Miners on track for state
While rival Wasatch raised its first ever Region 10 Track & Field Championship trophy last week at Dozier Field, the Park City Miners finished second.
In this case, as in most years at Park City, region also comes second in priority to the 3A state track meet.
"I think the difference between Park City and the other schools is that region is less of a major event and it’s more of trying to get times and get people qualified (for state)," said sophomore jack-of-all-trades thrower Megan Glasmann.
That is the mantra of each member of the team, according to head coach Jeff Wyant.
"I think for us, we’ve never considered region our main focus," he said. "We’ve always thought it’s best to get as many people into state and sometimes that means losing points in region. Sometimes, it comes back to bite you in the butt."
This Friday and Saturday, the Miners will look to capture a 3A State Track & Field Championship as they head to BYU for the annual meet.
Senior sprinter Lisa Palomaki, who has run track for all four years of her high school career and will run collegiately next year at the University of Utah, said she is ready for state and, while her region title in the 400-meter sprint last week was exciting, she is looking forward to facing the best girls in the state.
"I’ve been there four times," Palomaki said of the state meet. "I just really want to do well. I would really like to lay down some good times."
Palomaki won the region 400-meter sprint by a hair literally.
She edged out Lilly Martino, a speedster from Wasatch High School, by one-tenth of a second. Palomaki finished with 57.76, Martino with 57.77.
"I was excited about it, because I’ve heard about Lilly and I’ve never raced against her," Palomaki said. "She’s good and she challenged me."
Glasmann, who is already on her way to breaking all sorts of state and school records, said state is a whole different ball game something she is noticeably excited for.
"State is more serious because it’s the big meet and you want to do well," Glasmann said. "For me, it’s less of winning and more of making a PR (personal record)."
Glasmann won the region titles in both javelin (132.950 feet) and discus (112.4 feet). Throwing is in her blood. Her mother was a major thrower in her collegiate days and missed qualifying for the 1988 Olympic Games by three feet, Megan said.
The first time she picked up a javelin? Age six.
"I’ve been throwing things for a while," Glasmann said, laughing.
Last year, as a freshman, Glasmann tied the school record in the javelin. This year, in the Miners’ first official meet, she shattered it.
She also qualified for the World Youth Trials in Track & Field after throwing 143.3 feet in the BYU Invitational a couple weeks ago.
"That was a much more exciting meet," Glasmann said.
While the Miners aren’t considered among the top teams to win state this year boys or girls Wyant stressed that teams that win region aren’t always the teams that win state.
"In 2005, we lost the girls’ region track meet, but won state," he said.
He said his coaching style doesn’t change much when the stakes are highest. It’s more a matter of just honing the intensity the athletes already have.
"Oh, they’re ready," Wyant said. "They know what they want. For them, it’s the focus of the year. Our season is always emphasizing state. The emphasis from the coaches and the older athletes is that state always matters.
"We hope that that happens with the kids. For us, we’ve done what we can do. They’re as well trained as they can be. We just try and pump them up."
Star long-distance runner Ben Saarel, a sophomore who has been dealing with a nagging hamstring injury, has rested much of the last week, but Wyant said he is more than confident in him.
"Ben at 80 percent can win state," he said. "He should be 90 percent (by Friday). For anybody else, that’d be a problem."
Palomaki said she is antsy for the qualifiers Friday at BYU.
"I’m nervous about it," Palomaki said. "I’ll be honest."
Senior sprinter Blake Thorne, who tore his hamstring about six weeks ago, is still on the mend and was only able to qualify as a medley alternate. But that won’t keep him from soaking in his fourth trip to state.
"I’m just going to enjoy myself and watch the team, and if they need me, I’ll be there," he said.
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