Track team to start season bolstered by football recruits
The Park City High School track team has added a raft of upperclassmen to its ranks for this season, including a host of football players on the boys’ side.
Dave Yocum, head track coach, said the influx has effectively doubled the size of the boys team.
“It’s going to make a huge difference,” he said. “It makes us very competitive going into the season.”
Throwing coach Dalton Bolger, who also coaches offense for the football team, said he was able to convince a number of his players to come over to track to help build their athleticism.
“I tried to bring a lot of those boys with me who weren’t doing lacrosse or something already,” he said. “I think a lot of those skills are transferable really easily. At the same time, we went from about three people throwing last year (to 24).”
Junior Paul Baynes beat the rush to the team. The Miners wide receiver has been a track contributor for the past two seasons, and is one of the team’s likely leaders going into the season. Last year he competed in the 400- and 200-meter sprint at the state championship meet, and during the rest of the season, anchored the 4×400 relay, ran in the 4×100 and the 100.
He is joined by a handful of standout football players, such as juniors Chase Johansen and Grant Warner, and sophomore Seth Warner, all linebackers. Junior wide receiver (and basketball standout) Mark McCurdy also joined the team.
It’s not yet settled which events they will compete in, though Yocum expects their skills to be broadly applicable.
“Sprinting and throwing, we’re going to be really strong, and distance we should do pretty well,” he said. “We should have guys who can score from the 100 to the 3200 and we I think we will score (shot put, discus) and javelin; long jump and high jump. We have some great additions and it’s just huge.”
Yocum said the boys team should be able to compete for a region title, after a middling regular season finish in 2018 and 22nd at state.
The girls team is also poised for a good season, though the team is more orientated toward consistency with its high standard. Last season they won their region, and took 16th at state.
Senior sprinters Katie Brotherson, Skylar Jackenthal and Haley Maki will be point scorers and leaders for the team, as will junior Bella Criscione and senior Camille Breiholz on the distance side.
“They are kind of the girls that keep everybody settled and focused,” Yocum said of Criscione and Breiholz.
Criscione competed in the 800 at state last year while Brotherson competed in the 100 and 300 hurdles. Brotherson, Maki, Criscione and Breiholz were all part of the squad that traveled to last season’s elite Arcadia Invitational outside of Los Angeles as well.
Yocum said he is hoping the team can repeat on its region victory, and said that the team will likely “get (points) from all over, just like last year.”
The team is set to open the season in Draper at a meet hosted by Juan Diego on March 20.
“Watch for some records to go this year,” Yocum said.
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