Clay Lambourne of Riverton (#742) will be one of the athletes to watch this weekend in the Boys 400m
Photo By Kyle Perry
After a few athletes opened up their indoor seasons last weekend at Utah State, many others will head to Provo for the BYU Invitational to start their own seasons. We preview some of the races and individuals we are excited to watch.
This should be one of the more exciting races of the day. Lucy Biles from Herriman, the 4a cross country state champion will face off against Emily Rich of Bingham, the 5a cross country state champion. Also in the race are Tavia Dutson of Jordan, who was second to Rich in the fall, and Foot Locker finalist Summer Harper. Another girl to watch in this one is Ali Walker of Park City who ran 5:03 last year to take 4th in the 3a girls state race.
While this race has a lot of good runners in it, none seem to match the prestige of Pocatello, ID sophomore Elijah Armstrong. Armstrong ran 4:18 indoors last year, and 9:04 in the 3200m. While Armstrong looks to be the heavy favorite, Jordan Asay of Mountain View, Austin Brower of Westlake, Rory Likletter of Herriman and Talem Franco of Wasatch should make it exciting.
Girls 2 mile
Lucy Biles and Emily Rich will go head to head again in the 2 mile. Rich might hold a slight edge over Biles however, as Biles is also slated to run the 800 and might be slightly winded heading into her final event.
Boys 2 Mile
Elijah Armstrong will hit the track again for the 2 mile. His main competition will come from Bingham junior Andrew Brewer. While Armstrong’s personal bests are quite a bit better than Brewer’s, Brewer will have the luxury of only running the one race for the day.
Davis’ Shea Martinez looks to be the clear favorite in the 800m. Martinez has been unbeatable in the event the past few years and will likely continue that streak Saturday.
Talem Franco opens up his indoor season this weekend as well. Franco ran a 1:53.97 last year in a second place effort to Ben Saarel at the state meet. We’ll see how he fairs against competition who gained the racing experience of a cross country season, whereas Franco played football for Wasatch this fall.
One to watch will be Lauren Baxter of Timpview. Baxter was the state champ last year in the 400m for 4a. Also look for her in the 60 as she tries to work on some speed.
Riverton’s sprinters have become commonplace on the award stand in recent years and will likely continue to be so. This year’s group is led by Michael Bluth who ran a 48.35 in the 400m last year as a sophomore. Bluth is joined by Clay Lambourne, the younger brother of last year’s 400m 5a state champ, Cole Lambourne. Lambourne also ran under 50 seconds as a sophomore and was a member of the team’s state championship 4x400m relay. Both Bluth and Lambourne will compete in the 400m, 200m, 60m and 4xlap. Another junior sprinter that will be a must watch is Woods Cross junior Cam Dopp. Dopp ran a 37.88 in the 300m hurdles as a sophomore, and is slated to run the 60m hurdles and the 400m. All three of these juniors competed in cross country this past fall, so it will be interesting to see how that distance base helps them this season.
While this preview focused mostly on distance runners, future previews will cover a wider range of events. The distance events can sometimes be easier to predict early in the season as we have an entire cross country season to gauge their progress. Many sprinters, jumpers and throwers who will do very well this season, we haven’t seen perform in a very long time and we are therefore unable to make educated predictions on outcomes.
Check back to ut.mileslplit.com after the meet for further analysis, video and photos. Like us on Facebook at MileSplit Utah and follow us on Twitter @MileSplitUT for up to date coverage of all things Utah High School Track and Field.