Garza breaks 23-year old record at Rocky Invite

Burlington Husky thinclads set 24 personal bests at the Rocky Mountain Invitational in Cowley Saturday. Coach Ryan Olson was all smiles Monday when he started updating the personal best board in the school hall. “That’s my favorite time of the week,” he said. “When you see them improve each week, see that their hard work in practice pays off, that’s what it’s all about.”

The personal bests were just part of an impressive showing by the Huskies, who were shorthanded with many of the athletes taking their ACTs in Powell.

Tallon Wiles set a PB and AQed in the pole vault when he cleared 12-8. Coach Olson noted that is one of the top marks across the board in the state, and should earn him a spot in the Wyoming Track Classic in

Ryan McNiven (right) hands the baton to Tanner Trujillo in the 400-meter relay Saturday in Cowley at the Rocky Mountain Invitational.
David Peck


But perhaps the highlight of the meet for Burlington, and for Olson, was the performance of Dontae Garza. He AQed in the 100 meters with a personal best time of 11.87, and in the long jump with his PB and third place mark of 20-08, but he outdid himself in the triple jump.

The junior won the event with a PB and AQ mark of 45-08, more than four feet better than the second place jumper. In the process, he broke the school record that has stood since 1995. 

And who was at the jump pit measuring the jumps? None other than the former record setter, Brandon Preator.  What were the chances of that happening?

Olson said the record is one of Burlington’s longest standing marks.  “Brandon is great; he’s always joking about that record. He asked me if I thought it would be broken. I told him, maybe not today, but we have a good jumper. It was an amazing jump for Dontae, one of the state’s top jumps. He’ll probably be heading down to Casper, too.”

Time would not allow Olson to enumerate the entire list of PBs and “almost” PBs, but noted that Cheri Henderson recorded a time of 2:35 in the 800 meters, and Melissa Bullinger triple jumped almost 30 feet. Both are freshmen, as is Ryan McNiven, who cleared 5-6 in the high jump. Good finishes by the younger athletes bodes well for the future of the Burlington High School track program.

The meet at Riverside scheduled for Friday has been cancelled. The Huskies will compete in Lovell Saturday, a meet that usually has large schools in the mix.

Olson said Burlington still hopes to reschedule the home meet that was curtailed by the weather two weeks ago. “Hopefully we can have a day (without sleet, rain or snow) and can invite smaller schools to a small afternoon meet.” 

Individual results:


Lovell 162; Powell, 159; Big Horn 129.5; Rocky Mountain 72.5; Burlington 52; Meeteetse 32; Tongue River 28; Arvada-Clearmont 11; Greybull 11.


Sprint medley relay: 5th Burlington (Kolby Broederlow, Tanner Trujillo, David Wardell, Ryan McNiven).

110-hurdles: 8th Broederlow 19.98.

100-meters: 5th (tie) Dontae Garza 11.87.

400-relay: 6th Burlington (Wiles, Garza, McNiven, Gideon George) 48.81.

300-hurdles: 7th Broederlow 47.52.

200-meters: 12th McNiven 45.84.

Long jump: 3rd Garza 20-08.

Discus: 12th Wardell 106-07.

Pole vault: 1st Tallon Wiles 12-08.

Triple jump: 1st Garza 45-08; 3rd Wiles 40-11.

High jump: R. McNiven 4-06.

Shot put: 18th D. Wardell 33-00.75


Powell 183.5; Lovell 118.33; Big Horn 80.83; Greybull 67; Tongue River 57; Meeteetse 45; Rocky Mountain 39.33; Burlington 17; Arvada-Clearmont 13.


Sprint medley relay: 4th (Cheri Henderson, Maddie Prator, Kristin Wiles, Kara Henderson).

100-hurdles: 7th Callee Catlin 20.30; 9th Preator 22.14.

400-relay: 6th Burlington (Bullinger, Alexa Olson,  Henderson, Preator)) 48.81.

400-meters: 9th Melissa Bullinger 1:11.86.

800-meters: 8th K. Henderson 3:03.78.

Pole vault: 11th (tie) Henderson, Kristin Wiles. 5-10.

Long jump: 14th Bullinger 14-00.

By Marlys Good