Miners hope to win region crown in 2017
PCHS track teams will be led by Alford and Carr
March 10, 2017
The sun was shining and the sky was blue. Eager to enjoy the nice weather were kids out on the Park City High School's track. By the look of things, it appeared the girls' and boys' track and field teams at PCHS were in the middle of their season, but in actuality, it hasn't begun.
"Despite the huge [recent] snowstorms, the weather between the storms has been relatively pleasant," said Steve Cuttitta, one of the head coaches. "We had the full track clear [on Wednesday afternoon]. We were out there able to do some time trials, able to do some real track workouts. Honestly, in my eight years here, that's rare for March."
Warm weather or not, the Miners would be prepared for the start of the season either way. Winter for the athletes was full of runs through hallways, weightlifting and running up and down stairs. This offseason work, coupled with the early outdoor work, has Cuttitta envisioning impressive teams for Park City.
"We’re going to be very competitive at region, which is a good goal to be first or second at region," Cuttitta said. "I think on both sides, boys and girls, we should be able to compete."
The head coach admits he doesn't fully know what he has at his disposal, and he won't until the Miners go through a meet or two. He does remember, however, a number of returning athletes who found success last season. He also has noticed some budding ones with potential.
The girls' distance team, headlined by Madison Carr, will certainly be a strong suit for the Miners. Carr had quite the 3A state meet last season as a junior, placing second in the 1600-meter run and third in the 3200-meter run. She will certainly go for those titles again, and according to Cuttitta, could also make some noise in the 800-meter run, as well.
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"The people that beat [Carr at state] are both returning, so it's not going to be easy for her," Cuttitta said. "But she should be able to score some points at the state meet in both of those [events]."
As for the rest of the girls' team, it'll be somewhat of a mixed bag. The Miners return a ton of experience, but much of that was from underclassmen last season. Time will tell if they are ready to step up and be key contributors. Cuttitta hopes their experience gained from last year's region and state meets will help catapult Park City to the top of Region 10.
On the boys' side, Eli Alford is the easy target when looking at returning talent. The Air Force football commit finished in second at the 3A state meet in the shot put, losing out on the title by less than an inch. With a little bit of improvement, Cuttitta believes, he will be a force in the shot put, as well as his other throwing events.
"He'll be competing for a state title in the shot," Cuttitta said. "He'll also be very competitive in the javelin. … His discus is not as strong for him as the shot put, but again, that's an area where if he improves another 10-15 feet, he all of a sudden become a state scorer and competitor in that as well."
As for the rest of the boys' team, it's similar to its female counterparts. The sprints team does return some experienced members, such as Connor Laurence, who will help keep the Miners competitive. Laurence, Cuttitta said, is expected to compete in just about anything from the 100-meter dash to the 800-meter run.
"[Laurence] had a good year last year, but he got sick at the end of the year," Cuttitta said. "He didn't make it to state in any of the individual events, even though he had a good year. He's been healthy [this year] and training well. He's been kind of leading our sprint crew this year."
By the time the season ends, the Miners could be led by a whole new group of kids. For now, though, Cuttitta knows what he has in some of his athletes, such as Carr and Alford, and is excited to see what he can get from the unknown.
The Miners start their season on March 15 with a dual meet at Union High School. The meet is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m.
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