PCHS track squads show balance in 2016
The Park City High School track teams — both boys and girls — have relied on throwers (in shot put, discus and javelin) and distance runners to score a majority of their points in years past.
This year, those areas are again strengths for the Miners, but other areas have come along as well. In a recent meet in St. George, Park City Coach Steve Cuttitta said the Miners scored in a variety of different events.
"We had the Pine View Invitational down in St. George two weeks ago," he said. "The girls scored in 13 out of 16 events, so that’s really encouraging. We faced off against Cedar and Desert Hills and we were slightly behind, but not far. I think we scored in 10 or 11 events for the boys."
Cuttitta said three of the Park City girls have already recorded great times and throwing distances this year.
"Maddie Carr has run state-qualifying times in the 1,600 [meter race] and the 3,200 — actually the fastest times in 3A this year," he said. "Leah Anderson has qualified for state in the 100 and the 200. That’s the first girls’ sprinter we’ve had qualify in about five years for anything under the 400. That’s a huge step in the right direction.
"Kambridge [Van Der Veur] won the discus and the shot put [at the Pine View Invitational]. She’s also scoring in the javelin. She actually has a chance to win both shot and discus at state — that’s a pretty rare feat. Those three are kind of our big three right now."
Van Der Veur also took first place at the Arcadia Invitational in California recently, recording a distance of 40 feet, 9 inches in the shot put. But the Miner girls are hardly a three-person team, Cuttitta added.
"After that, we have a ton of freshman girls who all are scoring and placing — Skylar Jackenthal, Katie Brotherson, Kate Young, Haley Maki and Megan Guetschow," he said. "We’re only halfway through the season, so we have high hopes for them."
The boys’ team doesn’t have the depth that the girls have, but the Miners should still be competitive at the 3A level, Cuttitta said.
"In the sprints, we have a great shot with Mason Stephens and Connor Laurence," he said. "In the 400 and 200, they’re really solid. Eli Alford is the best shot putter in 3A at this point. He’s flirting with 50 feet, which is closing in on the school record. He’s also very good at discus and he can also probably throw the javelin when we get around to it. Sawyer Pruitt can as well. They were both in the top three in shot at Pine View and they both scored in the discus as well. That’s encouraging.
"On the distance side, we’re a little bit thinner. Jack Parker is coming around, though."
Overall, this year’s Park City squad has been fun to coach, Cuttitta said. He likes when the Miners are performing well across the board.
"It’s nice to be able to sit down and watch the finals and have somebody in almost every event," he said. "So often, we’re just waiting for the events we do have people in and they’re few and far between. The whole team has really come together — they cheer each other on now and there’s more of a sense of team than there has been in years past."
In order to bring home some hardware from the 3A state meet this year, Cuttitta said the Miners need to perform well over the next month.
"We have a month until region, five and a half weeks until state," he said. "We need to get a little bit better. Can we close the gap? Right now we’re behind, but that doesn’t mean a lot. We’re just getting good weather, so that should bode well for fast times. I think we have a chance to really improve."
On April 23, the Miners have their next big test at the Davis Invitational. Cuttitta is anxious to see how Park City performs against some of Utah’s best teams.
"It’s invitation-only," he said. "We’ll try to get as many kids there as we can."
The Region 10 Championships will be held on May 11 and 12 and will be followed by the 3A state championship meet May 20 and 21.
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Two Park City singles players advance to the semifinals of the 5A state tennis playoffs; North Summit and South Summit girls soccer to begin state playoffs next week.