Park City seeing results on the track despite challenges |

Park City seeing results on the track despite challenges

Early-season meets full of promise

Park City's boys track team wraps up a relay race during a meet last year.
Park Record file photo by David Jackson

Producing a competitive track-and-field team in the midst of a record-breaking winter this year has had some obvious challenges.

“By far the most inclement weather we’ve ever had,” Park City coach Dave Yocum said. “The distance boys and girls, they’re running on the treadmill. We’re running in the hallways. It’s hard to train to get where you want to be.”

However, even with the constant snow in Park City this year, the Miners have still gone to a few meets already this season and produced some promising results. There’s still plenty of time to improve, with the state meet not until mid-May. 

“Between lack of a place to really train, like every other coach, and weather at almost every one of our meets, we’re doing OK,” Yocum said. “Had a good meet this last weekend down in Pine View at St. George, which is probably the best weather we’ve had early in the season here. We did pretty well.”

Any training difficulties haven’t set back the likes of Easton Brotherson in hurdles and Joseph Eldridge and Matthew DeMarco in the long jump. Brotherson won the 110-meter hurdles at Pine View with a time of 14.89 seconds. Eldridge scored a 21-foot jump in St. George to finish in fifth, and DeMarco had a jump of 20 feet, 9.25 inches two weeks prior. 

“(Brotherson’s) first race was actually this last weekend – he hasn’t gone over a flight of hurdles all season outdoors because of the conditions on our track,” Yocum said. “His first attempt at hurdles was at that meet, and he set the top time in 5A in the 110 hurdles at 14.89. He was disappointed because it was a pretty sloppy race, but it just shows how good he is.”

“(Eldridge) has improved a lot,” Yocum added. “Matt’s kind of ranked where he was last year. But again, our only practice long jumping has been at meets. So, they both have a couple of meets under their belt, so they’re really just doing it based on the drill work that we do in practice inside. But we can’t do run-throughs because our long jump is buried.”

For the girls, the relay races have been an early highlight. At Pine View, Park City finished in the top three in three relay races, including a win in the 4×100 event. 

MileSplit’s rankings have Park City leading Class 5A in the 4×100, 4×200 and 4×400 events so far. Yocum recalled junior Morgan Carter’s fast anchor leg to edge out Class 6A’s Corner Canyon by six-hundredths of a second in the 4×100 for the win over the weekend and how Park City nearly set a new state record in 4×200 two weeks prior. 

“The girls take a lot of pride in the relays because it shows how deep we are as a team,” Yocum said. “It’s really exciting, and everybody on the teams loves the relays. They’re exciting, it’s really fun.”

The boys have also had their share of success on relays. Park City’s 4×100 team won the state title last year, and it took second place this past weekend in St. George despite not having a completely healthy team yet. Then there was a 4×800 race that featured a battle between Park City and Mountain View that Yocum could only describe as “spectacular,” though his team ended up finishing second.

“It came down to the last runner, which was Chris Henry battling the top guy from Mountain View, and the top guy from Mountain View is very good,” Yocum said. “After the race, Chris said, ‘They got us this time, but we’ll get them.’”

The start to the track-and-field season has been a challenge for many teams, but those challenges have been accentuated in Park City. Yocum likes what he’s seen from the program so far in the face of them.

“For all of our kids to be able to perform the way they’re doing given the conditions – it’s that way statewide, nobody has an area where they aren’t having really good snow, rain and wind and inclement weather,” he said. “We just happen to be one of the worst because of our altitude. But for them to do so well, that’s just how good of athletes they are, to tell you the truth.”


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