KAYSVILLE — Three of the best high school girls track & field athletes in the Beehive State reside in Cache Valley, and that was clearly evident at the 4A State Championships, which concluded early Saturday evening at Davis High School.
Milly Garren (Logan High), Amber Kartchner (Logan) and Alisabeth Apedaile (Mountain Crest) all reigned supreme in their two best events at the two-day meet. Additionally, another local girl, Green Canyon’s Cambree Tensmeyer, put together a breakthrough performance.
Apedaile capped off a memorable high school career by prevailing comfortably in the 300-meter hurdles. The future Utah State University hurdler came through with a personal record time of 44.94 seconds. It was a gratifying accomplishment for Apedaile, who doesn’t particularly like this race, plus fell while going over the last hurdle at last week’s Region 11 Championships.
“It was nice,” Apedaile said. “It was my last (high school) race ever and I was kind of just like, ‘I might as well go out and give it all I have.’ And so it was nice to keep it together for that last hurdle and to not really have any super bad stumbles or missteps, so it felt good.”
Earlier in the day, Apedaile threw down a 14.38 in the 100 hurdles, which is the fastest time ever by a local high school athlete in the event, plus the fastest time in the state this spring, regardless of classification. Delta’s Savannah Nielson, the overall state leader in the 300 hurdles, clocked in at 14.40 in the 3A 100 hurdles final.
“(Nielson and I) raced all indoor season together, so we got really tight,” Apedaile said. “And it’s fun to watch her do well and me also do well, and it’s fun to have that friendship but also that drive. We really drive each other to do our best and to be successful. ... We both want the other to do well, but we want to beat each other. It’s like a really competitive atmosphere and I love it.”
Likewise, Kartchner’s senior year culminated with a pair of state championships — in the high jump and long jump. The future BYU basketball player followed by Friday’s gold medal effort in the high jump by holding off Cedar’s Kelsi Oldroyd by a quarter of an inch in the long jump. Kartchner first attempt of 17 feet, 7.25 inches was good enough for the title.
The senior also earned the right to stand on the podium in the 100 by placing sixth (13.18). Kartchner scored an impressive 23 points in her three individual events, while Garren amassed 24 in her three throwing events.
Did the two athletes — both of whom were also teammates on Logan’s basketball and soccer teams — have a friendly competition to see who would score the most points?
“I mean, I bet in the back of both of our minds we're trying to get (the most points), but that's good for the team,” Kartchner said with a chuckle. “We're just helping the team in the end, so it's fun. She's doing awesome in all of her stuff and it's fun to be doing well in my stuff too. It's just cool to be on the same team together in all of these sports.”
Garren echoed similar sentiments.
“It’s really fun to see Amber’s success and knowing how much effort she puts in, seeing how hard she works and everything,” Garren said. “And it really gives me something I can look up to when I see how much time she puts into things, and she’s just a fun person to be around as well.”
It was a sensational junior season for Garren, who went undefeated in the shot put and discus, plus finished with the best marks in the entire state in both events. Garren was triumphant in the shot put Friday, plus placed fifth in the javelin, and beat all comers in Saturday’s discus with her heave of 136-4.
Mountain Crest’s Katelyn Hardy was the bronze medalist in the discus (113-2), meaning two local girls placed in the top five in all three throwing events, plus at least three local athletes scored team points in all three.
“I’ll just like to say the competition was really great today and I love being able to see the girls come together and cheer for each other,” Garren said. “And it was honestly really fun today.”
Meanwhile, Tensmeyer didn’t leave Davis County with any gold medals, but she sure came close. The sophomore did capture three silvers and one bronze, broke school records in all four events and shaved some significant time.
Tensmeyer and the Lady Wolves were third in Friday’s 4x200 relay, and the three-sport athlete flat-out shined Saturday. Tensmeyer was the runner-up in the 200 (25.56) and 400 (57.90), and joined forces with McKenna Crane, Kylee Cox and Addy Jensen to post the second-fastest time in the 4x100 relay (49.84).
“Honestly, I just knew that I hadn't (peaked yet and) that there was room for a lot of improvement,” Tensmeyer said after her impressive performance in the 400. “And I just knew it was my last meet of the year, so I might as well just give it my all because there's nothing to lose.”
Another local athlete who has improved significantly in the 200 and 400 is Mountain Crest’s Maya Miller, and she helped propel Tensmeyer to uncharted territory this weekend. Miller was the bronze medalist in the 400 (58.72) and placed fourth in the 200 (26.12).
“Yeah, we've been friends all season,” said Tensmeyer, who shaved more than two seconds off her previous best time in the 400 this weekend. “We just kind of met at one of the very first meets we had, and it's just a lot of friendly competition. We talk a lot before the meets and it's just fun to be able to push each other within our own region.”
It was also a good day for Ridgeline’s Keslie Duersch, who powered her way to the No. 3 spot on the podium in the 300 hurdles (46.63). Teammate Savannah Perrett was fifth in the discus (107-7).
The Sky View girls were led by Kate Dickson and Katyrra Peck. Dickson, the runner-up in Friday’s 3,200, placed fourth in the 1,600 (5:13.87), as did Peck in the 100 (13.05).
Green Canyon’s Paige Bagley finished seventh in the 300 hurdles (47.52) and eighth in the 100 hurdles (16.57). Sydney Edelmayer also scored team points for the Wolves in the 100 hurdles (seventh, 16.51).
Logan’s Hallie Arthur occupied the No. 5 position on the podium in the long jump (16-2.25).
Two local girls who barely missed out on scoring on a team point in an individual event were Ridgeline’s Reese Heninger and Sky View’s Haley McUne. Heninger was ninth in the 800 (2:25.45), as was McUne in the long jump (15-7.25).
Four local programs finished in the top 10 in the team competition. Region 11 champion Green Canyon was fifth with 55 points, immediately followed by Logan with 52. Mountain Crest placed ninth (38) and Sky View 10th (25).
Snow Canyon accumulated the most points with 90, while Region 9 rival Desert Hills claimed the runner-up trophy with 77.5.