The Laramie High School track team will head to Pocatello, ID., to compete in a nationwide track meet.

Simplot is one of the biggest track meets in the world and is held every year at Idaho State University. This year it will take place from Feb. 15th to 17th. Simplot is a nationwide meet and hosts over 1,500 competitors from over 20 states. There are also athletes that make the trip from Canada to compete.

LHS plans to take a few of its top competitors to the meet. Junior Jason Upton, a returning 2017 all-state competitor, plans on attending the meet. “I am looking to go out and compete,” Upton said, “I want to go out there and PR.”

In the past years, runners such as Mccade Johnson and jumper Reece Shannon have attended this meet. Last year the LHS 4×4 team finished 2nd at this meet. They later went on to take the Wyoming Class 4A state championship in that event.

Upton mentioned how the fastest girl in the country was at the meet last year. Also in attendance were multiple Olympians, who come to watch and help teach the young athletes.

The competition at this meet is top of the line because it is known as one of the biggest meets in the whole country. “For some people, this meet is bigger than the state meet,” Upton said. “Basically, all of the best indoor track athletes in the western United States go to Simplot, a lot of them are the best in the country.”

Upton believes that he will compete in the long jump, triple jump, 60-meter sprint, and possibly a relay. To qualify for the long jump, you must jump a total of 20 feet nine inches. Upton has already jumped a total of 21 feet one inch.

Last year, the meet included silver medal winner Hunter Woodall, who helped beat LHS in the 4×4. He was born with a congenital effect called fibular hemimelia. Because of this defect, Hunter had to get prosthetic legs.

This event is held every third Saturday of every February and is hosted by the J.R. Simplot Company. This event has been in existence since 1979 and this year is their 40th annual holding of the event. “They have a very fast track,” Upton said.

The event has been recognized by many organizations ranging from Adidas to USA Track and Field.

The event hosts a parade and ceremony for the athletes while they walk around the track and have their moment in the spotlight.

Also this year at Simplot, 1998 Olympian Butch Reynolds will speak on Feb. 16th the athletes. Reynolds won gold in the 4×4 relay and silver in the 400m.

This year, the staff at Simplot have set up a new venue called “After Dark.” This event includes pizza, drinks, mini golf, arcade games, and more. This event cost $15 and will be held from 6 pm to 9 pm.