The Wyoming State Track Championships are underway in Casper for Laramie High School and will continue through Saturday.

Laramie has 30 student-athletes competing over three days.

Senior Albert Steiner leads the Laramie Plainsmen. He is trying to defend titles won last year in the 1600 and 3200-meter runs. Steiner is one of four returning All-State performers on the roster. He’s joined by fellow seniors Tyler Dahl and Philip Henry, as well as junior Jason Upton.

As a team, the Laramie boys are trying to improve upon a runner-up finish last year and third in 2016.

Sophomores Emmy Johnson and Abigail Whitman lead the Laramie Lady Plainsmen. Whitman is the lone returning All-State performer after a second place in last year’s 3200-meter race. She’ll be competing in three individual events and one relay. Johnson has emerged in the 100-meter dash and 300-meter hurdles. She’s also running a leg on the 4x100 and 4x400-meter relays.

The Laramie girls are hoping to move up from a seventh-place result as a team last year.

Steiner and Johnson visited with KOWB’s David Settle for a state track preview. They talked about Steiner defending his titles, Johnson’s switch from distance races to sprinting and hurdling, plus how they feel about the team aspects.

Laramie head track coach Gil Bradfield feels his teams are ready for this meet after seeing them perform at last week’s regional meet in Cheyenne.

“We’re going to compete our best and try our best in every event that we’re in.”

Neither team will cover every event. There are three events the Lady Plainsmen don’t have a qualifier in and four for the Plainsmen.

Bradfield said, “We only have a couple holes here and there, but we can score some (big) points. Hopefully, even with some of the people we have, they can score some seventh and eighth place points, which will really help.”

With as tight as the team races can be, Bradfield knows every point counts.

The focal point of the weekend is on the Laramie boys’ team chances. The Plainsmen are trying to complete a school-year trifecta of winning state cross country, state indoor track and now state outdoor track team titles.

Bradfield said, “It’s definitely a goal of theirs. Like I say, we just have to have a perfect day, and everybody has to come through wherever they can.”

The LHS boys will be pushed by two-time defending champ Kelly Walsh, plus Sheridan (East Regional team champ), Natrona County (West Regional team champ) and Cheyenne East.

The Lady Plainsmen are seeking a top three or four finish according to Bradfield. He believes Cheyenne Central (East Regional team champ) and Kelly Walsh are the favorites, with Sheridan and Natrona County also factoring in.

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