coachable.” As the coaches have taught, Norman has listened and learned.
That, coupled with great athleticism, have helped his cause.
“You say the same things over and over again, some kids do them, some kids don’t. He’s one of the ones that does it,” Lee said.
Norman knows a freshman season that ends with a third-place at state sets the tone for a career that could be stellar.
He said he has hopes of contending for a state title in the next few years. But, if nothing else, he simply wants to progress. And that’s something he’s gotten pretty good at.
“It’s kind of been a pretty quick progression. Coach said I had a perfect season because I didn’t go under my (personal record). I always tied it or went above at every meet,” Norman said.
Wimbley stays tough, battles to fourth in high jump
Cheyenne Central junior Darius Wimbley had a stellar day at the high jump pit.
The trouble was, so did his competitors.
Wimbley finished with a leap of 6 feet to take fourth-place. All three of the individuals who finished ahead of him went 6 feet, 2 inches.
“You have to be prepared. Be prepared for any weather problems, water, just be ready to jump,” Wimbley said.
Rain slowed down the field events and made the surface “kind of scary” Wimbley said.
Despite all that, he still upped his placing from state last season. During the 2012 meet, he placed fifth among the 4A competitors.
“I’m think that it’s a very good experience and hopefully helps me for next year,” he said.
Who’s moving on to the finals?
The preliminary runs of the 100- and 110-meter hurdles and 200-meter dash races were run on Thursday with several Laramie County athletes advancing to the finals.
In the girls 100-meter hurdles, Central’s Heidi Pfoor reached the finals with the second-best time. She finished in 15.01 seconds.
In the boys 110-meter hurdles, Central’s David Riedl squeaked into the finals by placing eighth in 15.93 seconds.
The girls 4A 200-meter dash finals will feature two Cheyenne athletes. East’s Logan Yurek placed fourth in 25.51 seconds while Central’s Danielle Alexander took fifth in 25.75 seconds.
Burns’ Ashley Turner will run in the finals of the 2A girls 200-meter race after the second-best prelim time of 26.56 seconds.