POCATELLO, Idaho – While Sweetwater County residents were watching the snow blow around this past weekend, a handful of Rock Springs High School Track and Field members were making noise in Pocatello, Idaho. The loudest roar came from RSHS Senior Carlos Salcido who finished with a gold medal in the 400 meters.
More than 2,000 athletes came from across the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Australia to participate in the 37th annual Simplot Games. The Simplot Games remains the nation’s premier high school indoor track and field event. Sponsored by the J.R. Simplot Company since 1979, the Simplot Games take place at Idaho State University’s Holt Arena in Pocatello, Idaho.
Among those competing were several members of the Rock Springs High School Track and Field team, the Green River team and several other school across the state.
Leading RSHS was Senior Carlos Salcido who was ready to make his mark early. He did just that as he tore up the track in the 400 meters to take first and bring home a Simplot Games gold medal. His time of 48.88 seconds just edged out Los Angeles runner Isaiah Jewett who finished in second with a 48.94. Long Beach runner Mar’yea Harris finished third with a 49.17 while Preston Roche of Fort Collins, Colo., finished fourth with a 49.43.
“The race was hard at the beginning but I pushed hard the last 150 meters,” Salcido said. “I knew I had to make a move on the last curve so I could pass him.”
Salcido also competed in the 2014 Simplot Games. While he did not place last year, he said the experience paid off.
“I learned that I had to come out hard at first,” said Salcido of running on the wooden banked track.
Winning the 400 was not enough for Salcido who has committed to run for New Mexico next year. He also lined up to race the 60-meter dash. He finished with a time of 7.08 to cross the line in eighth. Colorado runner Miguel Molas took first with a time of 6.91
While Salcido made the biggest mark, he was not the only one making noise. Tiger Krey Ramsey lined up for the 1600 meters and crossed the finish line in the ninth position. Ramsey ran a 4:24.21. The top time was put up by University of Calgary runner Ryan Smeeton who finished with a 4:16.87. Reilly Bloomer from Eugene, Ore., was second with a time of 4:17.29. Ramsey finished right behind a familiar face as Cheyenne East runner Michael Downey finished in eighth.
In the 800 meter Tiger Preston Portillo just missed a top 20 finish crossing the line 23rd. Portillo put up a time of 2:06.83 for Rock Springs. Winnipeg runner Shane Dillon won the 800 meters with a 1:53.50. Vernal, Utah runner Mason Walk finished just in front of Portillo in 21st while Laramie runner John Freeman had the highest Wyoming finish coming in ninth.
Not to be outdone, Rock Springs had two top 30 finishes in the Coaches Mixed 1600-meter run. Brad DeKrey finished in 28th while Donna DeKrey crossed the line in 30th.
Other notable Wyoming finishes include Big Piney’s Jace Marx who finished 12th in the 200 meters, Gillette’s Walker Newell who finished fourth in the 60-meter hurdles, Laramie’s Lane George who finished 13th in the long jump and Laramie’s Chris Bolinger who finished 10th in the shot put.
On the ladies side, Rock Springs was led by Maliya Crouch in the shot put. Crouch was just off the top throw with a 42-11.50 which gave her a fourth-place finish. The top distance came from Amarissa Hawker of Herriman, Utah, who finished with a throw of 45-02.25. Gillette’s Elizabeth Maller had a solid 12th-place finish.
In the 800 meters, both Green River and Rock Springs had ladies placing. Lady Wolves Josie Givens ran a 2:22.56 which was good enough for a tenth-place finish. For Rock Springs Alyse Henry crossed the finish line with a time of 2:27.40 to put her in 23rd overall.
Someone who is used to being around the top is this year’s Wyoming Gatorade Cross Country Runner of the Year Lady Tiger Karli Piaia. In the 1600 meters, Piaia put up a time of 5:12.55 which put her in 10th. The top time posted in the 1600 was 4:56.32 while the top Wyoming time was Gillette’s Sydney Wendy who finished sixth with a 5:04.99.
There were several other notable finishes from the Wyoming ladies. In the 200 meters, Sheridan’s Gabby Edeen finished in 13th while Laramie’s Maria Smith-Lopez had a 13th-place finish in the 3200. Gillette’s Ashlyn Erisman finished eighth in the pole vault while Cheyenne East’s Lily Joslin was close behind in 11th. Gillette’s Olivia McCann finished in seventh in the high jump while Evanston’s Jessica Sepos was right behind in 13th.