MILLVILLE — Being disqualified in the 4x200-meter relay cost the Lady Wolves 10 valuable team points and threatened to derail their aspirations at the Region 11 Track & Field Championships.
To its credit, Green Canyon was undaunted. Instead, the Wolves got critical contributions from several athletes and it was just enough to capture their first region title in program history.
The Green Canyon girls held off Ridgeline and a balanced field at the two-day meet, which concluded on a warm Thursday evening. The Wolves finished with 113 points to the Riverhawks’ 111. Sky View was third with 93 points, followed by Mountain Crest (73), Bear River (70) and Logan (66).
Green Canyon and Ridgeline were tied heading into the final event, the 4x400 relay.
“Honestly, I can’t even describe how much this region championship means,” GC head coach Jody Porter said. “It has been an uphill battle since (Green Canyon became a school) and these girls stepped up all season to create an amazing track culture. They have been a pleasure to work with and gave it their all. I am so proud of their effort and their love for each other and the sport.”
The Wolves had four athletes finish in the top three in at least two individual events and were led by stellar sophomores Maren McKenna and Cambree Tensmeyer. McKenna and Tensmeyer each left the meet with a trio of individual medals.
Tensmeyer reigned supreme in the 200 (26.34 seconds), was the runner-up in the 100 (13.01) and was the bronze medalist in the 400 (1:00.68). The sophomore was nipped at the finish line in the 100 by the slightest of margins, otherwise she would have left Ridgeline High School with two gold medals.
McKenna prevailed in the javelin, plus broke the the school mark with her mark of 116 feet, 5 inches. The sophomore also earned the right to stand on the No. 3 spot on the podium in the shot put (36-8) and discus (100-8).
There are several state level girls throwers from Cache Valley this season, so McKenna’s two-day performance was definitely noteworthy.
“It’s cool to be the first region champions for track at Green Canyon,” said McKenna, who credited teammate Abby Blau for pushing her to succeed this spring. “Also being able to be in such a competitive yet kind environment makes throwing even more fun and rewarding because you’re around people that cheer you on no matter what. It’s so exciting to break school records with some of your best friends.”
Three others local girls who are primed to score a lot of points in the throws at next week’s 4A State Championships are Logan’s Milly Garren, Ridgeline’s Savannah Perrett and Mountain Crest’s Katelyn Hardy.
Garren is the overwhelming favorite to win state titles in the shot put and javelin, and she beat all comers in both events Thursday. The junior recorded marks of 42-0 in the shot put and 136-1.5 in the discus, and she placed third in the javelin (106-3.5).
Hardy left Millville with a silver medal in the shot put (37-7) and finished fourth in the discus (99-10.5), while Perrett was the runner-up in the javelin (109-2) and discus (101-2).
“I’m really happy with how I threw today and the results I had, especially since we do have such amazing throwers in this valley,” Perrett said. “I love throwing with all these girls and they have challenged me to improve and continually bring the best out of me because of the support we have for each other.”
In addition to Perrett, Ridgeline also received clutch performances from Mackenzie Duncan, Keslie Duersch, Brynlee Brown, Alex Baer and others, and it was nearly enough to allow the hosts to claim the first-place trophy.
Duncan won the 800 (2:24.16) and helped Ridgeline’s 4x800 relay team emerge victorious. Duncan teamed up with Reese Heninger, Ellie Kotter and Brown (10:00.36). Duersch finished second in the 300 hurdles (47.19) and fourth in the 100 (13.30); Brown placed third in the 1,600 (5:25) and fourth in the 800 (2:26.50); Baer was third in the 300 hurdles (48.53) and fourth in the 100 hurdles (17.31). Ridgeline recorded four of the top five times in the 800.
Three other local competitors who racked up a lot of team points were Logan’s Amber Kartchner and Sky View’s Katyrra Peck and Kate Dickson.
Kartchner is a legitimate state title contender in the long jump and high jump, and beat all comers in both events at region. The senior soared to a school record mark of 18-3 in the long jump and cleared the bar at 5-4 in the high jump to match her personal record. Additionally, Kartchner claimed the bronze medal in the 100 (13.14).
“It feels really good because towards the end of the season, that’s when you want to win the most because that’s when region and state are, so you want to be at your best, for sure,” said Kartchner, who credited friendly rival Beth Apedaile of Mountain Crest for helping her exceed the 18-foot barrier in the long jump. “And so it feels good just to be kind of hitting my stride at the right moment.”
Likewise, Peck is peaking at the right time and she returned home with three gold medals. The senior was triumphant in the 100 (13.01) and helped propel Sky View’s 4x100 (50.38) and 4x200 (1:48.76) relay squads to victory. Kera Littlefield and Piper Sessions ran legs on both relays, while Aspen Hoffman (4x200) and Haley McUne (4x100) also contributed to the relay wins.
“Along with it being almost two years since I had raced, I also was having some medical issues at the beginning of the season that I was trying to figure out,” Peck said. “There is a clear line in my season that you can see when I started feeling better as my times improved drastically. It has been so awesome to finally hit a new PR last week (in the 100) since sophomore year and then to win region today in the 100. I’m excited to see how I do at state next week.”
Dickson is one of 4A’s elite distance runners and she powered her way to region titles in the 1,600 (5:11) and 3,200 (11:23), plus had enough left in the tank to secure the bronze medal in the 800 (2:26.19).
Apedaile remained undefeated this season in the 100 hurdles (14.94) and was the runner-up to Kartchner in the long jump (17-6). The Mountain Crest standout senior was in complete control in the 300 hurdles, but was off on her steps heading into the final hurdle, crashed over it and ended up finishing fifth.
The Lady Mustangs also received a title from Maya Miller in the 400 (59.13), plus she was the silver medalist in the 200 (26.79). The junior clocked in at 58.38 in Wednesday’s qualifying heat in the 400 and has made substantial strides in the event this spring.
“It’s been incredibly fun,” Miller said. “I feel like just being able to race it and with all my friends too, we’ve all been progressing so much, and it’s so fun to be able to do that with them as well. I’ve just loved doing track this year. It’s been amazing, unbelievable.”
In addition to McKenna and Tensmeyer, two other Green Canyon girls who shined were Paige Bagley and Sydney Edelmayer. Bagley captured a gold medal in the 300 hurdles (47.16) and a silver in the 100 hurdles (16.72), and Edelmayer left with bronze medals in the long jump (16-2) and 100 hurdles (16.82).
Green Canyon’s Jayden Beach was the runner-up in the high jump (5-2), as was Ridgeline’s Heninger in the 800 (2:25.65).
Other local bronze medalists were GC’s Kate Latvakoski (3,200, school record time of 11:54) and RHS’s Madeline Carmona (high jump, 5-0). Local girls who placed fourth individually were SV’s McUne (long jump, 16-0), Kaylee Grigg (3,200, 12:12) and Anna Poulsen (400, 1:01.41), MC’s Paige Egbert (shot put, 33-10.5) and GC’s Breesen Hoehne (300 hurdles, 48.66)