PCHS track team starts season strong | ParkRecord.com

PCHS track team starts season strong

Courtesy Ben Hurr

The Park City High School track team wasted no time getting into a groove this season.

At the Miners’ first meet of the year, the Pine View Invitational in St. George on March 22 and 23, Park City athletes turned in great performances left and right, leading to a second-place finish for the girls’ team and a strong showing from senior Ben Saarel for the boys.

The Miners competed against nine other schools from across the state. Herriman and Alta tied for first in the boys’ meet, with Orem claiming first place on the girls’ side.

Saarel won the 800-meter, 1600-meter, and 3200-meter races to lead the way for the Miners. In the 3200, Saarel finished in eight minutes, 55.27 seconds, the second-best time ever posted by a Utah high school runner.

The record, set by Judge Memorial’s Luke Puskedra in 2008, is 8:54.40. Park City coach Jeff Wyant said it’s only a matter of time before Saarel claims the record for himself.

"Ben will get it," he said. "It’s the first race of the year. He’ll get even better."

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Senior Megan Glassman also had a strong performance, dominating the javelin and discus competitions, almost setting a state record of her own.

With a javelin throw of 151.00 feet, Glassman was just nine inches short of claiming the record.

She did, however, break the 3A state record with her throw. Wyant said he expects Glassman to break overall state record by the end of the year, too.

In the girls’ distance races, the Miners had a strong showing in the 1600. Sophomore Alyssa Snyder won the race in 5:04.48, with senior teammate Ali Walker finishing fourth in 5:11.74.

Junior Maddie Criscione (5:21.14) and senior Emily Schmitt (5:23.77) finished 10th and 11th.

In the 3200, Snyder and Walker finished second and third, respectively. They were joined in the top 10 by senior Annie Orr (eighth) and Criscione (10th).

Walker (third) and Snyder (fifth) also performed well in the 800, with junior Ellie Burton finishing tenth.

"We’ve got a really good group of distance runners," Wyant said. "Already, we have five girls going to state in different events."

Park City is back in action today at the Utah Valley University Invitational in Orem. Wyant said his team is using the meet to prepare for a national meet in California next week.

"Right now, we’re not trying to set any records," he said. "We’re just using it as a tune-up."

Erica Richins of North Summit High School also had a solid weekend of racing. The senior won the 100-meter hurdles and came in fourth in the 300-meter hurdles.