Miners host first home meet in years
May 1, 2009
Park City High School track and field team head coach Jeff Wyant went from the highest high to the lowest low this week. Just hours after holding the first home track meet at the high school in at least four years, he got a call from the hosts of the Brigham Young University (BYU) Invitational saying that Park City team would not be welcome at this weekend’s statewide meet.
The dis-invitation comes on the heels of Park City schools closing communitywide Thursday due to the swine-flu scare. If test results come back negative on Friday (after press time), the Miners will be allowed to participate.
"I am hopeful that the report will come back in time for us to run," Wyant said. "It’s going to take a lot of opportunities away from these kids."
The BYU Invitational is the highest-level track and field meet in the state besides the state championships, and Wyant had hoped to see many of the kids break school records and prepare for the state championships, which will be held on the same track in mid-May.
But, in what turned out to be the final Park City High School sporting event of the week, things were great while they lasted. The Park City meet, which hosted the teams of Region 10 as well as North Summit High School, was the last regular-season meet before the highly competitive BYU Invitational, Region 10 championships and the state championship meet.
The meet was open to as many runners as wanted to compete, which meant that many who normally might not get a chance to compete in more restricted meets were able to take part.
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"We have a lot of great people that are not able to enter a lot of meets," Wyant said.
Wyant and much of the team also liked being able to compete in their backyard for the first time in years.
"It’s nice. Kind of homefield advantage," said varsity sprinter Blake Thorne. "It doesn’t seem like you would have it in track, but you do."
In fact, none of the current team members had ever been able to compete at home before Wednesday.
"It was nice to have friends and family cheering on the team," Wyant said.
Tracksters headed for the postseason also had a good day. Distance runner Cameron Edwards continued to near his goal of setting a new school record of one minute and 55 seconds in the 800-meter race, finishing with a time of 1:58. Edwards stayed far ahead of the pack, making it even more challenging to run faster, but he said he remained focused.
"It’s really all mental," he said. "You just have to stay focused on the race and not let the pain get to you."
"All by himself, that’s a fast time," Wyant added.
North Summit’s Erica Birk also had a bit of a solo run in the 800-meter leg of the medley relay. She finished with a split time of 2:27 her fastest time of the season. Birk was able to maintain a consistently fast pace throughout the entire leg.
"I know if I stop, I’m in trouble," she said. "The 800 is the hardest. Its almost sprinting two laps."
Birk, who took third at the 2A cross-country state championship, is one of the county’s best distance runners, keeping up with some of Park City’s best runners. She hopes to do even better in the medley and the other distance races at BYU over the weekend.
The Park City girls had a strong day, sweeping the top three places in the mile.
Freshman phenom McKenzie Snyder won the 800-meter race and was happy to do so well in a more relaxed setting. Snyder was part of the medley relay foursome that beat the previously unbeatable Davis team at a highly competitive meet over the weekend.
"It was pretty awesome," she said. "I was hoping to go faster, but it was nice with no pressure."