High school track: Injuries put more drama into team titles
PROVO — Heading into the state track & field meet this weekend at BYU, there are a handful of coaches from state title contenders stressing about injuries to key athletes.
Davis coach Corbin Talley is certainly anxious about hamstring injuries to Brad Nye and Sylvia Harrison, while Wasatch coach Brad Foster is hoping the hamstring of his star runner Cale Strong holds up for one more weekend.
The injuries have injected some potential drama into the 5A and 3A team races this Friday and Saturday at BYU.
Here's a class-by-class look at teams and individuals contending for state championships.
Despite Davis' injury concerns, it's hard to imagine the Darts not sweeping the boys and girls team titles.
Sure Harrison, who has the potential to rack up big points in three events, will be limited because of a minor hamstring tear suffered at the BYU Invitational two weeks ago. And sure Nye's hope of winning the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 is up in the air because of a hamstring tweak picked up at the Region 1 meet last week.
With plenty of depth though, Davis is more than capable of overcoming the potential setbacks.
"We're way excited going in. We've put a lot of work going into the season. They've been committed and passionate about what we're doing," said Talley.
For the boys, Seth Fortin is a threat in the sprints, and along with Nye the Darts have numerous distance runners who can gain points. Marcus Daley is a threat to win the long jump and high jump.
Harrison says she still hopes to compete in the 100 and 200 meters, but the hurdles are out. Even without her, the 100 hurdles race should be great.
Davis' Adelyn Jones and Fremont's Tawnie Moore have posted the two best times in the state this year. Along with Copper Hills' Rachel Brooks and Harrison, it could be the featured race of the meet.
"That's a really competitive race. It's become a really good rivalry. Ady's fired up to get after it again," said Talley.
Returning boys champs are Riverton's Cole Lambourne (400) and Davis' Nye (800).
Returning girls champs are Davis' Shea Martinez (800, 1,600), Davis' Harrison (100 hurdles), Weber's Mykah Heaton (long jump), Copper Hills' Heilala Havea (discus) and Riverton's Joni Warnick (javelin).
Maple Mountain's Skyler Porcaro and Mountain Crest's Karlee Kartchner have had great seasons, and they're a big reason their respective teams are among the 4A favorites.
Maple Mountain coach Darrell Wyatt doesn't necessarily believe his team is a favorite with Woods Cross and Mountain View in the mix though.
"We need a balanced approach for everybody on the team," said Wyatt. "Woods Cross is very talented in the sprints. Mountain View is very talented in the distance. Our throwers really have to step up."
Javelin state record holder Porcaro should have no problem picking up points in his events, but fellow throwers Jake Varney, Jacob Abbott and Zack Decker also need strong meets.
On the girls side, Orem and Springville should provide the biggest threat to Mountain Crest.
Kartchner is a threat to win the 100 meters, long jump and high jump, and she's hoping to break the 19-foot mark in the long jump. Mountain Crest's Emily Moore and Miranda Overy are also key to a Mustang title.
There are no returning state champs on the boys side.