Busy Wacaser chases improvement

2014-05-15T22:59:00Z 2014-05-16T00:17:08Z Busy Wacaser chases improvementBy JOE KUSEK jkusek@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

Shealynn Wacaser’s javelin has been stuck in a holding pattern.

Knocking out throws better than 130 feet has been easy for the busy Billings Skyview senior.

But Wacaser wants more air time.

“I’d like to break into the 140’s,” she said.

To find that elusive extra distance, Wacaser added a few more steps to an already full dance card.

Prior to Thursday night’s Billings Public Schools meet at Daylis Stadium, Wacaser has been using a five-step approach. It’s the same approach that helped her set the BPS meet javelin record of 136-0 a year ago.

But in a meet that started in sunshine and finished under the lights — with a little gust of wind and rain added — Wacaser went a little longer before her throws.

“Now I do a full approach,” she said. “It’s five more steps. It adds a bunch of power and speed to your throw.”

While not getting the numbers she pursued, Wacaser won with a throw of 131-1. She dominated by almost a full 20 feet.

Wacaser also found herself thinking a little more during her run-through. “Oh, yeah, I was counting big time,” she said with laugh about her extra steps. “It’s a change. I’m not used to it. I’ll have to adjust. I didn’t PR in the javelin like I wanted to, but I had some solid throws.”

Wacaser also ran a leg on the Falcons’ winning 400-meter relay, a leg on the second-place 1,600 relay and was second in the pole vault in a close duel with Mika Robinson of Billings West. “I was strong today,” she said.

Wacaser cleared 10 feet and 10-6 on her first tries. She and Robinson both cleared 11-0, a school record for Robinson, but Wacaser had missed on her first attempt.

Both missed three times at 11-6 with Wacaser coming tantalizing close on her try.

“The third one, I was over,” she said. “I love competing like that. And I’m sure Mika feels the same way. It makes me want to do better.”

Wacaser has already qualified for the Class AA state meet in the javelin, pole vault, 100 meters and a member of both relays.

“I like being busy,” she said. “Then I don’t have time to think in between events. But I like to sit and cheer people on, too.”

It’s that versatility — she also played for Skyview’s state runner-up volleyball team — that attracted college recruiters from around the nation. She recently signed an NCAA national letter of intent to compete for Weber State next season.

“I just felt really comfortable when I went down there,” Wacaser said of traveling to Ogden, Utah. “I really liked the coaches and really like the athletes. And I’ll be used to the winters.”

It also brings the question, does she have a favored event?

“I don’t know … that’s a hard question,” Wacaser said with another laugh. “I really like both. Some days, it’s the pole vault and the next week, it’s just the opposite.

“My goals are to be among the top contenders at state. But in the end, I want to improve myself and help the team any way can.”

* * *

Morgan Sulser set the meet’s only records, bettering both the 100- and 300-hurdle marks.

The senior from Billings Senior won the 100 hurdles in 15.09, shading the previous record of 15.18 set by Jenna Schardein of Senior in 2002. A couple of hours later, Sulser won the 300 hurdles in 45.45, breaking the record of 45.53 set by Sawyer Ferguson of Skyview in 2011. Sulser also won the 100 meters and ran the anchor leg on the Broncs’ winning 1,600 relay team.

Kennedy Smith won both the long jump (16-6) and triple jump (35-7) for West, while the Bears’ Brett Dringman cleared a career-best 14-7 to win the pole vault.

Other girls’ winners were: Brooke Endy, West, 200; Haley Gellner, Skyview, 400; Jess Raty, Senior, 800; Keegan Day, Skyview, 1,600; Amanda Nelson, Skyview, 3,200; Taylor Mims, Senior, high jump; Jace Henderson, Senior, shot put; Madison Cicierski, Senior, discus.

Other boys’ winners were: Drake Schafer, Skyview, 100; Mason Carle, Skyview, 200; Logan Laird, West, 400; Isaac Petsch, West, 800; Jorey Egeland, Senior, 1,600; Dylan Johnson, Senior, 3,200; Connor Gaughan, Senior, 110 hurdles; Riley Barta, Skyview, 300 hurdles; Skyview, 400 relay; West, 1,600 relay; Kendal Manuel, Skyview, high jump; Jory Ableman, West, long jump; Cody Connolly, Senior, triple jump; Michael Quesenberry, West, shot put; Charlie Barron, Senior, discus; Brennan Nielsen, Senior, javelin.

The Senior boys and West girls won the team titles.

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