grizzly invitational preston boys pole vault

Preston’s Benson Palmer competes in the pole vault at the Grizzly Invitational on April 17. Palmer took third in the event with a height of 12 feet.

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It’s fair to say Preston’s track & field program has felt right at home during its past two weekends in Cache County.

After all, the Preston boys finished second and the girls third at the nearly 30-team Logan Invitational on April 17, and the Indians showed their mettle at the Sky View Invitational last Saturday. The Preston boys pulled away from the 10-team field and accumulated 174 points to runner-up Sky View’s 116, and the Preston girls were the runner-ups behind Box Elder. The Lady Bees racked up 175.83 points, followed by the Indians (102.33) and Green Canyon (92).

“These last couple of meets have been big for both the boys and the girls teams gaining confidence to compete at high levels,” PHS head coach Brandon Lyon said. “They all have been working so hard in practice and it’s good to see that pay off for them. These last couple of meets the competition has been awesome and we needed that as we get closer to our district meet.”

Leading the charge for the Preston boys was Taite Priestley, who has been the best high school high jumper in the Gem State so far this spring. The senior cleared the bar at 6 feet, 8 inches on his first attempt to win the competition by six inches.

Preston reigned supreme in four other events in the boys competition. The Indians raced their way to three of the top four positions in the 3,200 meters, with Edison Leffler capturing the title with a Cache Valley leading time of 9 minutes, 46 seconds. Cole Harris was triumphant in the 400 (50.89), as was Preston teammate Benson Palmer in the pole vault (11 feet, 0 inches).

Harris combined with Brecker Knapp, Tristan Lyon and Sam Jeppsen to win the 4x400 relay for Preston, which also won that event on the girls side. The Preston boys clocked in at 3:32.34 in the 4x400, while Kylie Larsen, Taylor Romney, Riley Ward and Elly Jeppsen teamed up for the top spot on the podium for the Preston girls (4:12.30).

Sky View finished first four times in the boys competition. Three-sport star athlete Isaac Larsen was the only local boys to win a pair of individual events as the Bobcat senior posted the top times in the 100 (11.33) and 300 hurdles (40.76).

Trey Nyman was victorious in the 110 hurdles (15.90) for the Bobcats, plus he was the silver medalist in the high jump (6-2). Sky View’s 4x800 relay squad also prevailed, and it was made up of Jaime Quiroz, Dylan Mortensen, Joseph Eck and Isaiah Crookston (8:51.38).

Another local team that fared well was the West Side boys, which finished fourth with 98 points. West Side standout junior Bryler Shurtliff was the lone local boy to place in the top four in three individual events. The first-team all-state football and basketball player won the 200 (22.95), was the bronze medalist in the long jump (20-7.75) and was fourth in the 100 (11.51).

In addition to Shurtliff, Andrew Olinger and Hayden Robinson captured event titles for the Pirates. Olinger beat all comers in the discus (139-9), as did Robinson in the triple jump (40-0). Olinger was also the bronze medalist in the shot put (42-10), while Robinson was fourth in the high jump (6-0).

The Logan boys crowned a trio of champions in Mitch Carter in the 1,600 (4:31), Jaylen Sargent in the long jump (21-2.25) and Ty Stearns in the shot put (44-6.5). Sargent also joined forces with Jacob Tegt, Joshua Thomsen and Hyrum Roselund to win the 4x100 relay (45.07).

Ridgeline’s Spencer Adams bested his competition in the 800 (1:59.61), and Green Canyon was victorious in the 4x200 relay. That foursome was comprised of Carson Gerber, McKade Hellstern, Jackson Monz and Tate Walker (1:33.22).

There has been a lot of parity among the valley’s girls teams all season long, and that trend continued Saturday. Preston, Green Canyon, Mountain Crest, Logan, Sky View and West Side all finished within 42 points of each other. The Lady Mustangs claimed five event titles, followed by Preston and Green Canyon with four apiece.

Two local girls were triumphant in a pair of events individually in Logan’s Milly Garren and Mountain Crest’s Alisabeth Apedaile. Garren was once again dominant in the shot put (42-5) and discus (138-3.5), and now ranks first in the Beehive State in both events regardless of classification. Not only did Apedaile power her way to gold medals in the 100 hurdles (15.27) and 300 hurdles (46.67), she finished third in the long jump (16-8). Apedaile is ranked second in the state in the 100 hurdles (14.56).

Green Canyon’s Maren McKenna also medaled in three individual events as she was third in the javelin (104-11), shot put (34-3.5) and discus (106-6.5). Teammate and fellow 4A standout thrower Abigail Blau was the runner-up in the shot put (34-7.5) and discus (110-0.5).

Other local girls who earned the right to stand on the top spot of the podium were Sky View’s Kate Dickson in the 3,200 (11:25), Green Canyon’s Cambree Tensmeyer in the 100 (13.08), Preston’s Taylor Romney in the 800 (2:21.08), Mountain Crest’s Maya Miller in the 200 (26.54), Preston’s Angelie Scott in the 1,600 (5:24), Logan’s Amber Kartchner in the long jump (17-7.5), Green Canyon’s Jayden Beach in the high jump (5-3) and Preston’s Chakobi Lewis in the pole vault (8-6). Romney now ranks first in Idaho’s 4A classification in the 800.

Miller was also the runner-up in the 400 (1:00.69), while Scott, Kartchner and Dickson won bronze medals in other individual events — Scott in the 3,200 (11:47), Kartchner in the high jump (5-0) and Dickson in the 800 (2:27.72).

Tensmeyer was part of Green Canyon’s first-place 4x200 relay team, and Miller ran a leg on Mountain Crest’s victorious 4x100 relay squad. Tensmeyer teamed up with McKenna Crane, Sydney Edelmayer and Addy Jensen (1:47.70), and Miller joined forces with Apedaile, Brittney Egbert and Amelia Zilles (51.30).

Several other local athletes finished in the top four in two events. Preston’s Brecker Knapp was the runner-up in the 110 hurdles (15.98) and 300 hurdles (41.75), Garrett Hale placed second in the 3,200 (9:59) and third in the 1,600 (4:37) and another Preston competitor, Dawson Leffler, finished second in the 800 (2:02.37) and fourth in the 1,600 (4:41). West Side’s Easton Henderson was the bronze medalist in the 110 hurdles (16.43) and 300 hurdles (42.13), while Mountain Crest’s Avery Wells was fourth in the shot put (42-7) and discus (120-7).

On the girls side, Preston’s Elly Jeppsen placed third in the 400 (1:00.84) and fourth in the 200 (27.50), and West Side’s Aubrie Barzee was third in the 1,600 (5:35) and fourth in the 3,200 (12:05).

Other competitors from the valley who captured silver medals individually were SV’s Katyrra Peck in the 100 (13.10), Preston’s Ward in the 1,600 (5:29), WS’s Madalyn Barzee in the pole vault (8-0), MC’s Todd Rigby in the 100 (11.49), GC’s Hellstern in the 400 (51.11), MC’s Hyrum Staffanson in the 1,600 (4:35), Preston’s Russell Kunz in the triple jump (39-6.5), WS’s Owen Nielsen in the PV (11-0), SV’s Chase Robison in the javelin (143-7.5) and SV’s Cody Robbins in the discus (126-4).

Other bronze medalists included GC’s Edelmayer (100 hurdles, 16.99), Paige Bagley (300 hurdles, 48.36), Cameron Kunz (high jump, 6-0) and Branson Sharp (3,200, 10:00), MC’s Zilles (200, 27.39), WS’s Jocie Phillips (pole vault, 8-0), Ridgeline’s Jake Smith (400, 51.16) and Stone Crandall (200, 23.45), and Preston’s Paytton Alder (triple jump, 38-2.5) and Kimble Rigby (PV, 11-0).

Fourth-place finishers included Ridgeline’s Keslie Duersch (100, 13.21) and Mackenzie Duncan (800, 2:30.51), WS’s Ashlyn Willis (400, 1:02.37), Preston’s Maren Leffler (1,600, 5:35), Ashley Lowe-Anderson (pole vault, 7-6), Jeppsen (3,200, 10:05) and Logan Tracy (triple jump, 38-2), SV’s Haley McUne (long jump, 16-5.5) and Mortensen (800, 2:04.80), MC’s Katelyn Hardy (shot put, 34-1) and William Hadfield (long jump, 20-6.5), GC’s Monz (400, 51.77) and Logan’s Rosenlund (200, 23.51) and Luke Stearns (PV, 10-6).

Jason Turner is a sports reporter for The Herald Journal. He can be reached at or 435-792-7237.

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