Jan 16, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorThe team includes 12 athletes from Wind River High School and one from Shoshoni.
The Riverton High School indoor track team has a countywide flavor this year.
Coach Tawn Gopp is working with 41 athletes for the indoor season, 12 of them from Wind River High School and one from Shoshoni. Neither Wind River nor Shoshoni offers indoor track as a school activity.
"I'm excited to have them on our team," Gopp said. "It's good that we are able to provide an opportunity for them to come in and do that. All of them are pretty excited about track. It just adds to our team. They are hard-working kids."
The out-of-town athletes show up at practice by 4:30 p.m.
"They warm up on their own as a group," Gopp said. "Then the coaches usually stay after a little later and help them."
The Wolverines have a good mixture of underclassmen and upperclassmen on the roster.
"We have some kids that are new to the sport that have never done it before," Gopp said. "We have some that are just new to indoor. We have a few returning kids that have done it in the past."
Cheyenne East, Gillette, Cody, Laramie, Casper Kelly Walsh, Laramie, Rock Springs, Star Valley, Sheridan, Thermopolis, Green River, Evanston, Glenrock and Casper Natrona, Lovell and Mountain View have indoor track programs.
"We are still smaller than some of the other indoor teams, but for our team the numbers are big," Gopp said. "We are just trying to find space for practice."
The Wolverines have managed to get outside twice in two weeks.
"We have to wait for it to get above 20 degrees," Gopp said.
The team spends a lot of time in the weight room and on general conditioning.
RHS also works out in the pool at the Riverton Aquatic Center and on indoor bikes.
The Wolverines practice their field events at Aspen Elementary School.
"Right now, we have a lot of sprinters," Gopp said. "We have a lot of distance runners for the guys. We have a few throwers, and we even have three pole vaulters."
Riverton's Hannah Snell is throwing the shot for the second year for the indoor team.
"We are hoping to move Hannah up to the competitive range," Gopp said.
Sean Watts qualified for the state outdoor track meet in May in the sprints. Watts will probably race in the 55-meter and 200-meter runs.
"Sean is running pretty well in the sprints," Gopp said. "He is getting better all the time."
Gopp likes Brytan Spoonhunterin the distance events.
"Brytan is showing some real potential," Gopp said.
The Wolverines open the indoor season Saturday at the Gillette Invitational.
Gopp is expecting most of the Wyoming schools with indoor track to be at the one-day meet.
"It will be a large meet," Gopp said. "The times are usually pretty good because of the lower attitude."
After the Gillette Invitational, the Wolverines are tentatively scheduled to participate Friday, Jan. 25., at a meet in Spearfish, S.D., at Black Hills State.
"That will be good competition over there," Gopp said.
The Wolverines will be in Cheyenne (Feb. 9), the Simplot Games in Pocatello, Idaho, (Feb. 14-16), the Wyoming Indoor Open in Laramie (Feb. 22) and the state meet in Gillette (March. 1-2).
"That is going to be a good schedule for us," Gopp said.
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