High school boys track: Sky View starts strong, while injuries slow Davis' 4-peat bid at state meet

Published: Friday, May 16 2014 11:00 p.m. MDT

State high school track meet in Provo Friday, May 16, 2014.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

PROVO — For whatever reason, Sky View’s Connor Mantz was a ball of anxiety ahead of his 1,600-meter race at the state track meet Friday morning at BYU.

“I was very nervous. Just coming into it was scary,” said Mantz.

Considering that he won both the 1,600 and 3,200 races at the BYU Invitational just a few weeks earlier, his early nerves were surprising. What wasn’t surprising, however, was how he performed despite the nerves.

The junior ran a 4:10.47, the best time in Utah this year and a new 4A record. With 400 meters left, Mantz was threatening Ben Saarel’s overall state record of 4:07.95, set at state last year, but he ran out of steam.

“If I’d finished fast I could’ve got it. With 400 to go I was in the right position, I just didn’t have it. My last lap was one of my slowest. I was just trying to finish. I really pushed my second and third ones,” said Mantz.

Mantz’s victory along with teammate Josh Andrus’ first-place finish in discus has Sky View in good position to contend for the state title on Saturday. Woods Cross was a slight favorite heading into the meet, but its 4x100 relay team was disqualified in its heat Friday for a late exchange. Those are valuable points that will be tough to replace, opening the door for a couple of other teams to potentially catch the Wildcats in the team race.

Lost points were the story of the 5A team race as well on Friday.

Davis superstar Trevor Leavitt, who set the 400-meter state record two weeks ago at the BYU Invitational, injured his hamstring in a 100-meter heat, effectively ending his high school career. The BYU commit collapsed just before the finish line.

Leavitt injured his hamstring at last week’s Region 1 meet, but after rest and therapy this week he was optimistic he could compete.

“He’s had an incredible season, he’s worked so hard, he’s such a great kid. The heart of our team, the leader of our team all year. It’s unfortunate,” said Davis coach Corbin Talley.

“I just told him he’s going to see so many great days running in front of him. He gave it what we could give today. You couldn’t ask more out of him. He’s always willing to give everything he’s got.”

A healthy Leavitt would’ve been a shoo-in to score 20-plus points for Davis in the team race, but without him the Darts’ three-year reign in 5A is likely over.

That opens the door for other 5A contenders like Herriman, Syracuse and Riverton. Herriman leads Davis after the first day 23-22.

“Twenty-something points in this close of a battle doesn’t come easy. And there are some really good teams this year. It’s going to be a good team battle,” said Talley.

In 3A, Desert Hills’ Chandler Swaney won the long jump and Blake Kvarfordt won the discus as the Thunder got their 3A title defense off to a strong start. They lead Cedar 35 to 22.

Jacob Francis won the 1,600 meters in 2A to give Grand a slim 22-21 lead over Delta.

In 1A, Panguitch’s Tyce Barney won the discus to pace the Bobcats to a big day one lead over Milford, 38-22.

Among the other standout performances from the opening day, Bingham’s Andrew Brewer won the 5A 1,600 meters with a time of 4:13.44, while Woods Cross’ Cam Dopp posted the best 110 hurdles time in Utah during his heat with a time of 14.30.

“Things went about as planned,” said Brewer. “I was planning on going hard the last lap for the win.”

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