Park City High School track shows relay teams’ strength at state championship meet
Last Thursday, the Park City High School track team traveled to Provo for the Utah High School Athletic Association’s state track and field championships at Brigham Young University. Though the neither the boys nor girls team reached the podium, coach Dave Yocum said many of the team’s athletes were able to reach the finals.
Yocum said one of the biggest standouts was sophomore Paul Baynes’ performance in the 400-meter dash, in which he jumped from ranking 15th to finishing sixth overall with a time of 50.51.
He was also part of PCHS’s 4×400 relay team, which took sixth overall, and Yocum said Baynes was probably the fastest runner he’s ever coached.
“They ran out of their mind,” he said of Baynes, Victor Casarrubias, Connor McDonald and Seth Warner. “Every one of them”
Yocum suspected that part of the team’s motivation was to give Casarrubias, a team leader, a good sendoff his senior year.
“It was his last race and they basically put it on the line trying to get him to the podium,” Yocum said.
“He’s a silent leader — nicest kid in the world; respectful; does everything you ask of him; leaves everything on the track every time he races.”
Park City’s highest finish overall was in the girls 4×400, in which the team took second.
Yocum said he had about 10 runners that could have been competitive in the race, but the team he eventually selected comprised two sophomores (Grace Dalton and Kaitlyn Esquivel) and two freshmen (Maude Crossland and Mia Hunt).
“That’s pretty rare, though last year we had a junior, a sophomore and two freshmen,” he said.
“Part of it is knowing who has the hot hand, so to speak, coming into it. This year we took the kids that we thought were running hot at the time, and that was the foursome.”
The team finished with a time of 4 minutes, 1.92 seconds.
In the distance events, senior Liza Greene, also one of the team’s leaders, set several personal bests, including cutting seven seconds off her 1,600-meter run. She finished 16th overall with a time of 5:18.60, but Yocum said her progress was “gigantic.”
“Everybody looks up to her,” he said. “If they have questions they know to go to Liza. She’s been indispensable, so somebody has some big shoes to fill.”
Greene said she wasn’t expecting to cut so much off her time.
“It was a super competitive race; I was ranked near the back and it was my third race of the day,” she said. “Coming down the last stretch, I saw the clock and I wanted to break that (5:25 mark), I just kind of gave it everything, I went for it.”
In the 800, Greene finished 12th, followed by freshman Chloe Shewell in 16th and sophomore Isabella Criscione in 17th.
Some other top finishes included Esquivel’s ninth-place finish in the 100, Dalton’s ninth-place finish in the 400, and a fifth-place finish from the girls sprint medley team, which comprised Carol Crossland, Katie Brotherson, Skylar Jackenthal and Greene.
Sophomore Jaynie Glasmann took 12th in Discus.
The Miners girls 4×100 team also took ninth, which included Crossland, Brotherson, Equivel and Dalton.
“We did very well overall,” Greene said reflecting on the meet. “I think we had more kids running in the finals than ever.”
Though she will attend Hamilton College, in Clinton, New York, she said after graduating she will miss “everything,” about track at Park City High School.
“It’s just a different experience that I will carry with me,” she said.