Full speed ahead
May 19, 2009
At the Clarence Robinson Track and Field Complex at BYU last weekend, everywhere you looked was a sea of spandex and school spirit. From Logan to St. George and everywhere in between, the fastest of the fast from 1A to 5A schools across the state gathered for the final competition of the season.
When all was said and done, the Park City girls’ team took sixth among the state’s 3A schools with 38 points and the boys’ team slid into seventh place, also with 38 points.
"I thought it went pretty well," said head coach Jeff Wyant. "Most of the kids ran their best times, and that’s what we were looking for."
"All year, this team has performed well under pressure and risen to the occasion," added assistant coach Brad Osguthorpe.
Since Park City sent only two competitors to the field events, the coaches knew that they weren’t contenders for the top spots in the overall competition.
Among the highlights of the competition were Park City’s domination of the distance running events and outstanding individual performances from several athletes.
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The Park City girls took five of the top fifteen spots in the 1600-meter run, with Gillian Gorelik in fifth (5:16.89), Elizabeth Guiney in sixth
(5:19.11), McKenzie Snyder in seventh (5:19.34), Alison Williams in 14th (5:24.67) and Alexis Lee in 15th (5:41.20).
"I think I paced myself pretty well," said Snyder, a freshman. "Usually I start off too fast, but this time I stayed with the pack and moved up through the race. Snyder said she was one second off her personal record in the 1600-meter race and set a new personal record in the 3200-meter.
The boys’ team was also well represented in the 1600-meter, with Cameron Edwards in fourth (4:31.43), Carson Fugal in eighth (4:35.25), Kenny Holt in 12th (4:39.38) and Derek Alcorn in 14th (4:43.52).
In the 3200-meter (2-mile) run, all of the Park City runners clocked their fastest times during the finals, said Wyant. For the girls, Gorelik took third (11:21.41), Snyder was sixth, and Williams (11:55.15) and Cunningham (12:11.37) came in 10th and 11th, respectively. For the boys, Fugal took fifth (9:57.79), Alcorn took ninth (10:04.01) and Edwards rounded out the top ten (10:13.78).
The 800-meter run was also a strong event for Park City contenders. Gorelik (2:21.71), Snyder (2:22.34), Jessica Christjans (2:23.20) and Guiney (2:24.86) filled spots six through nine in the girls’ event.
Edwards came in second in the boys’ 800 and nearly broke the Park City High School record with a time of 1:57.23. Holt (2:03.54), Mason West (2:08.02) and Conner Gideon (2:08.02) placed 10th, 16th and 17th.
The girls’ medley relay team came in a close second (literally) behind Ogden at 4:19.02 with Lisa Palomaki, Sami Wall, Christjans and Gorelik each running a leg. Blake Thorne, Erik Walker, West and Edwards made up the boys’ medley relay team, which took third place behind Hurricane and Bear River at 3:37.05.
Snyder, Guiney, Wall and Christjans teamed up in the 4×400 relay and ran to fourth place (4:10.14). The boys’ 4×400 relay team — West, Holt, Luke Daenitz and Austin Herr — took eleventh (3:43.60).
Junior Erik Walker took first place in the boys’ 100-meter dash and set a new personal record with a time of 10.95 seconds. Walker also took fifth in the boys’ 200-meter with a time of 22.66, and he ran the anchor leg of the boys’ 4×100-meter relay, but unfortunately the relay team was disqualified due to handing off the baton outside of the 20-meter passing zone in the transition from the first to second leg.
"Chad (Wing) took off a little faster than he usually does, and it kind of threw me off," said sophomore Blake Thorne.
"We’re really disappointed, especially because we have a senior on our team," said Wing. He said that the team’s qualifying time was only five hundredths off the state record, and the boys had hoped to sprint into first place. Even with the slip-up and hesitation that it caused, the team would have came in second were it not for the disqualification.
Although Park City was underrepresented in the field events, Micah Sandusky and Skyler Scoggan qualified for the men’s long jump and took 14th and 17th in the finals with jumps over 17 feet.
Wyant said he was happy with the outcome for his team. "It’s a fairly young team," he said, noting that only a few of those who competed in the finals are graduating this year. "We have a good team coming back next year and we’ll hopefully keep them improving."