PCHS track teams travel south for Invitational | ParkRecord.com

PCHS track teams travel south for Invitational

Eli Alford wins the shot put and discus events

Park Citys Eli Alford poses with his two gold medals in the shot put and the discus from the Pine View Invitational last weekend. Alford is expected to compete for a state title in the shot put.

The Park City High school track teams traveled south for the Pine View Invitational at Pine View High School over the weekend and came back with some impressive results.

The boys' team finished in seventh place with 36 points, while the girls' team finished in a tie with Dixie for sixth out of the 25 teams in attendance with 33 points.

"We were very pleased," Park City head coach Dave Yocum said. "In the past, we've been a distance powerhouse. Our distance has always carried us through [the season]. This year, realistically, we're very strong in the sprints, as well as the distance."

The balance Yocum referred to was especially true for the girls' team over the weekend. In the sprints, it was Shaye Henderson who led the way with fourth- and fifth-place finishes in the 200- and 100-meter dashes, respectively. Her time in the 100, 12.94 seconds, qualifies her for the state meet as a sophomore.

"I don’t think people really understood how fast she was coming in," Yocum said. "I can't take a whole lot of credit for what she’s done. She's just a naturally-gifted athlete. She won't catch anybody by surprise now. Everybody's going to know about her."

Also registering points for her team was Bailey Hoglin, who took fourth place in the shot put with a throw 31 feet 7 inches. The girls' team also received points from the 4×100-, 4×400- and 4×800-meter relays, as well as a third-place finish in the medley relay.

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The girls' team has been hampered by injuries lately. Some key contributors, such as Madison Carr, Leah Brown and Skylar Jackenthal, weren't at their best over the weekend and Yocum hopes that they can return to top form before season's end.

For the boys' team, it was Eli Alford, also a thrower, who led the way. Alford, who is committed to play football at Air Force in the fall, got second place at the UHSAA 3A State Championships in the shotput event last year. If his performance over the weekend means anything, he'll be going for gold this season.

His throw of 50 feet 1 inch was good enough to take home first place in the shot put, while he also nabbed first in the discus with a throw of just over 134 feet.

"[Alford] has such a quiet, calm confidence," Yocum said. "He rises to the occasion no matter what the competition is. If somebody pushes him, he pushes right back. He's just got that quiet demeanor about him that he just is very confident. He knows he can bring it when he needs to. It's really nice to have a mature athlete like that."

The other lone individual point scorer for Park City was Connor Laurence, who took second place in the 400-meter dash in a personal-best time of 51.24 seconds. Like the girls, the boys' team also received points from all three relays.

Next up for the Park City track and field teams is a region meet at Tooele High School. While the performances at Pine View were encouraging for the PCHS coaching staff, the teams feel there is work to be done.

"The big thing is just keep making improvements, keep pushing," Yocum said.

The meet between Park City and Tooele is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday.