TORRINGTON – All three local track teams kick off their season this week or next, with every athlete looking for their route to the state meet, and prequalifying is one way to get to Casper.
Standards are set at the beginning of each season to allow athletes more ways to get into the state meet. If an athlete can surpass a specific mark set at the beginning of the season at any qualifying event throughout the season, that athlete earns a spot at the state track meet. The prequalifying time comes from the average times over the past three years.
Competitors can prequalify for the state meet in multiple events, but can only compete in four events during the postseason. Whatever events someone competes in at regionals is the events they will run at the state tournament, if they have prequalified or finish in a good enough spot at regionals.
When it comes to relays, multiple relays can prequalify for the state meet, with any combination of athletes from the same team. If a school qualifies three different combinations of one relay, then the school decides which relay team to field at regionals and move on to state.
A season ago, Torrington had 11 prequalifying efforts heading into the regional meet. There were four Cyclone times that surpassed the standards, while the Doggers combined for 41 prequalifying efforts.
Here is a look at the prequalifying standards for both the Lingle-Fort Laramie girls and boys.
The Doggers boys know what they need to do to punch their ticket to the state tournament before competing in the regional meet. The marks to beat are laid out for the track in the 100 (11.96), 200 (24.08) and 400 (53.96). Prequalifying in the 800 requires a time of 2:07.96, while the mark to beat in the 1600 is 4:58.14 and in the 3200 it is 11:12.78.
Hurdlers will need to beat 18.05 seconds in the 110-meter hurdles and 44.45 seconds in the 300-meter hurdles.
The time to beat for 400-meter relay teams is set for 48.55 seconds. 1600-meter relay teams need to best 3:54.66 while the distance relay bar is at 9:46.82.
Class 1A has the lowest mark for the high jump, with athletes needing to clear 5 feet, 7 inches, while pole vaulters must clear 11 feet to prequalify. In other field events, the tape needs to stretch farther than 19 feet, 6 inches for the long jump and 39 feet, 4 inches in the triple jump. The standards are also set for both the shot put (40-1) and discus (115-10).
Lingle-Fort Laramie’s girls team had several prequalifiers last year and the squad knows the marks it needs to beat this spring as well. The times are set at 13.68 in the 100, 28.66 in the 200 and 65.49 in the 400. Increasing in distance, the times are set for the 800 (2:35.38), 1600 (6:03.31) and 3200 (13:42.20).
Joining the runners on the track, hurdlers need times better than 18.09 seconds in the 100-meter event and 51.67 seconds in the 300-meter event to prequalify.
The 400-meter relay mark is still under a minute, resting at 58.27 seconds, while the 1600-meter relay mark is 5:01.58 and a time of better than 12:36.11 is needed in the 3200-meter relay.
For the throwing events, 1A girls need to surpass 31 feet, 1 inch in the shot put or 96 feet, 4 inches in the discus to prequalify. Seven feet, 4 inches is needed in the pole vault, while athletes need to clear 4 feet, 7 inches in the high jump to prequalify. The marks are also set for the long jump (14-9) and triple jump (31-4).
*Fully automatic timing marks were used for this article. To see the hand-held timing marks necessary to prequalify, check out whsaa.org.