PCHS track athletes impress at BYU meet
The annual BYU Invitational at Brigham Young University in Provo brings all the top Utah track athletes together to test their skills against one another.
The meet is divided up into a 1A and 2A competition and a 3A, 4A and 5A contest. Park City High School, competing in the 3A/4A/5A meet, turned in some strong individual results over the weekend.
"We did really well on an individual basis," Park City Coach Steve Cuttitta said. "As a team, we didn’t do that well, but we had some people out sick and other people out for school reasons."
Leading the way for the Miner boys was Eli Alford, who impressed his coaches in the field events.
"Eli was second in the shot put," Cuttitta said. "He threw 51 feet. To throw 51 feet and finish as the top 3A thrower and second in the whole state was big. BYU is the cream of the crop for Utah — it’s basically everybody. To finish second there is pretty amazing."
On the girls’ side, Cuttitta highlighted the performance of Kambridge Van Der Veur, another thrower for the Miners.
"Kambridge was four feet from the state record in the discus and set a school record [with a throw of 139 feet, 3.75 inches]," he said. "Discus has not been her best event ever until that meet. She finished first overall and came back in the shot put and finished third overall there, too."
Cuttitta said both Alford and Van Der Veur hope to carry the momentum from BYU into next weekend’s 3A state meet.
"Eli’s goal is going to be to win state in the shot and also score in the discus," he said. "He’s got the power and he’s throwing well. I think a state title is within his ability level. That would be our first boys’ state title since [distance runner] Ben Saarel three years ago. That’d be a nice boost for the boys.
"[Kambridge’s] goals are similar to Eli’s, except she may be a two-time state champ if everything falls correctly for her. She should also score in the javelin at state. Once you start looking at 3A Performer of the Meet, she may be one of the top scorers across all the teams."
Park City also received a strong effort from Maddie Carr, who ran both the 3,200-meter and the 1,600-meter races.
"She ran an 11:13, which was her best time, and placed eighth in the 3,200," Cuttitta said. "There were no 3A runners in front of her, so she’s certainly in the [state title] mix there. In the 1,600, she ran a 5:12, which was second-fastest in 3A, just a couple seconds off of a girl from Desert Hills."
Adding to the Miners’ impressive performances was the fact that they had to battle inconsistent weather conditions all weekend, Cuttitta said.
"The meet got delayed a lot on Friday and we didn’t have everybody stay to run," he said. "We didn’t have a big team and conditions weren’t exactly ideal. I don’t think it affected times too much, though — it just made for long days. On Friday, there were three hours of delays in increments of 30 minutes. The kids handled it pretty well."
Heading into the 3A state meet, Cuttitta said he’s looking for the Miners to improve upon their personal bests.
"For a lot of the kids, it’s about now that they’ve made it to state, see if they can run a [personal record] competing against just 3A," he said. "All year, it’s 3A, 4A and 5A all together at all these invitationals and it’s hard to see where you stand. This is an individual showcase — being All-State and possibly winning state titles for a couple of them. And, if we can have a full girls’ squad, we should be in the top four teams."
The 3A state track meet is scheduled for May 20 and 21 at BYU in Provo.
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