Any of several 4A girls teams are well positioned coming into the season to make a run at the state title.
Looking at rankings based on last year's performances certainly doesn't tell you everything, but it gives you a good place to start. Two other sources of bonus information come from the indoor rankings from this winter, plus the cross country results from last fall. Even then, it's two parts guesswork to one part hard data. But, it's still possible to draw some tentative conclusions.
Among those tentative conclusions are the following:
1. Mountain Crest appears to have the edge going into the season, even though it's the kind of edge that would do very little to help you sleep well at night.
2. Both Mountain Crest and Box Elder have established depth across their rosters. Other teams in the thick of things will need to rely more on big performances from a short list of star performers.
3. Springville isn't out of the running by any means, but it will be an uphill battle to defend their 2011 state title.
4. When things are as tight as the virtual scoring below suggests, relays figure to make a big difference in the final outcome. None of the top contenders can afford to neglect relays, even though they are a much smaller portion of the state meet scoring in Utah than in most states.
What follows is a closer look at each of the top teams in 4A.
Every team has its own sets of strengths and weaknesses. Mountain Crest is no exception. With Jessica Jensen and Emily Moore, you can figure that the Mustangs are banking a good portion of their hopes on the hurdle events. As we all know, however, things can go badly in the hurdles--in a hurry. If that happens, and we hope it doesn't, Mountain Crest has a few other athletes to lean on. Among those are Karlee Kartchner in the jumps, Brookayla Nelson in the distance events, and Katie Harvey in the javelin and 200. Jensen and Kartchner look like the best hopes to bring home state titles and the all-important 10 points that come with them.
Box Elder should have a huge presence in the throws. Even though Harley Earl didn't have the greatest of state meets last spring, she has to be counted among the 4A javelin favorites. Wendy Johnson should contend for the discus title, with Lacey Farley also being a potential point scorer for the Bees in the throwing events. And it almost goes without saying that Kelsey Braithwaite is an exceptional distance talent. To date, her cross country performances have overshadowed her track and field performances, but that's not the kind of pattern you want to have to be relying on if you're aiming to chase down Box Elder at the state meet.
Springville is likely to go as far as the sprinting, hurdling, and jumping of Aimee Wheeler and Mindy Stapel will take them. The arrival or development of another state point scorer or two would be huge for the Red Devils.
Orem and Mountain View will represent the community of Orem well, but both need some breaks to go their way. Mountain View's Ashleigh Warner becomes an even more important factor in the distance events with the departure of Ogden to 3A. Candace Greenwood is one of Orem's two answers in distance events, and her indoor season would tend to suggest she's taken a step up since last outdoor track season. Summer Harper, the other answer, hardly needs to have made any improvement to be weighed as a potential title winner. Thrower Shanice Saili should also cash in a few points at the state meet for Orem.
2011 UT HS F Outdoor Track Team Scores (Returners Only)
Calculated as of February 29, 2012
These rankings were calculated by scoring the rankings from 2011 as a meet. We took the individual rankings and scored them as a normal meet: 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1.
Athletes whose graduation years are unknown were left out of the list.
|Brookayla Nelson (1600m 2 + 800m 4 = 6)|
|Emily Moore (100H 3 + 300H 2 = 5)|
|Jessica Jensen (100H 10 + 300H 5 = 15)|
|Karlee Kartchner (100m 1 + HJ 6 + LJ 8 = 15)|
|Katie Harvey (200m 2 + J 6 = 8)|
|Natalie Gregory (J 1 + S 3 = 4)|
|Tori Parkinson (3200m 1 = 1)|
|Alyssa Young (LJ 3 = 3)|
|Harley Earl (J 10 = 10)|
|Kate Heister (J 5 = 5)|
|Kelsey Braithwaite (1600m 4 + 3200m 6 = 10)|
|Lacey Farley (D 4 = 4)|
|Lana Willard (LJ 4 = 4)|
|Wendy Johnson (D 10 = 10)|
|Aimee Wheeler (100m 8 + 200m 3 + LJ 10 = 21)|
|Mindy Stapel (100H 5 + 300H 10 + HJ 6 = 21)|
|Candace Greenwood (1600m 3 + 3200m 3 + 800m 6 = 12)|
|Ellery Young (100H 2 + HJ 0.75 = 2.75)|
|Lesa Mua (D 1 = 1)|
|Shanice Saili (D 8 + S 1 = 9)|
|Summer Harper (1600m 5 + 3200m 8 = 13)|
|Tatiana Black (LJ 2 = 2)|
|Ashleigh Warner (1600m 10 + 3200m 10 + 800m 8 = 28)|
|Cassidee Bohnet (D 5 = 5)|
|Claire Lewis (HJ 6 = 6)|
|Tonilynn Kretschmer (HJ 0.75 = 0.75)|
|Janie Kearl (400m 2.5 = 2.5)|
|Jasmine Bradley (200m 8 + 400m 6 + LJ 6 = 20)|
|Natalie Shields (1600m 8 + 3200m 5 = 13)|
|Lauren Baxter (100m 10 + 200m 10 + 400m 10 = 30)|
|Mallory Jones (800m 5 = 5)|
|Brenna Porter (100H 8 + 400m 8 + 800m 10 = 26)|
|Elise Maddox (300H 1 = 1)|
|Sadie Stephenson (HJ 6 = 6)|
|Jill Richardson (300H 8 = 8)|
|Jordyn Wensel (J 8 = 8)|
|Marissa Appiah (HJ 6 = 6)|
|Sosina Salima (S 8 = 8)|
|Siale Vaitohi (100H 6 + 300H 6 + HJ 6 + LJ 5 = 23)|
|Cassidy Robinson (S 2 = 2)|
|Kailey Hansen (HJ 0.75 = 0.75)|
|Langi Wong (D 2 + S 6 = 8)|
|Siera Bernard (S 10 = 10)|
|12.||Maple Mountain High School||18.25|
|Brette Bennett (HJ 0.75 = 0.75)|
|Jensen Williams (200m 6 + 400m 2.5 = 8.5)|
|Rachel Hair (J 2 = 2)|
|Sondra Novak (J 3 + S 4 = 7)|
|13.||Skyline High School||14|
|Caroline Weiler (3200m 2 = 2)|
|Jacqueline Winterton (3200m 4 + 800m 1 = 5)|
|Natalie Matthews (1600m 6 = 6)|
|Rachel Sorensen (1600m 1 = 1)|
|Alisa Baker (100H 4 + 300H 4 = 8)|
|Marcy Fuller (200m 1 + 400m 5 = 6)|
|Amber Anderson (300H 3 = 3)|
|Jeska Bowman (D 6 = 6)|
|Stacie Carter (800m 3 = 3)|
|Kaila Donaldson (100m 4 = 4)|
|Lily Keel (400m 1 = 1)|
|Noelani Jackson (S 5 = 5)|
|Robyn Oliphant (D 3 = 3)|
|Sydney Bricker (100m 6 = 6)|
|Rachel Hawkes (100H 1 = 1)|
|Shaylee Petersen (100m 3 + 200m 5 = 8)|
|Angie Nickerson (800m 2 = 2)|
|Kassadi Beckstead (100m 5 + LJ 1 = 6)|
|Becca Godfrey (200m 4 = 4)|
|Lyndsay Champlin (100m 2 = 2)|
|Lexie Sowards (J 4 = 4)|
|Sienna Thornock (400m 4 = 4)|