I think we all earned it. We have a great team. I love my teammates and it’s really sad I’m leaving since I’m a senior. —Deseret Hills field athlete Blake Kvarfordt
PROVO — Knowing how competitive the 5A state track meet figured to be, Riverton’s Clay Lambourne and Brandon Walker had no problem bagging their futile pursuit in the 100 meters. Despite qualifying for the event during the season, the duo knew there was no way they’d score big points at state.
If, however, they teamed up to run the 4x100, Lambourne was optimistic Riverton could win the event and score valuable points. That’s exactly what happened, but realistically it probably didn’t matter.
Riverton turned in sensational performances in the 200 and 400 meters on Saturday at BYU, which helped it pull away from the 5A field to claim its first state championship since 2010. The ‘Wolves finished with 120 points, followed by Herriman in second with 88 and Bingham in third with 62.
Davis and Riverton were the favorites heading into the meet, but when Davis star Trevor Leavitt went down with a hamstring injury on Friday, it quickly became a one-team race. Even with Leavitt’s 20-plus points, Davis couldn’t have overcome Riverton’s strong effort.
Along with Riverton, Woods Cross (4A), Desert Hills (3A), Grand (2A) and Panguitch (1A) also won state championships.
Riverton did most of its damage in the 400 meters, placing five runners in the top six, led by Lambourne, who won with a time of 47.29.
“It’s awesome. I won it last year, so it was good to come back and win it again this year,” said the standout, who admitted he probably would’ve finished second with Leavitt running. “His fastest time is faster than I ran.”
Teammate Michael Bluth finished second in the 400, while Walker finished third, Alec Abercrombie fifth and McKay Christensen sixth.
Kyle Strauss won both hurdles for second-place Herriman. Perhaps the top 5A performance of the meet belonged Bingham’s Andrew Brewer, who won the 800 meters in a time of 1:52.18, the best mark in Utah this year.
Lehi’s Trevor Bursach had a great meet too with a state-best mark of 23-01 1/2 in the long jump.
Jordan’s Austin Kafentzis won the 5A javelin with a throw of 206-09, the second-best throw in state history. He set the state record two weeks ago at the BYU Invitational.
In 4A, Conner Mantz turned in arguably the best boys performance of the entire weekend in the 3,200 meters Saturday morning, posting a time of 8.57.99. It’s the best time in Utah all season, and just the third time in state history someone’s posted a sub-nine minute 3,200 at the state meet, joining Judge’s Luke Puskedra and Park City’s Ben Saarel.
“It means a lot 'cause just looking at the other guys Luke’s a professional for Nike and Ben was the top American in the 3K this year. That means a lot to be almost as good as those guys in high school, so we’ll see what I can do in college,” said Mantz.
Behind Mantz’s heroics, Sky View finished second in the 4A team race behind two-time champ Woods Cross, 84-74
Cam Dopp dominated for the Wildcats, winning the 110 and 300 hurdles, the 400 meters and anchoring Woods Cross’ 4x400 relay team.
He did it all with “Trevor” written on his arm with a black Sharpie in support of close friend Leavitt of Davis.
“I figured I’d do my best to get as many points as I can and share them with him. Get points for the both of us,” said Dopp about his motivation for such a fantastic meet.
In 3A, Desert Hills used depth and strong performances in the field to hold off Richfield for its second straight title, outscoring the Wildcats 131 to 105.
Chandler Swaney won the long jump with a mark of 22-08 3/4 — the second-best jump in Utah this year — while teammate Blake Kvarfordt won the shot put and discus.
“I think we all earned it. We have a great team. I love my teammates and it’s really sad I’m leaving since I’m a senior,” said Kvarfordt.
Runner-up Richfield had plenty of noteworthy performances as Derek Sorensen won the 100 and 400 meters, with Lance Allen winning both hurdles.
Grand won four events, led by Jacob Francis in the 1,600 and 3,200 meters, to win its third 2A state championship in the past four years.
The Red Devils tallied 104 points, with Delta in second with 72.
Kanab’s Luke Crosby was a double winner in 2A as well, winning both the 100 and 200 meters.
In 1A, Panguitch coach Troy Norris wasn’t sure if his team could overcome Duchesne’s strength in the sprints.1 comment on this story
Despite only winning one event, though, the Bobcats did exactly that, capturing the team title with 120 points, followed by Duchesne with 78 points.
“I had a coach come to me and say, 'You have good athletes,' and I said, ‘No, we have good workers.’ 'Cause we do. We don’t have great athletes, but they work their butts off,” said Norris.
Panguitch’s only individual champ was Tyce Barney in the high jump on Friday.
Duchesne’s relay team had the top performance of the meet in the 4x100 setting a new 1A record with a time of 44.05. Dylan Despain helped anchor that relay, and also won the 100 and 200 meters and long jump. Vance Weston was a double winner in the 400 and 800 meters.