Cheyenne East track teams sweep Okie Blanchard Invitational titles

Apr. 6—CHEYENNE — Nadia Burdett wears a smile most days, but her grin was especially wide during Friday's Okie Blanchard Invitational track and field meet.

The Cheyenne East junior had plenty of reasons to grin. She cruised to victory in the 100-meter hurdles and also placed second in triple jump to help the Thunderbirds win the team title.

East finished with 141 team points, while runner-up Laramie had 114. Cheyenne Central was third (84).

Burdett finished in 16.08 seconds in the 100 hurdles, which was nearly a half-second ahead of runner-up Lily Nichols of Wheatland. Burdett is closing in on reaching her goal of a time under 16 seconds.

"I had a good race, but my start kind of messed me up," Burdett said "I false-started in the prelims of hurdles at last year's indoor state, and I'm worried I'm going to do it again. I just sit in my blocks and wait for everyone to leave.

"It's a mental thing. I try to go, but my body tells me to stay. I have been working on it and got out faster (Friday). I'm getting so close to the 15s. I would probably start bawling my eyes out if I got into the 15s. It would be so amazing."

Burdett also placed second in triple jump with a personal-best distance of 36 feet, 6 inches. Beating her previous best earned Burdett a little cash from her father after they made a handshake deal prior to the finals. Burdett is also mere inches away from beating her older sister Taliah Morris' career-best mark.

While Morris may not have triple jump bragging rights in her own house for much longer, she also had plenty of reason to smile during Friday's meet. Morris won both the 100-meter dash (12.31 seconds) and long jump (19-2 1/4 ). She skipped the long jump finals, in part, because of how her body felt after the 100.

"I started lifting legs this week because I thought my body could handle it," said Morris, who is still in the process of recovering from offseason right ankle surgery. "I had surgery in June and it's April, so I thought my body was ready to start lifting again, and this is a sign it's not ready to lift and train at the same time right now."

Central junior Karson Tempel was the state champion in triple jump last season. She picked up right about where she left off, winning the Okie Invite title at 37-6 3/4 . It's only Tempel's second meet of the season.

"I'm not going to be right where I was, but I'm jumping decent," said Tempel, who also placed third in the 100 hurdles. "Getting 37 was a bit of a relief for me. I was 36 on my first one, which got me a little down on myself. I shouldn't have been down on myself because it's early, but getting 37 made me feel a lot better.

"I just have to focus on keeping that second phase long and finishing, and I'll get where I want to be. I wanted to be out of the 36s early this season, because I want to get into the 38s this year. This is a good step."

East also got wins from senior Molly Madsen in the 3,200 (12 minutes, 52.77 seconds) and freshman Maggie Madsen in the 1,600 (5:24.53). Maggie Madsen joined seniors Ynes Ronnau, Sydni Sawyer and Bradie Schlabs on the winning 4x800 relay team (10:12.11). Schlabs also was second in the 300 hurdles (48.71).

East took second in the 1,600 sprint medley relay (4:37.02).

Pine Bluffs' Jessica Hoffman tossed the discus 115-2 to win that event. She also split top honors in high jump after clearing 5-2.

Central got a win from senior pole vaulter Jaesa Whitesell (9-6) and a runner-up finish from freshman Sofia Rose in the 1,600 (5:31.67).

East's boys also won the team title with 146.5 points. The T-Birds got wins from the 1,600-meter sprint medley (3:48.06) and 4x800 relay teams (8:42.46). Kameron Nath cleared 6-5 to win high jump, while Keagan Eicholtz cleared 12-6 to win pole vault. Freshman Braden Bohlmann won the 3,200 in 10:45.79. Lucas Steveson (1,600) and Derrick Murphy (triple jump) both placed second.

Central's boys were second with 132 points. The Indians had a 1-2-3-4 finish in the 400-meter dash, led by senior Bridger Brokaw's 50.96. Senior Jonah Rigg placed fourth in the 400, but won the 1,600 (4:35.32). James Pillivant won long jump (20-11), and Campbell Smith placed second in pole vault (12-6).

Shawn Basart won the 300 hurdles (40.20) and was fifth in the 200 (23.58). He attributes his success in the 300 hurdles to "learning how to run" this spring.

"I used to take 17 steps between hurdles, but I need to take 15, because it really cuts your time down," Basart said. "I was stutter-stepping between hurdles, and that was causing me to take 17 steps. I really focused on taking longer strides after each hurdle and powering through it.

"I was able to do that for the first five hurdles, but I was really hurting for the last three and probably went back to 17 steps. I'll get better at that. I still set a (personal record) by a second-and-a-half, which I'm very happy about."

Burns senior Ethan Norris won the 110-meter hurdles (16.40), placed third in the 300 hurdles (43.28) and fifth in pole vault (11-6).

Jeremiah Johnke is the WyoSports editor. He can be reached at or 307-633-3137. Follow him on X at @jjohnke.