Can a pair of excellent athletes lead a team to a state championship?
The answer is "Yes."Last year the Stowell brothers, Matt (now running at Utah State) and David did so for East High as East tied with Davis for the 4A track title.
This year, Roy High, will try to duplicate East's feat this weekend at BYU's track stadium behind Billy Schuffenhaur (see feature this page) and Jake Shulz. Schuffenhaur is one of the top prep decathletes in the nation, having scored 7,125 points at the Weber State Invitational. The two are entered in three events together - 110-meter high hurdles, 300 intermediate hurdles and long jump. Schuffenhaur's fourth event is the javelin, while Shulz's is the 200. Schuffenhaur won the 300 hurdles last year, with Shulz finishing third. Shulz took third in the high hurdles last year, with Schuffenhauer taking fourth. Shulz also placed in the long jump and 100. However, he has missed some meets with a sore foot. Coach Mike Hein, in his 10th year at Roy, says Shulz will be ready, though, for the state meet.
While Viewmont may not have athletes with as high a profile as the Roy pair, the Vikings do have more depth and will be difficult to beat if they get the kind of performances they have in winning the Davis Invitational, Coaches Invitational and BYU Invitational. Robert Holman, Jeff Rast and Mark Higbee should score points in the sprints and on the various relay teams while Scott Keate and Paul Cutler lead the distance runners. Shotputter Mike Ewing has the best mark in the state. Teams like Hillcrest, Mountain View, East (with David Stowell back) and Davis could challenge with some breaks.
The 3A favorites are probably Bountiful and Dixie. Bountiful is led by distance runner Brandon Wilding, sprinter Brandon Stock and hurdler Phil Tate. Dixie finished second in the championship meet last year and Bountiful fourth.
Delta, Millard and Juab will be among the favorites battling for 2A honors while St. Joseph's of Ogden, a private school, will be the 1A favorite.
Friday's events, mostly preliminary heats, begin at 8 a.m. Saturday's finals also begin at 8 a.m.