PROVO — The depth and quality of Box Elder, Desert Hills, North Summit and Panguitch was obvious from start to finish at the state track meet as the four rolled to their respective state titles.
For Davis, its depth and quality finally helped it put three straight years of runner-up finishes in the rearview mirror on the final race of the day.
Leading region foe Syracuse by 1.5 points heading into the final 4x400 race, Davis knew it needed a victory to guarantee the team title.
Ruby Jane Mathewson, Olivia Franks, Becky Swanson and Ally Geisler made sure it happened, with Swanson and Geisler flying through the third and fourth leg as the Darts won the last race in 3:54.80, the best 4x400 in Utah this year.
“We worked so hard, everyone individually. Our coaches, especially, put so much into our team. It feels great,” said Geisler.
The senior said she always dreamed of winning an individual state title, and even though it never happened, she stood on the top podium in the 4x400 clinching race.
Earlier in the meet she finished second in the 800 meters and anchored Davis’ second-place sprint medley relay team to secure valuable team points for the Darts.
Davis’ only individual win came in the 300 hurdles as Mathewson won with a time of 44.00 against a deep field of runners.
“After losing last year by that little of a margin it feels good just to pull it off for the team,” said Swanson, whose team lost to Herriman by 1.5 points last season.
Davis finished with 88 points, with Syracuse finishing in second with 80.5 points.
Lone Peak’s Emily Ellis was superb throughout the meet as the junior won the 100, 200 and 400 meters.
Box Elder won just one event at the state meet, but its depth in multiple events paced the Bees to a convincing 4A title. The Bees finished with 101 points, followed by Orem in second with 55 points.
“We’ve got a really strong team, and it’s just fun to see everyone working so hard through injuries the whole season and then finally getting the results they wanted at state,” said Josiah Williams, who was Box Elder’s lone individual winner in the high jump.
Skyridge’s Brinn Jensen was the star of the 4A meet as she won the 100, 200 and 400 meters.
Desert Hills absolutely dominated the 3A field, racking up 164 points en route to the title after a second-place finish last year.
It won all three relays, with Kaylee Carter also winning the 300 hurdles and Elly Williams winning the shot put. The Thunder’s superior depth is what separated them from second-place Cedar, which had a strong meet with 130 points.
“It feels really good to finish out strong my senior year. I wanted to do good personally, but it’s such an awesome experience to have your team win with you. We have so many beasts on our team right now, some that have moved here, some that are young. They all helped us this year,” said Kayla Carter.
Dixie’s Starlee Woodbury had a strong meet, winning the 100 meters and 100 hurdles, while Stansbury’s Sami Oblad won the 200 and 400 meters and the high jump.
Oblad cleared 5’07 in her high jump on Saturday, the best jump in Utah this season.
Cedar’s Mic Webster backed up her 1,600 meter win on Friday with a 3,200 meter win on Saturday.
In 2A, North Summit dominated as expected, led by Sadie Sargent, who swept the three distance events. A bunch of second, third and fourth-place finishes were the catalyst for the Braves to claim their eighth 2A state title in the past nine years.
North Summit finished with 160 points, with North Sevier a distant second with 64 points.
“It means a lot to us, it’s been really important to work hard in practice and to be able to come out and do it. We’ve all worked super hard. We’re here running for fun,” said North Summit's Ashlin Blonquist.
Two of the top overall athletes in the state hail from 2A, and they proved it throughout the meet as Enterprise’s Jaslyn Gardner won the 100 and 200 meters and Gunnison’s Kate Sorensen swept the hurdles.
“Last year I didn’t even hit 11s. This year I’ve been getting it a lot more than I did last year so it feels pretty good to hit that in high school,” said Gardner, who won the 100 meters with a time of 11.89.
Sorensen’s time of 42.85 is the best mark in the 300 hurdles in Utah this year.
As expected, Panguitch took care of business in 1A, winning its fifth straight state title with a total of 111 points. Parowan finished second with 71.5 points.
Panguitch’s only individual win came in the 800 meters as Taylia Norris won with a time of 2:28.71. But the Bobcats won the 4x100 relay and the sprint medley relay en route to the title.
“All of the girls pulled through really well, they all did better than expected, it was just a team effort,” said Norris.
Milford’s Emily Barnes won the 100 and 300 hurdles and the 400 meters, while Altamont’s McKinley Gallyer was strong as well, winning the 100 and 200 meters.