Indoor track team tops season off with multiple medals

Shannon Dutcher photo PHS sophomore Madison Antonino, left, closes the gap against her opponent in the 3200-meter finals at the State Indoor Track Championships in Gillette on March 3. Antonino captured first place in the event and 3A All-State honors.

Jenks sets new state record in 800-meter

GILLETTE – The Pinedale High School indoor track team, including athletes from Big Piney High School, made a statement at the 2023 State Indoor Track Championships on March 3-4 in Gillette, filling their bag with medals and new personal records.

Both the Pinedale High School boys’ and girls’ varsity teams placed eighth out of 17 3A teams at State. The Wranglers posted 29 points with the Lady Wranglers tallying 24 points.

“The State Meet in Gillette went really well this year,” said Head Coach Kyle Sullivan. “First and foremost, our team competed really well and had a lot of fun. One of the best parts for the coaches from the weekend was seeing how supportive our team was of one another. Every event that had a Pinedale athlete involved was guaranteed to have a supportive cheering section.”

Colby Jenks, a senior from Big Piney High School, shattered the boys’ varsity all-class state indoor track record in the 800-meter run in the finals for the event on Saturday, March 4. Jenks captured gold in the 800-meters, hitting the finish line at 1 minute, 53.92 seconds. He beat the runner up from Torrington by more than 7 seconds.

Rock Springs’ Ricky Faure set the previous state record in the 800-meter in 2013 at 1:54.25.

Jenks earned 3A All-State honors for his accomplishment.

Jenks picked up fourth place in the 400-meter finals, posting a sub-1 minute time of 51.87 seconds. He also medaled in the 1600-meter run, placing fourth at 4:37.72.

“Colby capped off an amazing season in a special way,” said Coach Sullivan. “Achieving an all-class state record is incredibly hard. The way that he did this was impressive in that from the start, he was out running on his own, which makes running those times even more difficult. Combine the state finishes with his Simplot Games win in the 800 from earlier this season, and Colby has had an indoor track season full of accomplishments that not many athletes can claim.”

Pinedale High School sophomore Madison Antonino captured first place in the finals for the girls’ varsity 3200-meters and earned 3A All-State honors. Antonino’s race for gold against Rawlins’ Ryann Smith remained close until Antonino pulled ahead by 0.15 seconds for the victory at 11:28.11.

Antonino snagged bronze in the 1600-meter finals, crossing the finish line in 5:25.89. Rounding out her podium finishes, Antonino took fourth place in the 800-meter finals with a time of 2:26.56.

“Madison ran a fantastic race to win the 3200-meter,” said Sullivan. “She has had such a great high-school running career thus far, but winning the first state championship is always a huge step. Madison was focused on staying in contention from the start of the race, and she was able to finish the race with an amazing final 300-meters to get the win. Her third place in the 1600-meters, fourth place in the 800-meters and being a runner on the sixth-place 4x400-meter relay team further demonstrates how strong Madison has become as a runner.”

Senior Nick Vitanza earned fourth place in the boys’ varsity long-jump finals with a leap measured in at 19 feet, 7 ¼ inches.

“Nick has been the definition of consistency with the long jump this year,” Sullivan remarked. “He has shown steady improvement throughout the season, and continued that consistency in a big competition by placing fourth in the long jump.”

Senior Noah Sletten bagged fifth place in the varsity boys’ pole vault finals, clearing 10-06.

“Fifth place was an awesome performance for Noah, having matched his personal best at the competition and getting onto the podium to score the team those points,” Sullivan added.

Senior Stephanie Resendiz, sophomore Mae McGuire, sophomore Isabella Rigo and Antonino made the podium in the girls’ varsity 4x400-meter relay finals with a sixth-place finish at 4:41.36.

“Our girls’ 4x400-meter relay took seventh place on the podium this year by taking 10 seconds off of their best time for the season,” said Sullivan.