Miners track finishes season with strong relays
The Park City High School track team finished its 2019 season at the Class 4A state meet on Brigham Young University’s Clarence Robinson Track on May 17 and 18, where the boys team took 14th out of 21 teams and the girls team took 18th out of 24 teams.
Coach Dave Yocum said the Provo meet was the culmination of a mixed season; one dogged by bad weather and injuries but that finished with a handful of noteworthy results.
Paul Baynes had perhaps the best meet of the Miners.
The junior sprinter had just wrapped up the Region 11 meet at Ogden High School on May 8 and 9 with a first-place finish in the 100, however he was pulled from running the 200 because of muscle tightness.
“We didn’t want to exacerbate an injury he might be developing,” Yocum said. “We went into state cautiously optimistic.”
But Baynes was healthy for state meet, taking second in the 400 with a time of 49.52 and fifth in the 100 with a time of 11.24.
“It was really a great race,” Yocum said of the 400. “Early in the race he had the lead at the 200 mark, then dropped back to third or fourth coming off the corner, then came back into second. (First-place runner Braden Squires) from Desert Hills just had a phenomenal stretch run and won it, but we were extremely happy with what happened.”
Yocum said Baynes’ 400 time was the second fastest time set by a PCHS runner on record.
“We thought we had a chance for the record,” Yocum said. “I think on a warm day he probably would have done it. We had rain, wind; everything you could imagine between the two days.”
Squires led with a time of 49.08, and Canyon View’s Britt Dunnell took third (49.58).
In the 100, Squires again finished first (10.96). Puka Nacua of Orem took second (11.13) and Dominique McKenszie of Pine View took third (11.14).
Baynes also competed on the Park City boys 4×100 relay team, which finished eighth (43.94) in a tight field.
Junior Mark McCurdy, who was coming off a knee injury, led off for the group, followed by Baynes, then sophomore Seth Warner and junior Dalton Swallow anchored.
Desert Hills took first (43.06), followed by Sky View (43.22) and Orem (43.50).
Baynes then anchored the boys 4×400 relay, running with Warner, sophomore Will Henry and junior Kaleb Barnhart. Park City took seventh with a time of 3:26.75.
Yocum said it was a good result for the team, but not quite what they’d hoped.
“Their goal the whole year was to set the school record and we missed it by less than a second,” Yocum said.
But Baynes performed well again.
“He brought us back in the 4×4 at the end of the meet with another 49.4 anchor leg,” Yocum said. “After running the (400) final, that was pretty big.”
Canyon View took first (3:24.6) and Salem Hills was second (3:24.65).
Henry also took eighth in the 800 meter run with a final time of 1:57.85.
“I don’t want to say he was a surprise, but he was a surprise,” Yocum said. He said the sophomore was finding his niche after trying a selection of events last season.
“He had a great race” Yocum said. “He willed himself to make a place finish. He’s only the third sophomore from Park City to break two minutes.”
The girls team finished highly in the relay events, placing in the 4×100, 4×400 and sprint medley relay.
The 4×400 team took third with a time of 4:03 behind Desert Hills (4:02.11) and Hurricane (4:02.57).
Sophomore Maude Crossland led off for the Miners, followed by junior Grace Dalton, junior Coral Crossland then junior Kaitlyn Esquivel.
Esquivel was still recovering from an ankle injury sustained playing soccer, which she competes in alongside track simultaneously, as do Dalton and Maude Crossland. Esquivel hadn’t competed in nearly a month because of her injury, but came back for the state meet.
Despite playing games earlier in the week Yocum said Esquivel, Maude Crossland and Dalton all performed well in the 4×400.
“Those three girls set the tone,” he said. “They just kept putting it out there and not backing down. They just gave Kait an opportunity to keep us in there and Kait had a nice anchor leg and kept us in. We finished third, about where we thought we would be.”
Yocum said the relay team still has unfinished business for next season, after falling just shy of their goal to set a school record.
“I was very happy with what we finished with, but that team, given the right day, they are capable of breaking the school record by 2 seconds,” he said.
The Park City girls 4×100 team (Esquivel, Coral Crossland, senior Haley Maki and Dalton) took fourth overall with a time of 50.33. Desert Hills took first (49.10), followed by Orem (49.59) and Tooele (49.80).
Yocum said the team placed about where the team expected it to place.
That wasn’t the case for the sprint medley, which consists of two 200 meter legs followed by a 400 and an 800. Yocum said the event is geared toward 800 runners, and is scheduled to be cut from programming next season. Few other states run it. But the Miners ran it well, taking eighth overall with a time of 4:23.73.
Senior Skylar Jackenthal led off, followed by senior Katie Brotherson, sophomore Chloe Shewell and sophomore Klaire Kovar.
“We ran a season’s best in the state final, actually exceeded our expectations,” Yocum said. “I was really happy with what we did.”
Bear River took first (4:16.91) followed by Cedar (4:17.55) and Pine View (4:18.04).
Brotherson also had a few noteworthy performances to wrap up her senior year.
The captain competed in both the 100 and 300 hurdles and made it to the state finals in both.
“We were very happy with how her season ended,” Yocum said of the longtime contributor.
Brotherson had taken the region title in the 300 and set a personal record in the process, then set a personal record in the 100 hurdles at the state meet, where she took 13th overall with a time of 16.34. She took 15th in the 300 hurdles with a time of 48.29.
“It was a good season for her in the sense that you want to go out your senior year and do some big things and she did,” Yocum said. “Region champion in 300 hurdles was big for her, and she had a phenomenal leg in the medley relay.”
Overall, Desert Hills placed first in the boys competition (71) followed by Orem (64) and Spanish Fork (64). Cedar finished first in the girls competition (107), then Desert Hills (106) and Orem (49).
Next season the Miners will move up to Class 5A, where Yocum said the Miners will likely have a significantly smaller roster than its competitors.
“We still have expectations, we still have things to build upon,” he said. “I think we got some great benchmarks this year and next year we hope to break those benchmarks.”
For a complete list of results go to runnercard.com.
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The Miners ended up on the wrong side of a close game on senior night but are still fighting for playoff seeding.