What did we learn from the past week of high school track and field action? As it turns out, plenty.
I'm acutely aware that I've not even posted all the results yet from last weekend. And, it definitely seems premature to write this article without all of those results up. But, I also know that there comes a point where you can't hold an article like this any longer else it becomes a pile of old news. So, I'm forging ahead with a quick evaluation of the meets for which i do have results posted to the rankings database.
I trust you're learning to use the tools of the MileSplit site to look at rankings broken down by classification and do virtual meets. There's plenty here to keep the inquiring mind busy.
With that as prologue, let's take a look at the meets from last week...
The existence of this meet is testament to the geographic isolation of San Juan County with respect to the rest of Utah. Simply stated, it's a long, and often circuitous, haul from San Juan County to almost anywhere else in the state. And especially to anywhere else in the state likely to host a large invitational track meet.
So, there comes a time in San Juan County where you just have to cut your travel losses and compete among the local schools. This was one of those times. Grand County was good enough to come down to Blanding and give the San Juan HS girls a stiff challenge while administering a thumping to the San Juan County boys teams. But, there's no shame in falling short to the Grand County boys, clearly one of the best small-school boys teams in the state.
Wesley Rodda (Grand County) and Sade Kyles (San Juan) were the sprint king and queen, respectively, of this meet. Spencer Smith and Rachel Garrett gave Grand County a good measure of domination over the throwing events.
Meet sponsorship. Always a nice thing, if you can get it. I'm sure the folks at Carbon High School are most appreciative of the local Farm Bureau agency for their assistance. But, honestly, we're here to discuss track and field, so I'll cut to the chase.
Audrey Muir of Union continued her spectacular high jump season with a 5-7 clearance at this one.
Christian Weidle of Judge Memorial made his long trip to Price pay off by dominating the 100 and 200. If you're looking for someone to think of as a potential threat to Cale Strong in 3A sprints, Weidle may be your guy. Carbon's Regan Powell went shorter, sort of, this week--winning the 400, 800, and 1600. In the past she's tripled 800-1600-3200. Sub-60 400 speed can get a lot of things accomplished in the girls' ranks, especially when there's a litte aerobic capacity to go with that speed. Carbon also got a very nice performance out of Dalton Nelson in the long jump at 22-3.75.
The local heroics, however, weren't enough to keep Stansbury from nailing down both team titles.
This is small school track and field. Marks from this one with significant state meet implications include a 5:35.99 1600 by Katie Nielson of Dugway (it was strictly a solo effort as her margin of victory was a full 1:40), a 16-3.75 LJ by Alisse Atisme of Layton Christian (Atisme also won the 100 and 200), and a 34-11.5 shot put by Wendover's Maria Aguirre.
Many of you knew this already, but for those who didn't, Sage Palmer of Enterprise HS has serious sprint speed. Only the fans in the stands saw the front side of Palmer's singlet, and that wasn't for long. Enterprise is 2A and, at the moment, Palmer has a stranglehold on the 100 and 200 rankings for the classification. But, sprinting isn't the only thing Palmer does well. That 183-6 mark in the javelin puts yet another exclamation point on an already astounding javelin season among Utah boys.
Teammate Riley Lyman ran a very nice 300 hurdles that currently has her at #2 in the 2A girls 300 hurdles rankings.
It would appear that Brenna Porter is on a mission to qualify for state in every event. The season may not be quite long enough for that accomplishment, but that may be the biggest limiting factor in her quest. This week, she added a 2:14.85 800 to her resume.
Logan Rusch of Clearfield adds his name to the list of sprinters who had dominating performances over the weekend. At least in this meet, Rusch had no peers at either distance.
Mountain Crest's Karlee Kartchner had a standout meet, winning the high jump (5-4), the long jump (17-5), the 200 (26.44) and finishing second to Porter in the 100 at 12.74. Here's hoping she treated her legs well that evening.
There was no shortage of top-tier marks at this meet. The 1600s were especially nice, with Natalie Shields and Laura Young both dropping below 5:00 for the girls, and Ben Saarel and Andrew Brewer both under 4:22 for the boys.
Lauren Baxter vs. Brenna Porter in the 200/400/whatever should be great viewing at the state meet. These should be those rarest of matchups where two extraordinary talents get to go side-by-side.
Megan Glasmann continues to demonstrate that it's not just the boys who are having a great javelin year, but Joni Warnick of Riverton was only seven feet back. In the javelin, seven feet is not that much.
Cole Lambourne seems ready for prime time, though his 200 time at this meet was likely better than his 400. I'd give more of a nod to Ricky Faure's 9:28+ 3200 time, but sub 9:30 3200s but Faure is from Wyoming, not Utah, and sub 9:30s are starting to feel commonplace in Utah. As it is with the javelin, this is a vintage year for the boys 3200 in the Utah high school ranks. It's kind of tantalizing to think that with the right conditions, the right competition, and the right pacing early on, somebody just might go sub-9 in the state of Utah.
Not many people want to come to Vernal for a track meet. Geographic isoloation has its rewards, but most of them don't come from track and field.
I'd cite Dalton Nelson's long jump, but he had a better one at his home meet in Price. Caleb Henderson's 143-7 in the javelin wouldn't ordinarily gather a lot of attention, but look more closely at the results. It says Caden Henderson is a freshman. Hmmm, nice throw for a freshman, a lot to look forward to there for Uintah HS.
Like Taylorsville, this was another meet with an excessive count of great marks (if there is such a thing). No sub-5 girls 1600s, but Ashleigh Warner made the time sweat a little before finishing in 5:04+. Summer Harper added a very solid 11:04.51 for the 3200.
I would hope Jacob Heslington slept well once the adrenaline all wore off. A set of 1:57.36, 4:24.11, and 9:35.87 looks pretty good at the end of the weekend. None of those marks is a chart-topper in isolation, but the sum of the parts may be the biggest distance feat of the season to date.
Sklyer Porcaro continues to test the limits in the javelin. Springville's Grant Evans came up just short of 55-0 in the shot put.
Team scoring was tight between Orem and Springville among the girls and between Mountain View and Orem among the boys. The low point totals for the winning teams underscores the quality of track and field programs in Utah County. It's tough to dominate when you go against a large number of very solid teams.
Is it just me, or does it seem Shea Martinez is going shorter these days? Whatever the reality of event selection might be, a 57.79 definitely warrants further dabbling in the 400. And, with Ellie Child running 2:15-ish in the 800, you can afford to let Martinez focus more on the 400. That sprint medley time of 4:14.74 is going to be money in the bank for Davis as well. Right now, that time has them five seconds in front of the next best mark.
Brad Nye ran 9:26.61 in the 3200, but you have the sense he's just warming up.
Under the heading of "didn't see it coming," Woods Cross sprinter Derek Lord took one from Davis's Seth Fortin in the 100, 11.02 to 11.04. Fortin came back with a vengeance in the 200, however, winning with a time of 22.06 that beat the field by a third of a second. Teammate Sylvia Harrison did much the same winning both girls' short sprints, only by larger margins.