MILLVILLE — It was exactly the start the Logan boys track & field team was hoping for in its quest for a region title.
The Grizzlies scored a lot of points in the first two events on Day 1 of the Region 12 Championships and, after four events, have already racked up 50 points, which is 26 more than second-place Sky View. The Logan boys finished second and third in the 1,600 meters, and followed that up by claiming three of the top four positions in Wednesday’s high jump.
Bo Stearns defended his region title in the high jump as he cleared the bar at 6 feet, 2 inches, on his second attempt.
“When (head coach Eric) Strand came over, he was like, ‘Bo, I could kiss you for that.’ I’m like, ‘please don’t,’ but I’m happy,” Stearns said. “It was nice getting three in the top four.”
A year ago, Stearns edged teammate Brody McKinnon for the gold medal in the high jump. McKinnon is out of town for this meet, but Stearns still received a stiff test from Sky View’s Trey Nyman. The sophomore was successful at 6-0 and nearly cleared the bar on his final attempt at 6-2.
“Without one of my main competitors from Logan here, I thought I did decent,” Stearns said. “And then the Sky View kid, man, he came out of nowhere this year and looked good today, but it feels really good taking the championship again.”
Jaylen Sargent claimed the bronze medal for the Grizzlies by clearing 5-10, and teammate Bracken Taylor finished fourth with a mark of 5-8. Taylor also ran the top qualifying time in the 400 meters Wednesday as he clocked in at 51.30.
It was a great day for the Bobcats in the throwing events as they claimed all three titles. Ashlee McUne reigned supreme in the girls javelin and shot put, while fellow senior Collin Robison earned the right to stand on the top spot of the podium in the boys discus.
“It’s fun because Collin and I practice together and we both show up to practice, we both work hard and we try and do what our coach tells us to,” said McUne, who is a first-team all-state volleyball player. “And so it’s really cool to come out here and win for our school.”
McUne started her day by edging Bear River’s McKenzie Bywater by one inch in the javelin. McUne went 101-11 on her first of six attempts and had to sweat it out after Bywater had her top throw on her fifth attempt. McUne, who will be a legitimate title contender in Thursday’s discus, then proceeded to win the shot put with a heave of 33-11.5.
Robison beat his closest competitor by more than 14 feet in the discus after uncorking a season-best mark of 140-7. The senior will be arguably the favorite in Thursday’s javelin.
“(My throws) have been getting a lot better,” said Robison, who credited Bobcat throwing coaches and former Utah State stars Maci Bingham and Mia Estes for his improvement. “The whole season’s kind of been slow, but I think I’m peaking right now and I’m hoping to really do well at state. I’m excited for next week.”
Thanks to McUne and standout distance runner Arianna Steiner, the Lady Bobcats are currently tied for first place with favorite Bear River after five of 16 events. Both teams have 36 points.
Steiner won the 1,600 by six seconds on Day 1 of the meet as she clocked in at 5:11.64. The senior will be the heavy favorite in Thursday’s 3,200.
Conversely, the boys 1,600 was decided in thrilling fashion. Green Canyon’s Ethan Fullmer was in third place with about 200 meters remaining, but made a strong move and then held off Logan’s Ian Bressel, arguably the region’s best 800 runner, down the final straightaway.
Fullmer, who referred to capturing a region title as “surreal,” finished the race in 4:34.86, followed by Bressel (4:35.27), Logan’s Alex Rasmussen (4:35.99) and Ridgeline’s Spencer Adams (4:36.95).
“You kind of are just thinking the entire time that you’ve got to give your 100 percent the whole way because we’re all so close,” Fullmer said. “It makes it really interesting, but definitely something that I won’t forget from here on out. It’s been a really fun season running next to these guys.”
Another Cache Valley athlete was crowned a repeat champion on Wednesday. Mountain Crest’s Alisabeth Apedaile defended her long jump title against a very good field. The sophomore soared her way to 17-7 on two of her six attempts, which was three inches farther than runner-up Amber Kartchner of Logan.
“It’s super fun and I love them all,” Apedaile said of prevailing against a competitive field. “They’re all so fun to be around. It’s just nice that there’s good competition. It’s super fun. I like it that way.”
In the final event of the evening, the Grizzlies powered their way to first place in the boys medley relay. Hyrum Rosenlund, Nathan Orton, Taylor and Bressel teamed up to complete the race in 3:45.0.
In addition to Bressel, Nyman and Kartchner, two other Cache Valley athletes who captured silver medalist in an individual event were Ridgeline’s Caleb Postma (discus, 126-1.5) and Rachel Rodgers (shot put, 32-8). Logan’s Isaac Hopkins was the bronze medalist in the discus (122-1.5), as were teammates Milly Garren in the javelin (97-11) and Shea Davidson in the long jump (16-9), and Ridgeline’s Kaylee Perrett in the shot put (32-0).
Ridgeline’s Madison Patrick finished fourth in the 1,600 (5:24.07), as did Mountain Crest’s Emma Larsen in the javelin (95-7) and Green Canyon’s Kayleann Herzog in the shot put (29-9.5). The top four placers in each event automatically qualify for next week’s 4A State Championships.
In addition to Taylor, other local athletes who posted the top times in a preliminary round event were GC’s Dante Stewart (100, 11.45), Ridgeline’s Mataya Forsgren (400, 1:01.33) and Olivia Smith (300 hurdles, 47.41), and Logan’s Rosenlund (200, 23.28).
Logan’s Isaac Phillips and Tabitha Hansen swept the titles in the pole vault with clearances of 12-6 and 9-0, respectively. The pole vault is an exhibition event in the 4A classification.