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State Track - Thursday

Kelly Walsh's Emory Yoosook competes in the Class 4A boys long jump on May 16 during the Wyoming State High School Track and Field Championships at Harry Geldien Stadium in Casper. Yoosook won the event.

Emory Yoosook figured he would medal at the Wyoming high school track and field championships Thursday.

But the medal the Kelly Walsh junior ultimately claimed on his home field was beyond his wildest imaginations.

He needed not only a good distance but one he’d never reached before if he wanted to upset fellow Casper native and Natrona County senior Hunter Brown, who’s headed to the University of Wyoming next season on a track scholarship. Yoosook did just that, leaping 23 feet, 0.25 inch to capture his first state title in the boys Class 4A long jump.

“I’m not going to lie. I cried a little bit,” Yoosook said while standing on the Harry Geldien Stadium turf afterward. “I hugged all my friends and my coaches who helped me get to where I am now.”

Yoosook has been long jumping since middle school but had never cleared 23 feet. He routinely jumps in the 22-feet range. Even by his own admission, he figured that distance would earn him a runner-up finish.

But Yoosook reached back — or jumped forward, technically — for a little more. He easily surpassed Brown’s best jump of 22 feet, 7.5 inches on his final attempt to become the only athlete from Kelly Walsh or Natrona County to end the first day of the meet with a title.

“On that last jump, I just had the urge to jump over,” Yoosok said. “It just motivated me because in the beginning, I started in sixth place going into finals, and then I just kept on going. I went to third and then to first. I didn’t want to be at the bottom of the podium.

“It’s astounding. I never thought I could do this, but it’s cool.”

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State Track - Thursday
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Claudia Miller had gotten used to second place. The Cheyenne Central senior finished runner-up in the girls 3,200 meters multiple times to teammate Aubrey Frentheway.

Frentheway wrapped up her stellar prep career on the track last season, meaning someone else was going to come away with the crown this year. It finally went to Miller, who finished 9 seconds ahead of Kelly Walsh freshman Finley Klinger for the title.

Miller was a member of Cheyenne Central’s 4x800 relay championship team last season, but Thursday delivered the first individual title of her career.

“I knew I had a good chance with her graduating and training with her,” Miller said. “I felt pretty confident in it, but there’s a lot of young girls who are really talented. I definitely didn’t let myself get too comfortable.”

In the boys 3,200 meters, Star Valley’s Peter Visser came from behind to capture his first individual championship. The sophomore turned it on down the home stretch to edge Jackson Hole senior Mac Staryk, crossing the finish line in 9 minutes, 30.08 seconds — just six tenths of a second ahead of his rival.

State Track - Thursday

Star Valley's Peter Visser pulls ahead of Jackson's Mac Staryk to win the Class 4A boys 3200-meter run last month at the Wyoming State High School Track and Field Championships in Casper.

“I was just trying to get ahead of the guys from Jackson,” said Visser, whose time was also a personal best. “We’ve got a big rivalry. It’s always beat Jackson, beat Jackson, beat Jackson.”

***

Both 1,600-meter medleys saw records fall. Kody Smith, Gabe Morris, Tyrell Halladay and Dallin Cardon helped Evanston set a new class record with a winning time of 3:35.13. Laramie’s Rachel King, Ashlyn Bingham, Mallorie Hamel and Abigail Whitman ran a collective 4:13.65 to set the same record on the girls’ side.

Laramie’s time is also a new state record.

Other individual winners Thursday were Rock Springs’ Favour Wanjoku (girls long jump) and Cody’s Grace Shaffer (girls pole vault).

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College Sports Reporter

Davis Potter is the University of Wyoming athletics reporter. An Alabama native and 2011 Auburn University graduate, Potter joined the Star-Tribune in 2018 after five years covering Ole Miss and the Southeastern Conference. He lives in Laramie.

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