Track places second at region, will send 22 athletes to state
by Jacque Garcia
The Times-Independent
May 17, 2018 | 736 views | 0 0 comments | 54 54 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Red Devil junior Connor Guerrero (right) edges out a competitor at the Region 15 meet May 8 in Manti.    Photo by Patsy Stoddard, EC Progress
Red Devil junior Connor Guerrero (right) edges out a competitor at the Region 15 meet May 8 in Manti. Photo by Patsy Stoddard, EC Progress

The Red Devils combined girls and boys track team took second place overall in the May 8 and 9 Region 15 championship meet at Manti — in an especially close back-and-forth battle against Richfield High School. Grand County scored a combined 288 to Richfield’s 300.

The girls team also took second place overall. The Grand County boys team won their side of the meet with 161.5 points to Richfield’s 137.

“It was a great performance by a number of individuals,” said coach Randy Martin. “Overall we’re really happy. We accomplished our goals and we stayed healthy and came out with no injuries.”

A number of Red Devils placed in the top eight in their individual events, including many in the top three. “Our best performance of the region championships was Kyla Ricks,” Martin said. Ricks took four first-place finishes throughout the competition. She won the 800-meter race, the 1,600-meter race, and the 3,200-meter race, and led her team to victory in the sprint medley relay.

“She was the anchor in our medley,” Martin explained. “When she got the baton she was in second place, and she passed her competition to win.”

Eli Hazlett also had a number of impressive performances, taking third place in the 100-meter, second place in the 200-meter, and first place in the 400-meter. Ryan Lewis took second place in the 1,600-meter race, with a teammate finishing just behind in fourth. Ellison also placed third in the 3,200-meter race.

On the field side, Veda Gritts performed admirably, taking first in the shot put, second in the javelin, and second in the discus. Dakota Johnson, who Martin described as “a great all-around athlete” took second place in the javelin and second place in the discus.

Grand County senior Hannah Stripeika completed her four-year running career at the meet. “She put in a great four years in the program and has been one of the hardest workers,” Martin said of Stripeika. “We’re going to miss her next season. Her contributions to the team have been incredible.”

Twenty-two members of the Red Devils track team qualified at region to compete in the May 17 and 18 state finals. “We’re excited. Twenty-two is almost half the team,” Martin said. “It’s the most athletes in quite a few years at Grand County. We’ve got a great group of young student-athletes who are continuing to practice with the team and keep their teammates who are going to state sharp,”

The meet will be held at Brigham Young University, where the team should feel comfortable having recently competed at an invitational on the same track.

“I’m looking forward to our kids running their best at state,” Martin said. “They put in a great 12 weeks of great work, and we’re excited to see the great things they’ll do at state.”

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