Jan. 21—CHEYENNE — This time last season, Cheyenne South's Trey Downham was regaining confidence in his surgically repaired right knee.
He suffered a torn meniscus in that joint during soccer season his freshman year, and skipped his sophomore football season to focus on physical therapy and rehabilitation. Downham eventually placed fifth at the Class 4A state indoor track and field meet by clearing 5 feet, 10 inches.
The junior picked up where he left off during the season-opening Kevin Salverson Memorial Invitational on Saturday at the Cheyenne Central Fieldhouse. He cleared 5-10 in fewer misses than Central sophomore James Pillivant to win the title.
"Everything if feeling good and I'm coming into this season a little more focused," Downham said. "Last year, I was still pretty worried about my knee. Now, I feel comfortable and it's time to climb the ladder and, hopefully, be really competitive with the upper kids."
Central's girls won five events to capture the team title. The Lady Indians finished with 155.5 team points, while runner-up Laramie had 136.
Saturday's meet was the second on the Capital City school's schedules, but the Natrona County Invitational slated for Jan. 13 was canceled due to air temperatures well below zero and the unsafe travel conditions that accompanied them.
Central sophomore Shelby Kirkbride capitalized on the additional week of practice to work some kinks out of her technique.
"I really got back into the groove about Thursday of this week," she said. "I was coming out of the back of the ring when I was swinging around my right foot. That's been a struggle for me.
"It was kind of herky-jerky at the beginning of the season is what my coach said. I smoothed that out in practice and got the right motion."
Kirkbride won shot put with a heave of 31 feet, 5 1/2 inches.
"I didn't quite get back up to my (personal best) but it was still a fun meet to knock some of the rust off," said Kirkbride, who toss the shot 33-1 1/2 last season.
Central had four of the top five finishers in the 800-meter run with senior Emma Hofmeister winning the race in 2 minutes, 32.13 seconds. Ella Montano won the 1,600 in 6:32.34.
Hofmeister, Kalyanna Flores, Adrienne Howard and Adalyn Racines joined forces to win the 4x300 relay (3:35.73).
Hailey Chapin cleared 4 feet, 8 inches to win high jump, while Jaesa Whitesell won pole vault by clearing 9-6.
South's Rachel Hedum was the runner-up in the 400 (1:09.70).
Laramie won the boys team title (134 points). Central was the boys runner-up with 130 points.
Senior Bridger Brokaw's winning time of 4:38.57 was three seconds off the Fieldhouse record. Classmate Jonah Rigg won the 800 (2:08.17). Shawn Basart won the 55-meter hurdles in 8.53 seconds.
The Indians' team of Lucas Linde, Miles Porwoll, Dylan Teasley and Kain Urdialles won the 4x300 in 3:03.61.
Burns-Pine Bluffs senior Ethan Norris was runner-up in the 55 hurdles (8.97) and third in pole vault (10-6).
East's Morris opens season with win
CHEYENNE — Cheyenne East senior Taliah Morris won one event and was second in another at the Campbell County Invitational on Saturday in Gillette.
Morris won long jump with a leap of 18 feet, 2 inches. She finished second in the 55-meter dash with a time of 7.26 seconds. She was one-hundredth of a second behind Natrona County junior Saige Gustafson (7.25).
East freshman Maggie Madsen placed second in the 1,600-meter run (5 minutes, 34.8 seconds). She was two-tenths of a second behind Laramie freshman Lainey Berryhill in that race.
Jeremiah Johnke is the WyoSports editor. He can be reached at email@example.com or 307-633-3137. Follow him on X at @jjohnke.