Miners host first track meet since 2013 | ParkRecord.com

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Miners host first track meet since 2013

Coaches allow athletes to have fun in relaxed atmosphere

There was seemingly always something in the way that kept the Park City High School track and field team from hosting a meet at home the last few years.

In 2014, the only home meet on the docket for the Miners was cancelled due to poor weather. Two years ago, the track, which was in dire condition at the time, was getting resurfaced. Last year, potential construction and renovation plans kept the team from hosting any meets.

This year, though, is a different story. For the first time in three years, more than 200 high school athletes flooded the track at Dozier Field, as the Miners hosted all Region 10 teams on Wednesday afternoon underneath sunshine and blue skies. South Summit also had some athletes in attendance.

"All in all, it was a great turnout," Park City Head Coach Steve Cuttitta said. "The meet went well. We got lucky on the weather."

With every track meet comes the inevitable tiny mistakes that come from trying to control bunches of high school kids. But for the most part, everything went according to plan, Cuttitta said.

"Everything went as smooth as we could've hoped," he said. "Everything worked out properly. We had more kids at the meet than we anticipated. It was actually a pretty well-attended meet. We probably had about 250 kids in total that competed.

The track meet was a little bit different than most. With the way region meets are set up –they aren't classified as state qualifying meets, which means participants' times or marks won't count toward the state meet — Cuttitta and company, along with some of the other teams in attendance, decided to let their athletes have some fun.

Some of the distance runners ran sprints, and vice versa. With big Invitationals that are state qualifying meets coming up the next three Saturdays in a row, Cuttitta wanted to make sure everyone was good to go for them.

"We're gearing up for those three meets to try and get as many kids to qualify for state," Cuttitta said. "These are good meets for kids to try new events, so we encourage them to do something they haven't done before. Get a field event, a jumping event, run a race that's shorter or longer than you're used to.

"Because track and field is one of those sports where there are 16 different events. You might be good at something you didn't know you were good at until you try it. We do like them to have some fun with them, too."

Smiles and laughs were shared by all, no matter what team, as runners, throwers and jumpers occupied Dozier Field. Fun was certainly being had — team scores weren't even tallied — which was a nice change of pace for the Miners, Cuttitta said.

"A lot of our meets are pretty intense and they have to be focused the whole time, so to have a low-key meet, where they can enjoy themselves and still get some work in, that's the nice thing about these region meets," Cuttitta said.

Going from no meets in the last three years to having three meets in the same season, Park City isn't done hosting just yet. The team will also host a meet next week for the JV participants in all of Region 10, while the Miners will also be the host squad of the Region 10 Championships in early May.

The latter event is important because it is the final opportunity to qualify for state. Though Park City has a number of athletes that have already qualified — such as Eli Alford, Bailey Hoglin, Connor Laurence and Shaye Henderson — Cuttitta hopes more will be joining them by the season's end.

"At this point, it's all geared toward region and state," Cuttitta said. "If they don't qualify by time, then, of course, there's the region meet. They can qualify by placing in the top four in each event."

Park City will host the JV region meet on Wednesday afternoon starting at 3:30 p.m., while the Region 10 Championships will be a two-day ordeal on May 10-11.