Utah Summer Games track and field showcases talent of all ages

Utah Summer Games, Cedar City, Utah, June 21, 2014 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, asppix.com, St. George News

CEDAR CITY – The Eccles Coliseum at Southern Utah University was filled with athletes of all ages Friday and Saturday, competing in the track and field portion of the Utah Summer Games.

While many individuals competed, tracks clubs from around the state were well represented, especially the Central City Cheetahs from Salt Lake City. With a total membership of approximately 260 athletes, 47 of them made the trip south to compete in the games.

CC team members figured prominently at the USG, Utah Summer Games, Cedar City, Utah, June 21, 2014 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, asppix.com, St. George News
CCC team members figured prominently at the USG, Utah Summer Games, Cedar City, Utah, June 21, 2014 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, asppix.com, St. George News

“We get kids from all over the city, but once in a while kids come out of the city and join our club,” said Roland Tolbert, coach for Central City Cheetahs. “We have our adults compete as well as our kids. We’re just a fun club.”

The Utah Summer Games is a competition that the group frequents.

“It’s a great competition, I love the atmosphere here in Cedar City,” Tolbert said. “They always put on a great meet here at Southern Utah University.”

The black jersey with turquoise writing was frequently seen as the Central City Cheetahs made the podium often in several different events.

One of the top standouts for the Cheetahs, 12-year-old William Prettyman from Salt Lake City, took home a gold medal in every event he competed in. He won the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes, long jump, 4 x 400 and 4 x 100 relays. His long jump was a Utah Summer Games record of 19 feet 11.5 inches.

Prettyman has competed at a high level in the sport as he took second place in the 100-meter dash in both the 2013 U.S.A. Track and Field National Junior Olympic Championships and the 2013 Hershey’s Track and Field Games North American Finals.

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William Prettyman competes in the Long Jump during the Utah Summer Games, Cedar City, Utah, June 21, 2014 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, asppix.com, St. George News

Although Prettyman loves competing, he said he especially enjoys the fun atmosphere of the Summer Games.

“It just a fun experience,” Prettyman said, “It’s competitive, but it’s not so competitive that people are going mad to win. It’s just fun.”

Prettyman was not the only athlete breaking records.

Dale Perkins, 81, from St. George brought home gold in the 1,500-meter, 400-meter and the 800-meter runs, with Summer Games record times of  7 minutes and 33 seconds in the 1500 and 3:38 800, beating his already held Summer Games records.

“I enjoy coming here. I think this is my fourth year,” Perkins said, “I will be back next year.”

For a full list of track and field results, visit Utah Summer Games online.

Saturday’s Summer Games competition also featured, baseball, adult basketball, bass fishing, equestrian reining and working cow, doubles racquetball, rifle shooting, three-on-three soccer, table tennis, tae kwon do, ultimate frisbee and weightlifting.

No Utah Summer Games events will take place Sunday, with competition resuming Monday with pickleball.

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