PROVO The oldest and truest form of competition is sibling rivalry, and that is exactly what led the Spanish Fork girls track and field team to its second consecutive 5A state title on Saturday. The one-two punch of twin sisters Natalie and Nachelle Stewart dusted the competition in propelling the Dons to the championship.
Natalie started off her day with a win in the 100-meter dash, tying the state record with an outstanding time of 11.99. The win gave her bragging rights as the state champion but would hardly satisfy her goal for glory. The track star also claimed the 200- and 400-meter races in overwhelming fashion.
"The 400 was probably my best race today," Natalie said. "I knew what I had to do for state, and I feel I did my contribution to the team score."
Lacey Cramer of Lone Peak turned in one of the most impressive performances of the day as she upset Nachelle Stewart in the 800-meter race. Cramer turned in a lightning-fast time of 2:09.26 to edge the star from Spanish Fork at the finish line. She also finished first in the 1,600.
Despite coming in second to Cramer in the 800 and then finishing behind sister Natalie in the 200, Nachelle clinched the state title for the Dons. Trailing Timpanogos going into the final leg of the 4x400-meter relay, Nachelle ignited the track to help earn the victory for her team.
"I didn't have the day I wanted in terms of the other events," Nachelle said. "But if it was to end up with me getting the win in the relay, that's the way I would want it to be."
The Davis Darts rallied to finish as the 5A runner-up, thanks in part to their domination in the 3,200-meter run by senior Natalie Haws and teammate Candace Eddy. The two finished first and second, respectively, with Haws winning her second state title of the school year with a time of 10:43.83, good enough for a state record. Haws also won the cross-country crown last fall.
"I felt kind of tired at first, but once we got into it, I knew I could do it," Haws said. "It feels exciting. I'm kind of on a high right now."
In the 3A 3,200 meters, darkhorse contender Taylor Thornley of Logan emerged out of the pack with a personal record 11:06.22 to upset the competition for her first state title. Thornley found herself in position to make a move with two laps to go in the race and held on for the win.
"Going in I just wanted to beat one of the Ogden girls, and I was also going for the record at Logan High," Thornley said. "It was a total adrenaline rush, I couldn't believe it. Going into the last stretch was the best feeling in the world."
In the 4A classification, the Mountain View Bruins ran away with the team title, while Judge Memorial won its second straight state championship by narrowly edging Cedar City for the 3A title. North Sevier also repeated as state champions in 2A division by beating second-place Parowan. In the 1A meet, St. Joseph outlasted the competition for the team title.
Other notable performances included Ada Robinson of Viewmont, who set the state record in the high jump as she cleared 5-11 1/4 for the win in the 5A meet; and in the 4x100-meter relay, where Davisfinished ahead of Riverton with a time of 48.34.