EDITOR’S NOTE: Rawlins Times “Athlete of the week” segment typically highlights just one athlete. Being HEM’s twin-brother tandem Shane and Conor McGraw, however, once again reflected each other by producing quality finishes during this year’s 1A Wyoming State Track Meet, the Times decided it would be a disservice to our readers to not highlight both of these fine athletes in one sitting.
CASPER – Jackie Jones invited her two star athletes for a walk around the track before Saturday’s final day of competition commenced.
Being it was the 1A State Championship Track Meet, which occurred Thursday through Saturday, Hanna-Elk Mountain-Medicine Bow juniors Shane and Conor McGraw, twin brothers who’ve attained accolades for the Miners in three respective varsity sports, thought Jones, their head coach, was simply trying to pump them up.
“I thought it was just going to be strategizing,” Conor told the Rawlins Times on Monday.
Turned out, the multiple All-Conference, All-State athletes would be informed by Jones that they were invited to the Great Southwest Classic, an invite-only track meet that features some of the best tracksters from around the country.
The event is slated for June 6, on the campus of the University of New Mexico, in Albuquerque, N.M.
Previously reported, their grandfather, “Thurman “Fum” McGraw, had a historic career playing football for Colorado State University, and kept it going into the pros. His father, Mike, also spent time in the NFL after finishing his collegiate career at the University of Wyoming.”
So, for the gifted tandem, the invite is but another step in the right direction when it comes to living up to family legacy.
“I think it’s just an amazing, great opportunity that not many people get,” Shane said. “It just helps solidify confidence in ourselves, that we can live up to our name and just keep being successful.”
Speaking of success, the brothers shared a “modest” number of accolades following this year’s state track meet. This includes each McGraw finishing with two first-place and two top-five finishes respectively.
For Shane, he managed to take golds in the 400-meter dash finals at 50.52 and 800-meter run finals at 2:00.22. Meanwhile Conor matched his brother’s triumphs without skipping a beat.
But this time the speedster had to use his “ups” to do it, as he beat the rest of the packs in the 110-meter and the 300-meter hurdle events, at 15.32 and 41.65 respectively.
The brothers McGraw, of course, are highly competitive with each other, so when Shane nabbed a second-place finish over Conor’s fourth in the 200-meter dash?
“I was kind of happy beating Conor in the 200, even though he’s faster than me,” Shane joked.
“We’re just competitive in everything,” Conor added. “We just trash talk each other all the time. Whether it’s basketball, football or track, we’re just constantly going back and forth, just trying to outdo the other one.”
The McGraw brothers, both A honor roll students, even have competitions to see who reads to most books in a year.
But for coach Jones, she said it’s what her star athletes do off the field that truly deserves merit.
“As far as the two boys go,” said Jones, “they are very driven individuals. It’s an honor to have some of your top athletes be some of your hardest workers.”
The McGraws – again, three-sport athletes – tend to train year-round. Instead of perhaps relaxing in leisure, their summer time is spent with morning workouts, including speed and agility. Then comes all sorts of sports camps.
“We just put in the time and effort us make us better,” said Shane. “And we have the heart to push ourselves to do it.”
With this hardcore regimen, the Southwest meet, “and some concerts,” taking place before now and the fall season, the McGraws have their sights set on ending their senior year in the most satisfying fashion, akin to many aspiring high school athletes.
“Obviously, I want to go out on a high note,” said Shane. “I just want to want to leave Hanna with a win in all sports.”
Conor added, “(We’re) just trying to go out and win some state titles.”