State Volleyball Day One - Laramie

Laramie’s Jennifer Aadland jumps for the spike in the Wyoming State High School Class 4A Volleyball Championships last season at the Casper Events Center.

File, Star-Tribune

This is something new from the Star-Tribune. We’ll look at some of the top performers from the previous week and give you a brief preview on what athletes and teams to keep an eye on over the upcoming weekend.

VOLLEYBALL

Higher Than The Rest

Rawlins won its home invite last weekend by sweeping both Douglas and Riverton before defeating Worland in three sets. The Outlaws are 7-4 against Class 4A opponents and undefeated outside of that this season.

In East Conference regular-season action, Laramie defeated both Gillette and Sheridan in straight sets over the weekend. The Plainsmen are now on a four-match winning streak and have just three losses (twice to Kelly Walsh, once to Rawlins).

Turn It On

Some of the best teams in the state come from the southwest corner. Four of them get to fight for supremacy this weekend as Evanston, Lyman and Cokeville travel to Afton for the Star Valley Invite.

It comes across as just a regular season Class 3A match, but Friday’s tilt between Powell and Buffalo pits two of the best teams from each conference against each other with plenty of season left.

CROSS COUNTRY

Higher Than The Rest

The last two meets haven’t brought a win, but Cody freshman Riley Smith has been on a tear. She finished third, first among Wyoming runners, at the Michelle Ludwig Memorial Invite on Saturday and at the Billings (Mont.) Invite the week before.

Newcastle junior Dylan Talley finished fourth at the Belle Fourche (S.D.) Invitational last weekend. That was the highest placement of Wyoming runners as both Moorcroft and Sundance also competed.

Turn It On

A collection of 3A, 2A and 1A teams competed at the Lander Invite on Thursday. All Fremont County teams were involved, as well as Lyman, Worland, Thermopolis and Mountain View.

Sundance joins Thunder Basin, Natrona County and Gillette for the Gillette Invite on Friday. This is where some of the runners who get overshadowed at the interstate meets have a chance to shine.

GIRLS SWIMMING

Higher Than The Rest

It was a big weekend for Sublette County freshman Emma Rogers. She earned wins as a member of the 200 medley and 400 free relay teams and individually in the 50 and 200 freestyle competing at both the Rock Springs Invite and Kemmerer Invite.

Cheyenne Central senior Logan Anderson earned the gold as a member of the 200 medley and 400 free relay teams at the Cheyenne Invite. She was also third in the 200 IM and 100 butterfly.

Turn It On

Teams from across the state converge in the southwest corner for the Green River Invite. Schools from Gillette, Casper and Riverton join the Sweetwater crowd for the weekend’s biggest in-state meet.

While it’s just Lander, Laramie and Jackson, the Friday-Saturday Jackson Invite gives us some premier matchups. Lander’s dynasty goes up against Olivia McPherson and the Plainsmen.

GOLF

Higher Than The Rest

It was another big weekend for Kelly Walsh as the Trojans swept the Casper Invite, but especially so for Jocelyn Olson. She hit an invite-best 82 in the second round to win the girls’ portion by 10 strokes.

Lander freshman Jaren Calkins edged out teammate Dominic Yates to win the Class 3A West Regional last weekend. The young Tiger hit a 73 in the first round and finished strong with a 74 the second day.

Turn It On

The Class 4A state golf meet begins on Monday at Evanston. Natrona County’s Kynsie Valdez is the only returning champion, but she has played second fiddle to Kelly Walsh’s Olson recently.

Class 2A in Sheridan also begins Monday while Class 3A in Douglas started Thursday. Everything is up for grabs in Class 2A while familiar faces return in a hunt for gold in Class 3A.

TENNIS

Higher Than The Rest

Kelly Walsh’s Matt Paris went 4-1 at No. 2 singles over the weekend with wins against Thunder Basin, Gillette, Natrona County and Cody. His only loss was to Powell’s senior standout Rhett Pimentel.

The duo of Izze Fleischi and Emily Needham of Cheyenne Central went 4-0 at No. 1 Doubles last weekend. Those two lost just eight sets combined in wins against Rock Springs, Rock Springs, Torrington and Rawlins.

Turn It On

Cheyenne Central’s Grace Dereemer, last season’s No. 2 singles champion, is back to make her mark on the South Regional. She played behind four-time state champion Rachel Philips last year, but now has a chance to take the No. 1 Singles crown.

The North Regional was cancelled due to inclement weather in the forecast. Returning No. 1 singles champion Dawson Miessler of Gillette will take his top regional seed into the state meet.

Follow sports reporter Brady Oltmans on Twitter @Brady_CST

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Star-Tribune reporter Brady Oltmans covers high school and college sports.

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