With three big meets over the weekend, it finally feels like the outdoor track and field season in Utah is picking up steam.
Let's take a quick look at some of the highlights of the past week's action.
Sure, it was just a dual meet (MC = Mountain Crest), but occasionally noteworthy things come out of dual meets. This was one of those times.
And, since hand timing has nothing to do with high jump marks, you have to concede that the 5-6 cleared by Mountain Crest's Karlee Kartchner merits her a spot on somebody's radar screen. Wind readings might shed some further light on the story, but a 21-9 and a 21-1 by Bonneville's Jaydn Peck and Levi Baird certainly merits a pensive rubbing of the chin as well. Otherwise, the marks we see from this meet are mostly just suggestive of things to come. Clearly, these two teams have some talented individuals.
The rendezvous for the small schools (southern Utah subspecies) was held in Salina at North Sevier HS.
And Mauricio Hernandez of Milford wasted no time launching a massive mark of 175-6 in the javelin. As good as that throw was, it was barely good enough to beat out Justin Johnson of Green River and Randy Ellett of Wayne. If it wasn't for guys like this, you could hold a track meet with a lot less real estate involved.
Last time I reported on Regan Powell of Carbon HS, she went 3 for 3 in the distance events at Grand County. This time, it was a little more modest of an undertaking, but she still dominated the 800 and edged Dugway's Katie Nielson in the 1600. Okay, so I have to ask... Dugway isn't that far from Monticello. Nielson. Are we talking any relation to Macee?
I think we've seen the name of Erica Richins in the 100 hurdles before. Looks like she's up to old tricks. She could have run an extra hurdle and still won the event. Pretty much the same story in the 300 hurdles, but the 100 time is the more impressive.
North Summit's Samantha Nicholes also had a big league small school long jump to win at 17-2.25. If you're keeping score, Erica Richins finished second in that event.
For all the schools interested in chancing the weather up north, as opposed to driving south to St. George, things turned out pretty nicely in Provo. And everyone was home in bed at a decent hour on Saturday. Well, at least they could have. Megan Ryan probably lost a little sleep in Orem after winning the 800 in 2:24.00. I don't have a lot of history on Ms. Ryan's races, but that looks like a PR for her from my distance. Nicely done.
As for the rest of the meet, let's just say that Ashleigh Warner started her season in a big way. You see the 5:01.81 1600 time listed right below you. What you don't see is her part in a 4:12.79 SMR for Mountain View. Hats off to the Mountain View girls for posting that kind of time this early in the season.
Timpview's boys also had a nice opening SMR, winning in 3:39.02.
Tyler Liddiard of Murray had a nice, wind legal, 100 of 10.97, but his 49.38 400 may have been just a hair better. Lauren Baxter surprised precisely nobody winning the 200 in 25.60 (+0.0). Jake Nielson of Juab joined a crowd of 170+ javelin chuckers on the weekend with his throw of 172-2.
Cale Strong had a great day, winning the 200 in 22.24, the 110 hurdles in 14.42, and the 300 hurdles in 38.22. As a footnote to the 110 hurdles mark, it goes down as a wind-aided mark with a wind reading of +2.3. He had a wind-legal 14.79 in prelims.
Haven Shelton's season-opening 1:56.02 800 portends big things from the Pleasant Grove senior. But, he has some company from Ben Saarel (4:23.83, 1600), Natalie Shields (5:02.72, 1600), Jacob Heslington (9:30.06, 3200), and Summer Harper (11:06.60). Looking at these times, you'd get the idea in your head that half of Utah spent the winter running indoor distance races... There certainly are a lot of folks ready for prime time. It might help a little that St. George qualifies as low elevation.
Low elevation, however, had nothing to do with Kaitlyn Walker's 45.80 in the 300 hurdles. Wasatch is a little hurdle factory, maybe?
Javelins were flying out of the park in St. George as well. Leading the ruckus were Delta's Ryan Petersen (179-1) and Park City's Megan Glasmann (133-1).
On a final note, Springville's Aimee Wheeler picked up two wins with a 12.80 100 and a 17-11 long jump. Both marks were wind legal.