Jirak, Proffit, and Love Receive WyoPreps Athlete of the Week Honors [VIDEO]
The Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Wyoming WyoPreps Athlete of the Week awards for Jan. 31, 2024, go to a standout girls’ indoor track performer and two top-tier boys’ wrestlers. Star Valley senior Valerie Jirak earns the girls’ award. Kemmerer junior Roany Proffit and Lovell senior James Love share the boys’ accolade. It was for last week’s performances on the track and wrestling mat between Jan. 22 and Jan. 27, 2024.
Jirak won both of her events and set two school records at the Stacy Dragila High School Open in Pocatello, ID, last Saturday. The senior captured first place in the high jump at 5-7 and set the Star Valley High School record. She cleared the bar five inches higher than the runner-up. Jirak also crossed the finish line first in the 400 meters. Her time was 57.77 seconds. It was another all-time best in school history. Jirak was the only runner under 1 minute in the race and won by over five seconds.
WyoPreps caught up with Jirak after practice on Thursday. She was happy with her performance in Pocatello. She touched on the two dominant victories, the school records, the start of her indoor season, her progress thus far, and more.
Proffit became the 23rd three-time champion at Riverton's prestigious Ron Thon Memorial Wrestling Tournament last weekend. The junior won the belt at 126 pounds. He pinned his first opponent in just over 1-minute. After a 17-6 major decision in round two, Proffit pinned his quarterfinal foe. In the semis, he posted an 8-1 decision. Proffit capped his day with a hard-fought 7-5 win in the championship match. He beat two opponents from Class 2A, one from 3A, and two from 4A.
Proffit spoke to WyoPreps about his big weekend. He described how he thought he wrestled, what it takes to win a title like that, what he’s focusing on now, and improvements to prepare for the state tournament and beyond.
Lovell captured a Ron Thon belt at 285 pounds and improved to 19-2 this season. He pinned three of his opponents and won the title with a 4-0 decision in the finals. Love’s semifinal victory was his 100th pin of his prep career. He defeated foes from all three classifications, as well.
WyoPreps visited with Love on Thursday and had him reflect on last weekend. He discussed the feeling of winning it all at that event, what it took to reach the top, his 100th career pin, continuing to push forward, and more.
Congrats to Valerie, Roany, and James on this well-deserved honor!
The WyoPreps Athlete of the Week nominations are open from Fridays at 5 p.m. until Mondays at 9 a.m. Coaches, family, friends, and student-athletes can nominate deserving student-athletes. Early and late nominations are not accepted.
Wyoming High School Sports Pics of the Week: Jan: 25-27
Gallery Credit: Bridget Truempler, Adria Trembly, Herder Pride, Stephanie Wilson, Molly Moorehouse, Frank Gambino, Greg Wise, James Yule, Dave Treick, Lisa Shaw, Riverton High School, Margaret Friday, Scott Ramsey, Kellie Jo Allison, Nicole McFarland,