The simplest measure of the success of an overall athletics program is the number of state championships it has won.

By that simple measure alone, Campbell County stands alone at the top of Wyoming’s athletics echelon.

The Camels have won 212 state championships, dating back to the school’s first title, a boys basketball championship in 1958. Since then, the Camel boys have won 103 state championships in each of the 10 sports the school offers, while the Camel girls have won 109 titles in 10 sports, nine of which the school currently has.

Campbell County is one of just six schools in Wyoming to have at least 100 state championships to its name, through championships won in the winter season of 2021-22. The others are Jackson (192), Cheyenne Central (191), Natrona (181), Laramie (141) and Lander (101).

The only school now open that doesn’t have a state championship is Cheyenne South, which opened about a decade ago. Arvada-Clearmont, Hulett and Rock River have just one championship apiece in their histories.

The first state championship was awarded at the 1918 boys basketball state tournament. In all, 2,935 championships have been earned, with 1,792 going to boys teams and 1,143 to girls teams.

Obviously, it’s easier for bigger schools to win more championships, as they offer more sports. The Class 1A school with the most championships, unsurprisingly, is Cokeville, with 87. The Panthers far outdistance second-place Snake River and its 35 championships. The Class 2A school that ranks highest is Pine Bluffs, with 46 championships, followed closely by Wyoming Indian with 40.

The single best year for championships belongs to Campbell County, as well. The Camels won 10 championships in both the 2000-01 and 2008-09 school years. Jackson and Campbell County have also won nine titles in a single school year before, while Star Valley, Jackson and Campbell County have won eight in a year.

The most championships for boys in a single year is six, most recently by Laramie in 2017-18 but also by Campbell County three times, in 2008-09, 2007-08 and 1998-99. The girls record is seven titles, set by Campbell County in 2000-01.

Championships have been awarded across 13 boys sports in 31 different classifications, while girls titles have been awarded in 13 sports in 28 classifications. Dig deeper into each sport on Champlists.

Championship winners are not fully available for all sports. Sports with holes in their championship records include boys and girls alpine and Nordic skiing, as well as potential missing titles in girls golf.

Total championship tallies are below. Click the headers to sort by that column.

–patrick

SchoolsTotalBoysGirls
Albin13112
Arvada-Clearmont101
Basin431
Big Horn351421
Big Piney16142
Buffalo432815
Burlington362214
Burns25619
Byron22202
Campbell County212103109
Carpenter110
Cheyenne Central19113061
Cheyenne East693930
Cheyenne South000
Chugwater220
Cody663135
Cokeville874146
Cowley990
Dayton220
Deaver-Frannie660
Douglas723438
Dubois963
Encampment1679
Evanston26188
Farson880
Fort Laramie110
Glendo211
Glenrock22193
Goshen Hole440
Green River504010
Greybull20155
Guernsey-Sunrise12102
Hanna651
Hulett101
Huntley220
Jackson1929498
Kaycee1165
Kelly Walsh794336
Kemmerer18126
LaGrange18180
Lander1016140
Laramie1419348
Lingle241113
Lovell362313
Lusk351916
Lyman22139
Manderson606
Medicine Bow220
Meeteetse844
Midwest440
Moorcroft17116
Mountain View271413
Natrona18111071
Newcastle18135
Pine Bluffs461333
Pinedale21147
Powell574116
Rawlins19109
Riverside532
Riverton221111
Rock River110
Rock Springs644816
Rocky Mountain15105
Saratoga23158
Sheridan896029
Shoshoni16133
Snake River352312
Southeast23176
St. Mary’s/Seton422
St. Stephens1091
Star Valley936429
Sundance211011
Ten Sleep19109
Thermopolis37316
Thunder Basin514
Tongue River301020
Torrington443410
University Prep550
Upton23185
Veteran550
Wheatland281117
Wind River990
Worland654322
Wright291316
Wyoming Indian40346
Yoder220

For the five team sports offered by the WHSAA — basketball, football, soccer, softball and volleyball — four-time all-state selections are quite uncommon.

In fact, among those five team sports, only 14 boys and 48 girls have been four-time all-state choices.

As noted previously here, only 21 players — five boys, 16 girls — are four-time all-state basketball selections.

Oddly enough, a similar ratio exists for fall and spring team sports. For fall, three boys are four-time all-state football selections, while 13 girls are four-time all-state volleyball picks. And in spring, two boys and 19 girls have been four-time all-state soccer choices.

Softball was first sanctioned in 2021, so no four-time all-staters will come from that sport until at least 2024.

Lyman’s Tayler Anderson and Kelly Walsh’s Madison Vinich are the only players to be four-time all-state in two different team sports; both were four-time picks in volleyball and basketball.

The fall four-time all-state selections are:

Volleyball
Wendy Anderson, Cokeville, 1987-90
Stephanie Laya, Tongue River, 1993-96
Katie Nate, Cokeville, 1996-99
Meggie Malyurek, Big Horn, 1997-2000
Erin Scherry, Big Horn, 1997-2000
Tayler Anderson, Lyman, 2005-08
Paige Neves, Burlington, 2006-09
Madison Vinich, Kelly Walsh, 2014-17
Haedyn Rhoades, Douglas, 2015-18
Danilynn Schell, Kelly Walsh, 2016-19
McKenzie Earl, Rawlins, 2017-20
Demi Stauffenberg, Lander, 2018-21
Alexis Stucky, Laramie, 2018-21

Football
Ty Barrus, Meeteetse, 1987-90
James Caro, Kaycee, 2009-12
Drake Lamp, Lusk, 2017-20

For soccer, the four-time all-state choices are:

Girls
Marcee Owens, Natrona, 1988-91
Liza Schmidt, Cheyenne Central, 1991-94
Erin Bowler, Cheyenne East, 1995-98
Jenny Watkins, Lander, 1995-98
Lindsey Sosovec, Cheyenne East, 1995-98
Monica Trujillo, Cheyenne East, 1995-98
Jessie Zebroski, Lander, 1997-00
Melissa Speiser, Natrona, 1997-00
Enedina Vasco, Riverton, 1998-01
Ariela Schreibeis, Laramie, 2007-10
Bridget Schumacher, Cody, 2009-12
Jessica Freeze, Jackson, 2010-13
Sarah Erickson, Cheyenne East, 2011-14
Hannah Bailey, Cody, 2014-17
Taylor Stoeger, Green River, 2014-17
Casey Wassum, Worland, 2015-18
Lexi Pulley, Laramie, 2015-18
Eli Olsen, Buffalo, 2016-19
Grace Roswadovski, Campbell County/Thunder Basin, 2016-19

Boys
Jared White, Cheyenne East, 1992-95
Robert George, Kelly Walsh, 2013-16

+++

Individual sports are harder to track because what constitutes “all-state” varies from sport to sport. However, across a variety of individual sports, we can keep track of four-time state champions, something that’s maybe even harder to do than all-state in a team sport.

Cross country: Three girls have won state cross country four times, one each at the 4A, 3A and 2A levels:

Sarah Balfour, Natrona, 4A, 2001-04
Emily Higgins, Rocky Mountain, 2A, 2002-05
Sydney Thorvaldson, Rawlins, 3A, 2017-20

No boys have ever won state cross country titles four times, although Saratoga’s Grant Bartlett has a chance to do so at the 2A level next season.

—-

Golf: Two boys and two girls have finished as four-time state champions:

Boys
Easton Paxton, Riverton, 4A, 2013-16
Hardy Johnson, Thermopolis, 2A, 2018-21

Girls
Mardi Johnson, Buffalo, 3A, 1991-94
Whittney Coon, Lusk, 2A, 2003-06

—-

Gymnastics: Although no longer sanctioned by the WHSAA, two boys (across four events) and four girls (across six events) have been four-time event or all-around champions.

Boys
Chris Santistevan, Laramie, vault, 1984-87
Steven George, Laramie, pommel horse, rings and all-around, 1989-92

Girls
Jennifer Perry, Laramie, uneven parallel bars, 1979-82
Amanda Murdock, Kelly Walsh, floor exercise, vault and all-around 1985-88
Julie Kasper, Campbell County, all-around, 1996-99
Kaitlyn Balfour, Natrona, uneven parallel bars, 2005-08

—-

Nordic skiing: Jackson’s Willie Neal is an eight-time champion, winning both races at state every year from 2005-08. Jackson’s Anna Gibson won the freestyle race four years in a row from 2014-17 and won six individual titles in all after winning the classic races in 2016 and 2017, the most individual championships for any one skier on the girls’ side.

—-

Swimming: Three boys and five girls have the distinction of being eight-time individual champions, never losing an individual race at state (as swimmers are capped at two individual races at state). They are:

Boys
John Green, Sheridan, 1984-87
Phil Rehard, Rawlins, 1993-96
Jake Rehard, Rawlins, 1995-98

Girls
Cindy Miyake, Laramie, 1974-77
Yvonne Brown, Campbell County, 1980-83
Shelly Smith, Greybull, 1981-84
Marsha Landowski, Newcastle, 1987-90
Katie Peck, Buffalo, 1996-99

(Note that individual swimming records at the state meet are woefully incomplete prior to the 1970s.)

Track and field: Eight boys and 58 girls have won a single event four consecutive times. See that list here. However, no track athlete has ever won 16 individual championships (winning your maximum of four individual events every year for four years). The closest to that mark is Mountain View’s Amber Henry, who won 15 individual titles from 2005-08, and Campbell County’s Emily Moore, who won 14 from 2003-06. (Those don’t include relay titles.)

The boys with the most individual championships are Byron’s Tom Bassett and Medicine Bow’s Leonard Padilla. Basset and Padilla both won 12 individual championships, Bassett from 1974-77 and Padilla from 1969-72. However, both competed in eras prior to the cap of four individual events per person at the state meet.

—-

Wrestling: In all, 24 wrestlers have finished their careers with four state championships. They are:

Dave Edington, Saratoga, 1957-60
Ray Sanchez, Cheyenne Central, 1962-65
John Lucchi, Rock Springs, 1970-73
Lanny Schneider, Worland, 1984-87
Russell Davis, Upton, 1988-91
Bobby Thoman, Wind River, 1995-98
Troy McIlravy, Campbell County, 1995-98
Cody Grant, Torrington, 2001-04
Jeff Wood, Campbell County, 2004-07
Jared Hatley, Torrington, 2005-08
Kasey Garnhart, Greybull-Riverside, 2005-08
Tyler Cox, Campbell County, 2006-09
Auston Carter, Powell, 2007-10
Dani Fischer, Campbell County, 2010-13
Bryce Meredith, Cheyenne Central, 2011-14
Justin Lewton, Worland, 2011-14
James Teichert, Cokeville, 2012-15
Tevis Bartlett, Cheyenne East, 2012-15
Kye Catlin, Powell, 2013-16
Donny Proffit, Kemmerer, 2016-19
Tate Stoddard, Glenrock, 2016-19
Dawson Schramm, Kemmerer, 2017-20
Jace Palmer, Kelly Walsh, 2017-20
Analu Benabise, Kelly Walsh, 2018-21

—-

Indoor track and alpine skiing have never had a four-time champion in any one event, although alpine skiing records are incomplete.

–patrick

Part of why I continue to run wyoming-football.com — for which I started the research in 2004 and have since expanded to basketball and, well, everything else with Champlists — is that I keep learning new things.

The past year in particular, I hit the researching hard, thanks to a subscription to newspapers.com (a bonus made possible by those who provided a sponsorship!). I found some interesting things about coaches, players and others — some cool, some sad, some disturbing.

Of the myriad tidbits I’ve encountered, here are some of the more interesting ones — stories I wouldn’t have know about if I hadn’t been putting together research for my sites.

The cool:

The sad:

  • Sheridan coach O.E. “Oc” Erickson was a highly successful football coach, but he left the head coaching spotlight his early 30s. He moved to his hometown of Cheyenne and was an assistant for the Cheyenne High team for a few years. He should have been around much longer; he died at 41 after he fell in a hotel lobby the night after a UW football game and fractured his skull.
  • Then there’s the story of the high school basketball coach who coached his daughter in the state tournament; the team lost two and went home. The next day, his daughter died in a car crash; a moment of silence was held before the championship games that Saturday night.

The disturbing (with names removed):

  • The girls basketball coach who was convicted of having sex with players on his team — and who in his court testimony struggled to show remorse.
  • The basketball coach who traveled separately from his team to the state tournament — and then got pulled over and tagged with a DUI and speeding while on the way. By all accounts, he coached at state, but he didn’t keep his job much longer.
  • The coach who left education to get into law enforcement, became police chief of a major Wyoming city — and was convicted of soliciting bribes while police chief.
  • The driver of the “other” car in the crash that killed Byron and Lovell coach Wilford Mower, the guy for whom the big award handed out to high school athletes in Wyoming’s northwest corner — he died several years later in another car crash that also took the life of one of his own children.

These are just a few of the hundreds of tidbits I’ve found while researching Wyoming’s high school sports. I think it’s important to remember all of it — good, sad, disturbing and more — to understand the totality of how sports, community and culture intermingle. I’m hoping to bring some of the more interesting stories to this site in the future thanks to the details I’ve picked up in researching for Champlists.

–patrick

Photo of Ned Turner posing in a starting position.
Edwin “Ned” Turner poses for a photo while at the University of Michigan in 1932. Turner, a graduate of Natrona County High School in Casper, ran in the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles, placing fifth in the 800-meter run. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan.

Exactly 89 years ago today, a Casper native took to the Olympic track at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and held his own with the best runners in the world.

Today, though, Ned Turner’s accomplishments are nearly forgotten.

Edwin T. “Ned” Turner finished fifth in the 800-meter run at the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles. He was one of the first, if not the first, Wyoming athletes to compete in the Olympics, a list that includes celebrated names like Rulon Gardner, John Godina, Lance Deal, Heather Moody, Jesseca Cross, Jennifer Nichols and a handful of others.

Turner was just 19 when he ran in the Olympics. A junior at the University of Michigan, Turner had made his mark with guts. A Casper Tribune-Herald article from 1952 noted that “Ned was not a sprint finisher, as are many middle distance runners, but he was noted for his strength, endurance, and untiring running ability.”

Ned Turner's yearbook photo
Edwin “Ned” Turner’s photo from the 1929 Natrona County High School yearbook.

Despite his world-class finish in the Olympics, Turner was never an NCAA champion at Michigan. Moreover, he was only once a Wyoming state track champion, winning the 440-yard run as a junior at Natrona in 1928. He had appendicitis as a senior and missed the entire track and field season while recovering.

But at Michigan, Turner grew and matured; after all, he was just 16 when he graduated from NCHS. He qualified for the Olympics by finishing third in the AAU championships, which doubled as the U.S. Olympic trials, in mid-July. Once at the Olympics, Turner finished third in his opening heat, good enough to make the final race.

The 800-meter final itself put Turner in a field that saw almost everyone, including Turner, run a time that was better than the gold-medal time from the 1928 Olympic 800-meter run. Great Britain’s Tommy Hampson ran a then-world record time of 1 minute, 49.7 seconds to win the race. Turner finished fifth in 1:52.5.

You can watch the race on YouTube here. Turner is wearing a white tank and white shorts and has dark hair, but it’s hard to make him out in the footage as that was the attire for several racers. See full race and heat results here.

Turner led a full, but short, life after his Olympic opportunity. He graduated from Michigan in 1933 and turned to business. In 1952, an article in the Casper Tribune-Herald described Turner as “a successful business executive” in Michigan. Turner worked in a variety of industries, including industrial machinery and paper, and lived in New York in addition to Michigan. Like many young men of his time, his career was interrupted during World War II, when he served in the Navy. Turner died Aug. 17, 1967, in Michigan, a month short of his 55th birthday.

As Wyomingites watch the Tokyo Summer Olympics this month, let’s make sure the name “Turner” stays in the conversation.

–patrick

After several months of preparation and research, I’m proud to announce the newest website to highlight Wyoming’s high school sports history.

Say hi to champlists.com.

The site is exactly what it says — lists of champions for Wyoming’s sanctioned high school sports. But it’s much more than that.

Each sport has its own special area: alpine skiing, cross country, golf, gymnastics, indoor track, Nordic skiing, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, volleyball and wrestling. While each sport has individual and team champions, several sports have more than that. For example, soccer and volleyball have all-state team listings and state championship history broken down by school; volleyball has listings for championship coaches; and other sports have listings unique to them.

In short, I’m bringing the wyoming-football.com and wyoming-basketball.com treatment to other high school sports in the Equality State. Although the research for other sports is not as deep or intricate as the research for football and basketball, champlists.com does help fill a gap in Wyoming’s high school sports history.

While the Wyoming High School Activities Association’s website with its sports archive has been incredibly useful, it has also been limited by a reduced range. The WHSAA website does not list champions or results prior to 1973, the year the WHSAA moved from Riverton to Casper, for any sports except football or basketball. WHSAA listings have long been incomplete for sports like cross country, golf, swimming, tennis, wrestling and track. Champlists.com tries to close that gap while at the same time make it easier for people to find specific names, records and details for each sport.

Despite all of my best efforts to this point, many sports have incomplete listings of their champions. Your help is invaluable to completing these lists. Please use this form to send me any missing information you have, as well as any documentation you have to support it, such as a newspaper clipping, yearbook listing or something similar.

In that same vein, champlists.com is a work in progress. If there is something else you’d like to see there, let me know; I’ll see if I can research it, or maybe if we can research it together. I’m going to look for ways to constantly expand the listings that are available to satiate your curiosity about Wyoming’s high school sports history. Broadly, I am planning on updating champlists.com once a year, likely in the summer.

Similarly, I will likely expand the scope of this blog to include occasional posts about other sports, as I have done the past few years with the occasional basketball or track and field post. I have several fun and interesting posts in the works already.

If you’ve made it this far, you care about this kind of stuff. So give champlists.com a look, and let me know what you’d like to see from it moving forward.

–patrick