Ben Saarel as he set the all-classification state 800m record- Photo by Kyle Perry
Now that state is over, what does the future hold for the track and field athletes of Utah? For some, this marks the end of the road, with graduation just around the corner. For others the competition will continue next season, either in college, or for the underclassman with cross country season. Lastly, there are an elite few runners who have been invited to run at prestigious meets around the country.
This weekend three athletes will represent Utah at the Adidas Dream Mile in New York. Ben Saarel of Park City, Sarah Feeny of Ogden, and Shea Martinez of Davis each have been invited to New York for one of the most prestigious meets in the country. Ben will face stiff competition with Bernie Montoya and Edward Cheserek among the 14 competitors. Ben is ranked 11th in the race, though his time was at altitude and he is talented enough to run with any of these guys. Shea and Sarah will be matched up with great competition as well, with 7 girls in the race having run under 4:50 for the full mile this season. Both Shea and Ben have phenomenal 800m speed and finishing speed. In a close race both of them realistically could win the title. Sarah has the talent to push the pace and make it honest and exciting. I would be shocked if all 3 didn't pr.
Shea Martinez of Davis as she wins the 5a State 800m Title- Photo by Kyle Perry
The week after next a group of the top athletes from around the state will represent Utah at the Great Southwest classic. The meet has always been an all-star meet of sorts, pairing up the best athletes from around the state against competitors from the entire rocky mountain region. One great part of the Great Southwest Classic is it has every event including Multi’s and a Steeplechase.
Austin Brower of Westlake, Jake Heslington of Timpanogos, and Issac Faux of Maple Mountain
Austin Brower of West Lake was invited to run in the mile at the Portland track festival on the first weekend of June. Brower had a fantastic season including running 4:15 in the 1600 and 1:55 in the 800m. He should have a great chance to run a very fast time at sea level with great competition to push him.
Kassie Nagel of Morgan watches her throw at the BYU Invitational
For those seniors who wont compete at any post season meets, many will graduate and this will mark the end of their competition. Some will compete in college. Kassi Nagel of Morgan had a fantastic season, going undefeated in both the shot and discus. Just after the state meet she announced she will take her talents to the University of Utah where she will hope to continue her undefeated streak 4 more years. Other college commitments were posted here.
For everyone who will hope to compete next year. The summer training season will be very crucial to being prepared for next cross country season. Having a plan and working on your goals while everyone else takes a summer break can make the difference in becoming a state champion. For those of you who want a summer break, but want a little guidance in how to avoid losing what you worked for all year, come back to Milesplit Utah every week for training tips and tricks.