This one was more completely unexpected. ... I almost cried. —Delta's Dallin Draper, on setting a state record in the 200 meters
PROVO — Scattered randomly throughout Dallin Draper’s house are pieces of paper with "10.47" written on them. They’re on mirrors, on the refrigerator and other random places. They’ve been there for over a year.
They represent the state record 100-meter time that dates back to 1981, a record the Delta senior is focused on breaking before he graduates. He’s even visualized how he’ll celebrate when that momentum comes, jumping and dancing around ecstatically.
The 200 meters has always kind of been an afterthought. He had never really considered that he could break the state record 21.17 set by Syracuse’s Hunter Woodhall at last year’s state meet.
So when Draper crossed the finish line with a state-record time of 21.12 at Saturday’s BYU Invitational, raw emotion took over.
“This one was more completely unexpected. I almost cried,” said Draper.
His 200-meter performance was the only state record to fall at the two-day BYU Invitational, but one of countless terrific performances at the meet featuring 76 teams from around the intermountain region.
Draper was involved in the other marquee race of the meet, the 100 meters.
Against a stacked field, Draper ran a ridiculous time of 10.53. It was just 0.06 off the overall state-record time of 10.47 set 37 years ago by Murray’s Brian Hazelgren.
Draper had a very relaxed feeling prior to the race.
“It’s a weird feeling for me. I just relax. I know that I’ve done everything I can to prepare for the race. I’ve lifted all season, worked hard, recovered my hamstring. I just put it in God’s hands, and I let him carry me through the race,” said Draper.
Ironically enough, for a split-second, Draper thought he’d lost the race. Throughout the race, Draper said he felt East’s William Prettyman on his right and Snow Canyon’s Keivontae Washington on his left, and just at the finish line he thought Washington edged him.
A few seconds later the times posted on the scoreboard, and Draper’s 10.53 narrowly edged Washington’s 10.57 and then Prettyman’s 10.61.
“My leg was kind of sore, but I was just thinking, Hold the drive phase, hold the drive phase. That kept going through my head,” said Draper. “When I saw that time, I was pumped.”
Draper’s 10.53 ties Orem’s Rod Wilkerson as the second-fastest time in state history.
Washington’s time was the fourth-best in state history, and Prettyman’s ranks fifth. All three runners ecstatically congratulated each other afterward, fully appreciating that they’d been a part of the greatest 100-meter race in state history.
The juggernaut 100-meter race set the stage for his 200 heroics.
In the girls' 100 meters, Enterprise’s Jaslyn Gardner won with a time of 11.84, the best time in Utah this year.
“Right from the start, I felt like it was going to be a pretty good race,” said Gardner, now a senior. “I’m at the point where I still get nervous and adrenaline cause I want to do my best, but I’m getting more calm about it.”
In the 400 meters, Provo’s Meghan Hunter won with a stellar time of 52.63, which was just 0.04 off her state-record time set last week. Her state-record time of 52.59 is the best time in the nation this year.
Hunter said last week’s race added to the nervousness she felt on Saturday.
“Coming into this meet I was definitely a lot more nervous and a little stressed than other meets because I feel like I have higher expectations form myself,” said Hunter.
Sadie Sargent won the 800 meters with a state-best time of 2:10.78, which came a day after she established the state-leading 3,200 time. The senior BYU commit also owns the top 1,600 time.
The other state-best performance record on Saturday was in the 100 hurdles with Timpview’s Lindsey Middleton winning in 14.64.
On the boys side, distance runners made a big impression with Orem’s Brandon Williams winning the 800 meters with a state-leading time of 1:53.23, and Fremont’s Zachary Winter winning the 1,600 in a state-best time of 4:08.96.
In the 1,600, Timpview’s Aidan Troutner went out very fast, but Winter stayed patient.
“I expected him to go out fast because I have a good kick. I’ve always done the 400, so it’s kind of helped me that last lap, I know when to go, I know my limits that last 400,” said Winter, who was eyeing a new personal best in the 4:08 range heading into the race.
“This is the race I’ve been looking forward to all year. It will have all the big boys at this race. I knew I’d be able to PR if I stuck with them,” said Winter.
Other top performance on the boys' side on Saturday included Skyridge’s Austin Child winning the high jump with a state-best mark of 6 feet 8 inches.