Can you believe we're at that time of year again? Final time to prove you have what it takes to be the best. A lot of hardware is up for grabs at the Utah State championship this year. Some of the best races are going to be highlighted on the middle-distance side. Get ready for a showdown as we delve into the most intriguing distance races of the year.
On the boy's side
Starting with 6A, we have a number of can't-miss races in all three standard-distance events. In the 1600 meter, Daniel Simmons, Jaron Hartshorn, and William Steadman will be battling it out. Right behind them are Noah Jenkins, William Horne, and Alex Mayfield. Keep an eye out for potential surprise contenders Jake Seegmiller or Eli Gibby. The question is, will the top three push the pace to break away, or are they racing for a podium spot? With the risk of pushing too hard, anything can happen in the other races.
Moving on to the 3200 meters, we have an Aradia Invite rematch with Simmons and Jenkins showing their dominance with sub-8:45 times. Spencer Bradshaw, Jaron Hartshorn, Jake Seegmiller, and William Horne will be giving it their all to catch up. It all comes down to who can handle the high altitude better, but it will be tough to beat Simmons.
In the 800 meters, it's anyone's game. Jaron Hartshorn, Jayden Gibson, William Steadman, Connor Whatcott, Tayshuan Ogomo, Braxton Bybee, and Alex Maxfield were all within 3.3 seconds of each other. Kadan Allen may be the favorite with his impressive 1:53.08, but anything can happen at the state finals, and this could be an exciting finish.
In 5A, we have the Clash of the Titans with Liam Henniger and Tayson Echohawk battling it out for the last couple of years. JoJo Jourdon has also been winning his share of races. The 1600-meter final will likely come down to these three but don't count out Paul Scown or Chris Henry, both with sub-4:15 times. If it's a strategic race, Scown, and Henry have a chance.
In the 3200 meters, Henniger, Jourdon, and Scown will be the favorites for the podium. Sam Hansen had a great run at Pine View, and Henry will also be vying for a top spot.
In the 800 meters, Henniger, Echohawk, Noah Begay, Weston Egnew, Ehren Carl, Jojo Jourdon, and Gabe Hooper will be battling it out. This could be another classic Henniger vs Echohawk showdown, or will Begay, Egnew, and Carl spoil the party? All three have put down some fast times as well.
In 4A, Logan Peel, Trey Despain, and Kaden McKinlay will be battling it out in 1600, 3200, and 800-meter events. Don't forget about Braxon Gifford in the 800-meter final. Peel will be the favorite in the 1600 and 3200-meter finals, while McKinlay will be the favorite in the 800-meter. The most competitive race on paper could be the 1600-meter final, with all three runners within one second of each other throughout the season. Logan's 4:13 at PACS BYU is why he's the favorite.
In 3A, it's the Richard Crane show in all three races, but expect newcomers Bryson Ottley and Paul Squire to challenge Crane in all three events. Richard is a heavy favorite in the 1600 meter, whereas Squire could challenge him in the 3200 meter, and Ottley could challenge for the top spot in the 800 meter. Get ready for some exciting races!
On the girl's side.
Get ready for an epic showdown in this year's girls' Utah State Championship as the finest athletes across various divisions are ready to go head to head for the ultimate prize. A podium spot and an individual state championship!
In the 6A division, the 1600-meter race is shaping up to be an absolute slugfest! Six athletes are gunning for the state championship title, and they are fast! Shelby Jensen, Boston Bybee, Kylie Olsen, Avalon Mecham, Addie Meldrum, and Natalie Swain are all in the running with some impressive times to their credit.
The 3200-meter final promises to be a little more one-sided, with Avalon Mecham emerging as the clear favorite. With a jaw-dropping timing of 10:19, Mecham is a heavy favorite. However, Shelby Jensen, Boston Bybee, and Natalie Swain will put up a good fight for the second, third, and fourth spots.
In the 800-meter final, the heat is on Kylie Olsen, who ran a blistering 2:09. However, the likes of Addie Meldrum, Shelby Jensen, Avalon Mecham, and Tori Stratton are all within striking distance and could pull off a surprise win if Olsen falters.
Over in the 5A division, all eyes are on Jane Hedengren, who's been crushing it in the 1600-meter race. Hedengren is the only athlete to clock a sub 5:00 time, but Julie Moore, Raygan Peterson, and Mari Konold are all gunning to break that barrier and claim the top spot.
In the 3200 meters, Hedengren looks set to repeat her success, with Julie Moore and Mari Konold hot on her heels.
The 800-meter race, however, is shaping up to be quite intriguing, with Elyse Jessen and Hedengren both putting up impressive timings that could make for a close contest.
In the 4A division, it's a two-girl show in the 1600-meter race. Hadlie Ballard and Addison Pettingill are both capable of taking the title with their impressive timings of 5:11.23 and 5:14.11, respectively.
In the 3200-meter race, Pettingill emerges as the favorite yet again, with Maggie Crosby and Brooklyn Hill likely to make some noise and clinch a podium spot. In the 800-meter race, Pettingill looks set to repeat her sub-2:20 timing and claim the title.
The 3A division promises some surprises, with athletes punching above their weight class. In the 1600-meter race, Cadence Kasprick looks set to win it easily with her impressive sub-5-minute timing.
In the 3200-meter race, Kasprick and Jaylie Jenkins will be slugging it out, with both having clocked sub-10:45 timings. It could be anyone's game!
In the 800-meter race, Rozlyn Stowe emerges as the favorite, with Addison Pettit and Cadence Kasprick in contention for the podium spots yet again.
Get your suntan lotion and wear some good sunglasses. That BYU track is going to be red-hot.