PCHS girls’ track wins state
May 20, 2014
Friday’s schedule at the 3A state track meet at BYU couldn’t have been more favorable for the Park City High School girls’ track team.
Boasting a strong distance-running squad and an excellent field unit, the Miners dominated the first two events – the 1,600-meter run and the javelin throw.
When those first events were over, PCHS already had two individual state champions – Maddie Criscione in the 1,600 with a time of five minutes, .63 seconds and Chrissy Glasmann in the javelin with a throw of 146 feet, 4 inches. Additionally, Sophie McDonald finished second in the 1,600 and Alyssa Snyder took fourth place.
By the end of the day, the girls’ sprint medley team of Courtney Ruttan, Leah Anderson, Snyder and Criscione added another state title and Kambridge Van Der Veur took second place in the shot put competition.
"Day one, they just went gangbusters," Park City coach Jeff Wyant said. "It went really well starting off with the mile and the javelin – those are two of our big strengths. So by 10 that morning, we were way out in front."
At that point, it became all about holding Desert Hills at bay.
"We knew they were the team to beat," Wyant said. "We’re strong in events where they’re not strong and they’re strong in events where we’re not strong, so it was a really weird battle."
The Miners got some help in unexpected places, too. In the 4×100 relay, Maddie Meza, Ruttan, Anderson and Claire West finished sixth to pick up some points for Park City. Breanna Waugh also finished sixth in the long jump.
"We didn’t know she was going to do that, so that helped out quite a bit," Wyant said. "In event after event, our girls stepped up. They performed better than expected in almost every event and I don’t think there was a single event where they performed lower than expected."
But, as expected, Park City leaned on its big guns – Glasmann, Van Der Veur, Criscione, Snyder and McDonald.
"Out of those five girls, we got 92 points," Wyant said. "That would have been enough to win it."
On day two, McDonald got the Miners off to another great start, capturing first place in the 3,200. That’s when Wyant knew a title could be clinched before the end of the day.
"We saw an opportunity as [Desert Hills was] missing a few things and we were scoring high in a few," he said. "In the 800 meters, I called together our core group of distance runners and said, ‘I know you’re tired, I know you’re beat up – everybody is. But if you could really stick it to them here, you could close the door right now.
"Those three girls really came through – Maddie won it, Sophie got fourth and Alyssa, who was sick and ran in four events, still wound up seventh. After the 800, I did the point totals and there was no way we could be caught."
And they weren’t. The final tally saw Park City amass 102 points to Desert Hills’ 84, giving the Miners back-to-back 3A championships.
"In track, this is the first time we’ve gone back-to-back," Wyant said. "It’s because we’re a more balanced team with the throwers and runners combined. And now we add a long jumper to the mix, too."
On the boys’ side, though the team didn’t place at the state meet, Wyant said there was plenty to be happy about.
"The boys’ 4×400 nearly broke the school record," he said. "They missed it by about one second. Wes Miller scored in two events. He’s back next year and only one junior beat him. So, he’s second in the state among returning runners. Sawyer [Pruitt]’s a sophomore making it in the shot put, which is rare. Usually, people don’t make it to state in the throws until they’re juniors or seniors. He’s going to do some damage in the future.
"What I’ll say about the boys is we don’t have the big guns yet, but we have some developing."
Wyant is confident that Park City can at least compete for a state title again next year, but admits it’ll take some hard work in the offseason.
"It’ll be tough losing Maddie and Sophie," he said. "Together, those girls were 53 of the 102 points. Losing two superstars like that will make it tough. But Chrissy, Alyssa and Kambridge are all back next year."
— Information provided by Stephen Cuttitta was used in this article