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High school track: Park City's Ben Saarel breaks 5-year-old state record in 1,600 meters

Published: Saturday, Aug. 1 2015 6:43 a.m. MDT

Park City's Ben Saarel paces himself as he runs in the 1,600 meters at the state track meet Friday, May 17, 2013 at BYU. Saarel set a new state record in the event. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News) Park City's Ben Saarel paces himself as he runs in the 1,600 meters at the state track meet Friday, May 17, 2013 at BYU. Saarel set a new state record in the event. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

PROVO — Park City’s Ben Saarel had to be reminded that he’d just broken a prestigious state record.

As he was being interviewed following his 1,600-meter win at the state track meet Friday morning at BYU, Saarel talked about his slow first two laps and how he didn’t pick up his feet on the third lap and how his 4:07.95 time in the 3A race didn’t feel that satisfying.

“I’ve got some things to adjust. It was a good race at altitude, but I definitely have some things to work on,” said Saarel.

Such is the life of an elite runner. Saarel was putting the race in perspective about how he hopes to perform at next week’s Dream Mile race in New York.

“Obviously you’re really happy to win the state record, but I’m trying to progress further and further. I thought I was capable of going really fast today, but things weren’t clicking all the way,” said Saarel.

Park City's Ben Saarel paces himself behind Ogden's Jordon Cross as they run in the 1,600 meters at the state track meet Friday, May 17, 2013 at BYU. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News) Park City's Ben Saarel paces himself behind Ogden's Jordon Cross as they run in the 1,600 meters at the state track meet Friday, May 17, 2013 at BYU. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

It’s scary to think how fast he might run if things were clicking. In what he termed an off day, Saarel still ran fast enough to break the state record time of 4:09.28 set by Judge’s Luke Puskedra back in 2008.

When reminded that he broke that record, Saarel quickly reflected positively on his performance.

“I’m really happy about that. Some great runners have come through here, and just to be running where they are is in incredible,” said Saarel, who will run for the University of Colorado next year. “It’s nice to have the final time in Utah 'cause it’s an awesome running community, but it’s also nice to know there’s something else to move on to.”

Saarel is hoping to finish his career as the state-record holder in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 meters, and after Friday’s race the only record he’s still chasing is the 800, which he’ll run Saturday.

Sprinters compete in the 100 meters at the at the state track meet Friday, May 17, 2013 at BYU. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News) Sprinters compete in the 100 meters at the at the state track meet Friday, May 17, 2013 at BYU. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

Other state champs in the 1,600 meters early Friday morning were Bingham’s Andrew Brewer (5A), Timpanogos’ Jacob Heslington (4A), Rowland Hall’s Eli Oftedal (2A) and Rich’s Vance Weston (1A).

Just like Saarel is hoping to win all three distance events in 3A, so is Heslington in 4A.

Most of Friday’s track events were qualifying heats, but when the state meet continues Saturday, Davis, Woods Cross, Desert Hills, Richfield and Panguitch are the front-runners to claim the state titles in their respective classifications.

A big reason Desert Hills is such a favorite in 3A is because of the balance between sprinters, distance runners, throwers and jumpers. Blake Kvarfordt kept that trend alive by winning the discus with a throw of 160-08.25, the third-best throw in Utah this year.

Desert Hills' Brad Wulfenstein clears the final hurdle in the 110-meter hurdles at the state track meet Friday, May 17, 2013 at BYU. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News) Desert Hills' Brad Wulfenstein clears the final hurdle in the 110-meter hurdles at the state track meet Friday, May 17, 2013 at BYU. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

Jordan’s boys are expected to sweep the throwing events in 5A, and Christian Shaver got the quest off to a strong start by winning the discus with a throw of 165-01.

American Fork’s Jonah Trinnaman sizzled in the 5A 100 qualifying heats, posting the second-fastest time in Utah this year at 10.82.

Fresh off of his state record 21.41 time in the 200 meters at the BYU Invitational two weeks ago, Woods Cross' Jacopo Spano ran a strong 22.16 qualifying heat Friday as he looks to surpass that mark. He also posted a great time in the 100 at 10.91 as he looks to sweep the 4A sprints.

Boys state tournament Day 1 results

Friday at BYU

Class 5A

American Fork's Jonah Trinnaman (middle) makes his turn and heads for the finish in the 4-x-100 relay at the state track meet Friday, May 17, 2013 at BYU. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News) American Fork's Jonah Trinnaman (middle) makes his turn and heads for the finish in the 4-x-100 relay at the state track meet Friday, May 17, 2013 at BYU. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

Boys team scores

1. Davis, 22.5; 2. Layton, 18; 3. Bingham, 16; 4. Alta, 11.5; 5 (tie). Jordan, American Fork, 10; 7. Lone Peak, 9; 8. Weber, 6.5.

Individual results:

1,600 meters — 1. Andrew Brewer, Bingham, 4:13.83; 2. Brayden McLelland, American Fork, 4:14.67; 3. Kramer Morton, Alta, 4:19.76; 4. Preston Johnson, Davis, Davis, 4:20.78; 5. Alex Hedquist, Davis, 4:21.37; 6. Brayden Cromar, Davis, 4:22.34; 7. Tyson Green, American Fork, 4:22.52; 8. Brady Earley, Riverton, 4:23.69.

High jump — 1. Marcus Kemp, Layton, 6’08; 2. Tyler Kendell, Layton, 6’07; 3 (tie). Austin Baker, Alta; Cameron Call, Weber, 6’05; 5. Rio Newman, Lone Peak, 6’05; 6. Trevor Bursach, Lehi, 6’05; 7. Marcus Daley, Davis, 6’03; 8. Andrew Schwemmer, Davis, 6’03.

Park City's Ben Saarel makes his pass around Ogden's Jordon Cross as they run in the 1,600 meters at the state track meet Friday, May 17, 2013 at BYU. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News) Park City's Ben Saarel makes his pass around Ogden's Jordon Cross as they run in the 1,600 meters at the state track meet Friday, May 17, 2013 at BYU. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

Discus — 1. Christian Shaver, Jordan, 165’01; 2. Ben Bracken, Davis, 157’06.50; 3. Jacob Asay, Bingham, 151’07.75; 4. Chandler Clark, Lone Peak, 148’00.50; 5. Miller Crawford, Riverton, 144’05; 6. Nicholas Merriman, Syracuse, 144’01.25; 7. Brandon Bentley, Taylorsville, 143’11.50; 8. Jayden Lord, Weber, 133’01.75.

Pole vault — 1. Mitch Robinson, Bingham, 14’00; 2. Ben Schulthies, West Jordan, 13’06; 3. Preston McMullin, Riverton, 13’06; 4. TJ Brandow, Lone Peak, 13’06; 5. Jordan Schraedel, Davis, 13’00; 6. Christian Reese, Copper Hills, 12’06; 7. Trace Arbon, Davis, 12’06; 8. Cody Bohin, Bingham, 12’06.

Class 4A

Runners compete in the 1,600 meters at the state track meet Friday, May 17, 2013 at BYU. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News) Runners compete in the 1,600 meters at the state track meet Friday, May 17, 2013 at BYU. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

Boys team scores

1. Herriman, 21; 2. Sky View, 18; 3. Timpanogos, 15; 4. Mountain View, 13; 5 (tie). Westlake, Timpview, 8; 7. Springville, 7; 8 (tie). Logan, Bountiful, 5.

Individual results:

1,600 meters — 1. Jacob Heslington, Timpanogos, 4:12.22; 2. Austin Brower, Westlake, 4:15.05; 3. Connor Mantz, Sky View, 4:16.08; 4. Rory Linkletter, Herriman, 4:17.22; 5. Tomy Gutierrez, East, 4:17.29; 6. Jaydn Asay, Mountain View, 4:18.01; 7. Connor Jones, Herriman, 4:19.90; 8. Marcus Lindmeier, Bountiful, 4:20.67.

High jump — 1. Jadon Pace, Mountain View, 6’05; 2. Que Robinson, Timpview, 6’03; 3. Dallen Stark, Springville, 6’03; 4. Chad Best, Timpanogos, 6’03; 5. Kirk Napoleon, Clearfield, 5’11; 6. Keagan Drazin, Orem, 5’11; 7 (tie). Blake Taylor, Salem Hills; Kevin Carpenter, Roy, 5’11.

Brayden McLelland of American Fork leads out in the 1,600 meters at the state track meet Friday, May 17, 2013 at BYU. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News) Brayden McLelland of American Fork leads out in the 1,600 meters at the state track meet Friday, May 17, 2013 at BYU. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

Discus — 1. Seth White, Sky View, 154’05.50; 2. Andre James, Herriman, 153’06.50; 3. Rory Mulitalo, Herriman, 150’08.75; 4. Dallin Dahl, Logan, 146’00.75; 5. Joe Droge, Bountiful, 145’05.75; 6. Jordan Porcaro, Maple Mountain, 138’11.75; 7. Josh Andrus, Sky View, 135’01.25; 8. Nikolas Grosland, Springville, 134’03.

Class 3A

Boys team scores

1. Wasatch, 30; 2. Desert Hills, 26; 3. Hurricane, 20; 4. Pine View, 12; 5 (tie). Park City, Dixie, Ben Lomond, 10; 8. Juab, 8.

American Fork's Jonah Trinnaman pounds his way to the finish in the 100 meters at the state track meet Friday, May 17, 2013 at BYU. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News) American Fork's Jonah Trinnaman pounds his way to the finish in the 100 meters at the state track meet Friday, May 17, 2013 at BYU. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

Individual results:

1,600 meters — 1. Ben Saarel, Park City , 4:07.95; 2. Talem Franco, Wasatch, 4:10.22; 3. Jordon Cross, Ogden, 4;16.19; 4. Jason Quinn, Dixie, 4:17.28; 5. Austin Slade, Stansbury, 4:24.83; 6. Mike Finch, Pine View, 4:25.87; 7. Dakota Lange, Payson, 4:26.87; 8. Taylor Abel, Pine View, 4:28.02.

High jump — 1. Ty Feherang, Ben Lomond, 6’03; 2. Nate Lee, Wasatch, 6’03; 3. Chandler Swaney, Desert Hills, 6’01; 4. Kyler Smith, Dixie, 6’01; 5. Chance Carlton, Juab, 5’11; 6. Tregan Deveraux, Uintah, 5’11; 7. Kyte Glass, Pine View, 5’11; 8. Jeff Rowley, Juab, 5’11.

Discus — 1. Blake Kvarfordt, Desert Hills, 160’08.25; 2. Kazden Jolley, Hurricane, 144’02.75; 3. Jacob Nielson, Hurricane, 141’08.75; 4. Taylor Coburn, Wasatch, 141’08; 5. Ben Hicks, Juan Diego, 135’01.25; 6. Jordan Ence, Hurricane, 134’00.75; 7. Adrian Rodriguez, Spanish Fork, 129’11; 8. Torrin Hodges, Stansbury, 129’04.

Ben Lomond's Ty Fejerang competes in the high jump at the state track meet Friday, May 17, 2013 at BYU. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News) Ben Lomond's Ty Fejerang competes in the high jump at the state track meet Friday, May 17, 2013 at BYU. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

Sprint medley relay — 1. Wasatch, 3:35.19; 2. Desert Hills, 3:38.94; 3. Pine View, 3:40.42; 4. Snow Canyon, 3:40.87; 5. Hurricane, 3:41.72; 6. Juab, 3:42.08; 7. Morgan, 3:42.40; 8. Grantsville, 3:43.34.

Class 2A

Boys team scores

1. Richfield, 41; 2. Manti, 22; 3. Rowland Hall, 18; 4 (tie). North Summit, Emery, 12.5; 6. South Sevier, 12; 7. Kanab, 10; 8 (tie). Millard, Parowan, 7.

Individual results:

1,600 meters — 1. Eli Oftedal, Rowland Hall, 4:29.83; 2. Caleb Monsen, Richfield, 4:31.23; 3. Cody Hales, South Sevier, 4:32.01; 4. Ryan Westermann, Rowland Hall, 4:35.17; 5. Burton Griffin, Richfield, 4:35.36; 6. Dane Myers, Millard, 4:36.51; 7. Hudson Zwhalen, North Summit, 4:39.63; 8. Tanner Robinson, Parowan, 4:42.48.

Davis' Marcus Daley screams after handing off to teammate Seth Fortin in the 4-x-100 relay at the state track meet Friday, May 17, 2013 at BYU. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News) Davis' Marcus Daley screams after handing off to teammate Seth Fortin in the 4-x-100 relay at the state track meet Friday, May 17, 2013 at BYU. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

High jump — 1. Brenan Thomas, Richfield, 6’05; 2. Joe Creery, Manti, 6’01; 3. Jerick Nielson, South Sevier, 6’01; 4 (tie). Brandon Thiriot, North Summit; Taylor Hansen, Emery, 5’11; 6 (tie). Colby Caldwell, Gunnison; Joey Carlisle, Gunnison, 5’11; 8. Brittain Bowring, San Juan, 5’09.

Discus — 1. Daven Russell, Kanab, 147’01.25; 2. Dane Nordmark, Manti, 135’06; 3. Nathan Adair, Manti, 134’07; 4. Colton Causey, Richfield, 132’06.50; 5. Conner Ottley, Millard, 130’05.25; 6. Riley Cunningham, Richfield, 127’02; 7. Cannon Brunsvik, Parowan, 126’01.50; 8. Chase Christensen, Richfield, 122’09.25.

Sprint medley relay — 1. Richfield, 3:45.83; 2. Emery, 3:48.55; 3. North Summit, 3:53.23; 4. San Juan, 3:56.89; 5. Parowan, 3:59.32; 6. Rowland Hall, 3:59.67; 7. Wasatch Academy, 4:01.88; 8. Enterprise, 4:06.75.

Dixie's Lukas Hildebrandt and Snow Canyon's Thom Jensen compete in the 110-meter hurdles at the state track meet Friday, May 17, 2013 at BYU. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News) Dixie's Lukas Hildebrandt and Snow Canyon's Thom Jensen compete in the 110-meter hurdles at the state track meet Friday, May 17, 2013 at BYU. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

Class 1A

Boys team scores

1. Panguitch, 35; 2. Rich, 22; 3. Monticello, 21; 4. Milford, 16; 5. Altamont, 14; 6. Youth Foundation, 12; 7. Bryce Valley, 11; 8. Layton Christian, 6.5.

Individual results:

1,600 meters — 1. Vance Weston, Rich, 4:32.64; 2. Ethan Young, Milford, 4:38.16; 3. Dylan Lindsay, Altamont, 4:44.16; 4. Keldon Norris, Panguitch, 4:44.79; 5. Adam Platt, Bryce Valley, 4:46.04; 6. Kyle Norris, Panguitch; 7. Carl Killman, Milford, 4:53.11; 8. Collin Hatch, Monticello, 4:54.41.

High jump — 1. Dalan Bennett, Panguitch, 6’00; 2. Tyce Barney, Panguitch, 6’00; 3. Jack Chandler, Layton Christian, 5’10; 4. Zack Allen, Piute, 5’10; 5 (tie). Tyler Hansen, Bryce Valley; Joseph Engel, Monticello; Brian Tanner, Monticello, 5’08; 8. Wilner Lacey, Layton Christian, 5’08.

Canyon View's Dallin Dastrup, Wasatch's Matt Tate and Dixie's Chris Whetten compete down the final stretch of the 4-x-100-meter relay at the state track meet Friday, May 17, 2013 at BYU. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News) Canyon View's Dallin Dastrup, Wasatch's Matt Tate and Dixie's Chris Whetten compete down the final stretch of the 4-x-100-meter relay at the state track meet Friday, May 17, 2013 at BYU. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

Discus — 1. Todd Brown, Youth Foundation, 143’03; 2. PJ Leiataua, Monticello, 127’09; 3. Zach Johnson, Monitcello, 124’03.25; 4. Tyce Barney, Panguitch, 124’00.25; 5. Logan Lefevre, Bryce Valley, 123’04.25; 6. Marc Simmons, Wayne, 122’01.25; 7. Joseph Leifson, Rich, 121’07; 8. Dalan Bennett, Panguitch, 120’05.75.

Sprint medley relay — 1. Rich, 3:45.60; 2. Altamont, 3:47.57; 3. Milford, 3:49.81; 4. Duchesne, 3:56.59; 5. Diamond Ranch, 3:59.45; 6. Panguitch, 4:00.07; 7. Youth Foundation, 4:02.72; 8. St. Joseph, 4:03.15.

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