Utah has a large contingent set to compete at Great Southwest on Saturday. The multi events have already begun.
After one day of the decathlon competition, Westlake's Caden Dortch stands in second place with 3333 points. Nicole Laws of Provo holds down fifth place in the heptathlon with 2748 points. Both events conclude today.
And then, the biggest day of competition gets underway on Saturday. Utah is loaded with entries in almost every event.
Utah's highest-tier female sprinters are bypassing the Great Southwest, and the entries in the top heats reflect that reality. But, start moving up to middle distance and the story changes in a hurry. Look for Ashleigh Warner and Ellie Child to be among the top contenders in the girls 800. That tandem is joined by Summer Harper in the 1500.
Led by Natalie Shields, Utah owns five of the top six seeds in the girls 3200 and figures to be owning a few places on the podium as well.
Utah will also be well represented in a very competitive girls high jump, with Taylir Garrison, Audrey Muir, Britten Duerden, and Tonilynn Kretschmer all coming in with seeds of 5-6 or higher. Megan Glassman and Rachel Garrett brought in javelin and discus marks, respectively, that qualified them for the top flights of their events. Heilala Havea and Sierra Bernard enjoy a similar distinction in the shot put.
On the boys' side, Cole Lambourne brings a seed time of 47.76 into the top flight of the GSW 400. Jaxon Hansen and Talem Franco sit high among the meet's top-seeded 800s.
In a scenario eerily similar to the girls' 3200, Utah owns four of the top five seeds in the 3200. Jake Heslington, Jerrell Mock, Mack Morrison, and Jordan Cross give Utah a solid quartet up front at the start of the race. Mack Morrison also owns the second seed in the 2000 Steeple, another event Utah is positioned well in.
A large segment of Utah's bumper crop of javelin throwers is also headed for Albuquerque. Skyler Porcaro, Ryan Peterson, Jake Nielson, Sage Palmer, Jeff Rowley, and Jeff Whittaker will each step onto the apron with seed marks over 180 feet.
It's always a special event at the Great Southwest and this year's event holds a lot of promise for those representing the state of Utah.