Carlee Hansen, Woods Cross (Fr.)
After finishing fifth in last fall’s 5A state cross country meet, this freshman is making an immediate splash in her first high school track season.
Last week at the Davis District Championships at Syracuse High School Hansen won the 800 meters with a time of 2:14.07, the best time in Utah through the first month of the season.
She also owns the best time in the 1,600 (4:58.11) in Utah this season and the second-best time in the 3,200 (11:02.90). All three are new school records.
“She has worked hard to put herself in a position to be successful. She has strong training partners and she pushes herself and some of the boys on our team during the speed workouts. Carlee has a strong desire to be great and has recently done a great job of running strong strategic races that have helped her break through in the 1,600 and 800,” said Woods Cross coach Sam Wood.
Austin Deming, Snow Canyon (Sr.)
Through 16 games this season this senior is tearing the cover off the ball for the Warriors, who are an impressive 15-1.
Deming is batting .510 with four home runs, six doubles, three triples and 19 RBI. On the mound he also owns a 4-0 record with 31 strikeouts in 20 innings pitched. His ERA is 0.35.
“Austin is a very humble leader that treats his teammates and coaches with great respect. As a baseball player he’s really done it all here, plays great defense, pitches well and is one of the best hitters or the best hitter to ever wear an SC uniform,” said Snow Canyon coach Reed Secrist.
Payton Hammond, Tooele (Sr.)
The Buffaloes are off to an 8-0 start this season, and the contributions from this senior shortstop/pitcher are a big reason why.
Hammond is batting .521 this season with two home runs, two doubles and one triple. She’s also been walked 12 times.
“Payton is a talented player and a natural leader on and off the field. Payton is a hard worker who continues to get better each day,” said coach Marissa Lowry.
Last week in a big win over rival Stansbury, Hammond recorded a triple in the 11-2 win.
JD Myers, Herriman (Sr.)
With four shutouts this season and just four goals allowed, Herriman keeper JD Myers has been the backbone of his team’s perfect 8-0-0 start to the season.
“He’s one of the best keepers I’ve had the pleasure of coaching in over 20 years. He gives confidence to the entire team knowing that he is back there and adds an element of toughness to the entire team,” said Herriman coach Ryan Mitchell.
In his four years at Herriman he’s allowing only 0.92 goals per game and he has 23 total shutouts.
Nathan Kaufusi, Syracuse (Jr.)
Had a terrific performance at the Davis District Championships on his home track last week.
Kaufusi won the 100, 200 and 400 meters and anchored Syracuse’s 4x400 winning relay team.
“Nathan is a fierce competitor. He wants to be the best at everything he does. He has a strong work ethic and talent to match. He had a great meet at the Davis District Championships. We're very excited for what his future holds,” said Syracuse coach Brian Berrong.
Kaufusi won the 100 meters with a time of 10.74, but it was just above the allowable wind time for record consideration. His 400-meter time of 48.95 is the third-best time in Utah this season, and the relay time is the best in Utah this year.
Carissa Graft, Bingham (Jr.)
A third-place finisher at last year’s state meet as a sophomore, Carissa Graft is poised for similar success again this season for the Miners.
Last week she shot a 72 to finish first during a Region 4 meet at The Ranches. Later in the week, she shot a 75 at Sleepy Ridge to finish third.
She’s currently in third place in the very competitive Region 4.
“Besides having an incredibly athletic swing, Carissa has the perfect temperament for golf. I have never seen her angry or upset on the golf course, even when things don't go her way. She just loves the game and is always happy to be out there," said Bingham coach Brett Boberg.
Gustavo Kerber, Provo (Sr.)
Has been outstanding so far this season for the Bulldogs.
The senior is undefeated with an 11-0 record, including 6-1, 6-1 wins last week at first singles against both Skyridge and Timpanogos. He hasn’t lost more than two games in any set this season.
“Gustavo has very few weaknesses on the court. He has incredible speed and hustle on the court that makes it incredibly difficult to hit winners against him. He hits with excellent pace and puts his opponent constantly on the defensive. He also hits with huge amounts of spin and thus rarely makes an error. His greatest attribute on the court is his tennis IQ. He is always making the correct decisions on the court. He knows when to be patient, and he knows when to be aggressive. He makes the smart play, but knows when to take risks,” said coach Rob Allen.