PHS track athletes post solid performances at State


Robert Galbreath photos The girls’ 4x800-relay team – from left, Olivia Tolson, McKinzie Mortensen, Lauren Jones and Matazi Landers – earned seventh at State. Katyana Dexter prepares to send the shot put flying at State in Casper. Dexter snagged the state championship in the event. Karsyn Henn, left, and Katyana Dexter, right, take a moment to pose with assistant coach Michael Gregory after the discus at State. Dexter earned the state championship and Best of the Best award in the event. Henn secured 10th place. Madison Antonino battles for her position at the front of the pack in the 3200-meter at State. Antonino secured the state championship in the event. She also picked up silver in the 1600-meters and set new PHS school records in the event and the 800-meters. Mandy Majhanovich catches air in the long jump on Thursday at State. Freshman Megan Boulter, left, reaches the podium in the high jump at State, tying for eighth place in the event. Noah Sletten sets up for a perfect jump in the pole vault at State. Sletten placed eighth in the event. The girls’ 1600-meter sprint medley relay team snapped up sixth place at State. Pictured in front, from left, are Madison Antonino and Stephanie Resendiz. In back, from left, are Mandy Majhanovich and Mae McGuire.

CASPER – The Pinedale High School outdoor track team wrapped up the 2023 spring season with a strong showing at the State Track and Field Championships in Casper on May 18-20.

In contrast to the previous year when near blizzard conditions in Casper made the going tough for athletes, sunny skies, warm temperatures and a gentle breeze greeted PHS tracksters in 2023. Smoky skies and high temperatures on Friday and Saturday posed difficulties, though the Lady Wranglers and Wranglers stepped up to the challenge and battled a roster of tough opponents in each event with flying colors.

The Pinedale girls’ team fielded 11 athletes and finished eighth as a team with 46.5 points. Senior Noah Sletten represented the Wrangler boys at State this year, posting points for the team in the pole vault.

“I am very proud of how our team stayed focused to compete while in Casper,” said Head Coach Kyle Sullivan. “After having success at Regionals, there is always a chance of going to State and losing focus, but that was not the case with our team. Each athlete performed well at State, and when a majority of kids that travel to Casper find their way onto the podium, it is a great way to finish a season.”

Junior Katyana Dexter swept throwing events in Casper. Entering the shot-put ring early on Friday morning, Dexter snagged the 3A state championship in the event, clearing 42 feet, 3 ¼ inches.

Dexter hit a new personal record and a Pinedale High School record in the shot put at State. She finished more than 2 feet ahead of the second-place finisher from Lander, Adalyn Anderson.

On Saturday morning, Dexter bagged her second state championship in the discus, reaching a new distance of 146-01. Dexter’s mark in discus also represented new personal and PHS school records.

Beating Anderson by a whopping 25 feet and change, Dexter posted the farthest discus throw out of all classifications at State, earning the Best of the Best Award in the event.

Dexter received 3A All-State honors for her wins in both the shot put and discus.

“Katy repeating as a two-time state champion is an incredible feat, and to bring home a Best of the Best performance in discus is really special,” said Coach Sullivan.

In distance events, sophomore Madison Antonino garnered the 3A state championship in the girls’ 3200-meter run. Antonino and Rawlins senior Ryann Smith broke away from the rest of the pack early in the race, vying neck-in-neck for the top spot. Digging deep, Antonino kicked the final lap in to beat Smith by nearly 2 seconds at 11 minutes, 31.29 seconds.

The 1600-meter run on Saturday followed a similar pattern. Once again, Antonino and Smith found themselves battling for first place, pulling ahead from the other contestants. The race to the finish line came down to the wire. Antonino finished in second place at 5:05.88, less than 2 seconds behind her older opponent.

Antonino’s time in the 1600-meter set a new personal record and PHS school record.

In the 800-meters, Antonino took sixth place, timing in with a new PHS school record of 2:22.87.

Antonino also set the PHS school record in the 3200-meters earlier in the season at 11:05.31.

Antonino achieved All-State awards for the 3200- and 1600-meter runs at State.

“Madison was able to win the 3200-meters in a very strategic race, which is not uncommon to see in longer distance races at championship events,” said Coach Sullivan. “But more arguably impressive would be her performances in the 800- and 1600-meter events. Both of these races were fast finals and she ran impressive personal bests in both events.”

Antonino, senior Stephanie Resendiz, sophomore Mae McGuire and senior Mandy Majhanovich secured sixth place in the 1600-meter sprint medley relay. The team clocked in at 4:31.52, close to their school-record-breaking PR of 4:29.79 set at a previous meet.

Junior Lauren Jones, sophomore Matazi Landers and freshmen McKinzie Mortensen and Olivia Tolson earned seventh place in the girls’ 4x800-meter relay with a time of 11:04.76.

Clearing 4-08 in the girls’ high jump, freshman Megan Boulter finished eighth in the finals for the event.

Following a long, hot afternoon at the pole vault, Sletten earned eighth place in the event with a leap of 11-06.

Sophomore Karsyn Henn came in 10th place in the finals for the girls’ shot put, clearing 98-06.

In the girls’ long jump, Majhanovich took 11th place, posting a leap of 15-01 ¾.

Resendiz placed 19th in the preliminaries for the 100-meter dash at 13.73 seconds. She went on to place 13th in the 200-meter preliminaries with a time of 27.85 seconds.