PROVO – Scoring in all but one event and heavily in two distance events, Desert Hills’ boys again raced away with the state Class 3A track and field championship on Saturday.
As the defending champions did a year ago, they nearly doubled up their nearest competitor. The Thunder finished with 121 points to 67 for Juab, 46 for Richfield, 42 for Logan and 38 for Cedar. Twenty-one teams scored.
Jaiden Melendrez led the Thunder as he won the 1600 on Friday and the 3200 on Saturday. Bryson King, Joshua Thatcher and Sage Discote were third, fourth and fifth in the 1600. They were fifth, seventh and eighth in the 3200.
“When you get 42 points in two events, that’s hard to overcome,” Desert Hills coach Dace Goulding noted. “And, we scored in every event except the medley.”
It is the fourth consecutive state title for the D-Hills boys.
Cedar City’s girls used a slightly different formula, but with the same result, to outdistance Desert Hills. The Lady Reds finished with 135 points to 109 for the Thunder, 61 for Stansbury, 49 for Dixie and 47 for Richfield.
“What really helped us was our field events,” said Cedar coach Josh Bennett. “We got more points than expected. Rachel Hulet was first in the discus; Yanaba Oshley was second in the discus with Jaymie Dangerfield fourth and Morgan Myers was second in the high jump.”
“And we won the 4×1, the medley relay and the 4×4,” Bennett added.The 4×1 included Brooklyn Shakespeare, Jasie York, Rachel Hunt and Julia Hunt. The medley team was Holly Carpenter, Rachel Myers, Sam Twitchell and Whitney Yardley. And the 4×4 was York, Shakespeare, Rachel Hunt and Twitchell.
Melendrez, the Thunder’s Bailey Brinkerhoff and Dixie’s Starlee Woodbury were double winners. Brinkerhoff duplicated Melendrez with two distance titles. Woodbury won the 100-meter hurdles and the 100.
“My goal was to win the 160,0 but I just wanted to do my best for the two-mile,” Brinkerhoff said. “You have to be really mentally tough and not give up.”
Melendrez said, “My goal was to win both. I just pushed the pace from the beginning because a lot of guys with great kicks. I neutralized their kicks.”
Bennett credited Yardley’s leadership with helping the Lady Reds win. She won the 800, anchored the medley and took third in the 1600.
“It’s really satisfying that my hard work over the past four years has finally paid off,” said Yardley. “I didn’t even make it to state my freshman year.
“And for the team it means a lot because we’ve been second twice. We have a lot of team pride,” Yardley concluded.
Other state champions from Region 9 included Snow Canyon’s Keivontae Washington in the boys 100, Dixie’s Ike Urquhart in the boys 800, and Ryan Eror of Desert Hills in the high jump.
Girls champions not already mentioned included Kaylee Carter of Desert Hills in the 300-meter hurdles and teammate Tiera Orr in the long jump.
For full meet results, go to runnercard.com.
Video produced by A.J. Griffin and Austin Peck.
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