Miners track and field wraps up season at state championships
Boys finish second, girls take home seventh
Utah claims to have the “greatest snow on Earth,” but it also creates major headaches for Park City High School’s track and field team.
Track and field coach Dave Yocum and his team will clear snow off the track after every snowfall to prevent too much ice from freezing over. It’s not until later in the year when a plow comes by and clears whatever is left over. Yocum said that there was still snow on the south side of the track as late as April and there would be times that they could only practice with one lane.
Park City’s track team faces challenges that most schools don’t have to deal with, and sometimes that puts it at a disadvantage compared to the competition.
“Living up in Park City, we’re anywhere from a month to two months behind everybody in the valley,” Yocum said. “They pretty much train year-round in the valley, even though it’s cold. It’s got its demands, I’ll leave it at that.”
But that didn’t prevent the Miners from having a successful run at the state championships at Davis High School on May 18. The boys team took home second place with 88 points, 72 points behind first-place Orem, and the girls team finished in seventh. Park City ended up in second place overall.
“We did very well,” Yocum said. “I’m very happy with how the season turned out.”
Senior Will Henry was the star for the boys team with a win in the 800-meter race with a time of 1:54.92. Henry scored another four points for Park City with a fifth-place finish in the 1,600-meter event.
“During the season, everybody had their moments of being, you know, really, really standout,” Yocum said. “But when you get down to it, Will Henry — what he’s done for this team in the long run has been phenomenal.”
Yocum also credited seniors Kirby Baynes, Johnny Cruz and Trond Grizzell for their efforts this season. Baynes finished in third place in the 100-meter sprint and second in the 200-meter event, while Cruz was fourth in the 400-meter race.
“Both (Baynes and Cruz) only came out their senior year, but they’re very good athletes, high, high-level athletes in lacrosse and soccer before running track their senior year,” Yocum said. “And they just, I mean, gave us so much added value.”
Grizzell, who committed to the University of California-Berkeley as a walk-on for football, finished fifth in the 100-meter race and third in the 200.
“(He) just really turned the corner in track where it was kind of a pastime now, he just really, really applied himself,” Yocum said. “Those guys just held our team together.”
Other highlights included sophomore Easton Brotherson’s third-place finish in the 110-meter hurdles and junior Jesse Helton ending the day in fifth in the discus.
On the girls side, senior Chloe Shewell had a fifth-place finish in the 400-meter race, freshmen Kaylee Hale and Leah Yaeger ended their 800-meter races in third and sixth, respectively. Yocum had high regards for Shewell.
“She was a workhorse, she was in the weight room every day we were in the weight room, did everything we asked, ran everything,” Yocum said. “She was everything on the girls side.”
Both teams did serious damage with their relay teams. The boys team won the 4×800 relay and were the runners-up in the 4×200 and the 4×400 relays along with a fifth-place finish in the 4×100. The girls won the 4×400 and 4×800 relays and crossed the finish line in fourth in the 4×100 relay and fifth in the 4×200 relay.
“We had tons of tons of good results, very surprising, but we did really well in the relays overall,” Yocum said.
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