MILLVILLE — The Bobcats didn’t necessarily look like region title contenders a couple of months ago, but there’s no question they’ve been gaining momentum every week.
Sky View’s star power and depth was certainly on display at the two-day Region 11 Track & Field Championships, which concluded on a warm Thursday evening at Ridgeline High School. The Bobcat boys racked up an impressive 148 points, which was 40 more than runner-up Bear River. Green Canyon was third with 92 points, followed by Logan (88), Ridgeline (53) and Mountain Crest (36).
Sky View head coach Jim Walker was talking to productive hurdler Sam Thatcher after the meet and the two were pleasantly surprised by how far their team has come this spring.
“What (Sam) was alluding to was the beginning of the season we weren’t very good,” Walker said. “Part of that was it was the beginning of the season and the second thing is we were two years removed from a season, and with track being such a technical sport, we were rough around the edges. ... With that said, it’s really rewarding to see the progress these kids have made the past three months. I mean, the goal is always to win a region title, but it’s not the most important thing. The most important thing is the kids have fun and ... feel good about their progress.”
The Bobcats had three boys capture medals in a trio of events in Isaac Larsen, Trey Nyman and Cody Robbins. All three of those athletes also earned the right to stand on the top spot of the podium.
Larsen reigned supreme in the 200 meters with a time of 23.01 seconds, was the runner-up in the 100 (11.25) and anchored SV’s 4x100 relay squad to a thrilling come-from-behind victory.
The senior joined forces with Titan Saxton, Jackson Sundstrom and Walter Collins to complete the race in 43.54.
Nyman recorded the best times in the 110 hurdles (15.58) and 300 hurdles (41.88), plus cleared the bar at 6 feet in the high jump and was the silver medalist. Robbins was triumphant in the long jump (21-7), was the runner-up in the 110 hurdles (16.12) and placed fourth in the 300 hurdles (43.34).
The Bobcats scored a lot of points in both hurdles events, and Robbins’ performance in the long jump gave the boys in blue and white a huge boost.
“It was very gratifying to win the long jump,” said Robbins, who didn’t even start hurdling until midway through this season. “Ever since sophomore year, taking first in region has been a goal of mine. It was an emotional moment for me to see all my hard work pay off. Having a huge PR and bringing home that medal is a moment that I will always remember.”
Another Bobcat who pulled off an upset was Isaiah Crookston, and his effort was praised by Walker. The sophomore finished 17th in Wednesday’s 1,600, but bounced back in a big way in Thursday’s 3,200. Crookston made a strong move with 300 meters remaining en route to securing the maximum 10 points for his team. He clocked in at 10:01.
“It feels really amazing, but super unexpected,” Crookston said. “... It means a ton. I was really hoping to do well in this race, so it makes me happy that I was able to pull it off.”
In addition to Nyman, two other boys from Cache Valley were able to emerge victorious in a pair of individual events in Ridgeline’s Spencer Adams and Logan’s Ty Stearns.
Adams was arguably the star of the meet after throwing down a 1:54.98 to win the 800. The senior is only the second local prep athlete in the past 20 years to break the 1:55 barrier in the event. The school record holder in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 was also able to prevail in Wednesday’s 1,600 (4:26).
“I’m really happy with how I ran today, especially heading into state next week,” Adams said. “Our region was super fast this year in the 800 and they all ran really good. It was a super fun race to be a part of.”
Stearns powered his way past his competition in the shot put (45-5) and discus (122-10), plus placed fifth in the javelin. The senior will compete in all three events at next week’s 4A State Championships.
“Winning the two (events), it was kind of a surprise to me, but I’m really happy about (my performances),” Stearns said. “But the javelin, I can definitely throw a little bit farther than that, so I’m looking forward to hopefully doing that next week.”
It was a solid meet for Green Canyon, which was led by Cameron Kunz and Carter Compton. Kunz will be one of the favorites at state in the high jump and he broke his own school record with his winning leap of 6-5. Compton lowered his own school record in prevailing in the 400 (50.33). The senior was one of the favorites in the 200, but had to pull up in the finals when a lingering injury flared up.
The Wolves had a pair of competitors finish in the top four in a pair of individual events. Branson Sharp placed second in the 1,600 (4:31) and fourth in the 3,200 (10:10), while McKade Hellstern was the bronze medalist in the 400 (51.16) and 200 (23.33).
Sky View’s Thatcher posted the second-fastest time in the 300 hurdles (42.83) and was fourth in the 110 hurdles (16.58), and Mountain Crest’s Avery Wells was fourth in the discus (113-9.5) and shot put (42-1.5).
Green Canyon’s Bryce Radford was the silver medalist in the discus (121-1), as was teammate Mark Latvakoski in the 3,200 (10:05). Logan had a trio of athletes who got to stand on the second-highest position on the podium in Tilose Tupou in the shot put (43-11), Hyrum Rosenlund in the 200 (23.14) and JJ Sargent in the long jump (21-5).
Other local bronze medalists were SV’s Ty McPhie (discus, 114-10.5), Brevin Egbert (high jump, 5-10), Sam Porter (100, 11.39) and Chase Robison (javelin, 157-11), MC’s William Hadfield (long jump, big personal record of 21-3), GC’s Tate Walker (300 hurdles, 43.10) and Jackson Monz (800, lowered his school record to 1:57.35), and LHS’s Mitch Carter (1,600, 4:31) and Joshua Thomsen (110 hurdles, 16.17).
Local boys who placed fourth individually were GC’s Kyle Baker (javelin, school record mark of 154-5), RHS’s Tyler Bertolio (high jump, 5-10) and Stone Crandall (100, 11.41), and MC’s Preston Sadler (long jump, 20-7.5). There were six long jumpers who soared past the 20-foot barrier, which is a noteworthy accomplishment.
Logan’s Sam Lorimer, Stratford Needham, Timothy Bradford and Carter teamed up to win the 4x800 relay (8:23.45).
It was a great meet for Bear River’s Kace Jones, who won the 100 (11.19) and javelin (190-5). The future Utah State football player uncorked the best throw by a prep athlete from Utah in the javelin this season.
The Grizzlies won the boys and girls pole vault, which is an exhibition event in Utah’s 4A classification. Those triumphant Grizzlies were Luke Stearns (10-6) and Julia Held (8-6).