Girls’ track • Matthews, Barnes and Love among those with big days at the state meet.
Provo • Herriman squeaked past Davis on the final race of the afternoon to claim the UHSAA 5A girls’ team title, Orem and Cedar fended off rivals Springville and Desert Hills for the 4A and 3A crowns, and North Summit and Panguitch ran away with the top spots in 2A and 1A, respectively.
The 1A classification had two dominating performers Saturday as West Ridge Academy’s Kasia Matthews and Milford’s Emily Barnes flew past their competition for five combined state titles.
Matthews finished the day as the 2016 champion in the long jump, 100 meters and 200 meters.
“It feels great,” Matthews said after finishing another dominating performance in the 200. “But it’s weird that this is my last race in high school. I’m happy for the upcoming winners at next year’s meet because they really worked hard.”
Barnes figures to be returning to next year’s state meet with the hope of breaking the two state records she set in Friday’s preliminary heats in the 400 and the 300-meter hurdles.
“After yesterday, my goal was to beat one [record] or the other,” Barnes said. “But with the weather the way it was, I didn’t want to risk pulling a muscle by not warming up good enough, so it was mostly just go out there and run a good race and not stress about whether I’m going to break the state record or not.”
While Barnes was unable to best her one-day-old records, she still finished the weekend with two state records, two state titles and a second place finish behind Matthews in the 200 meters.
The 5A classification had several close finishes Saturday. Herriman’s Kaysha Love and Sky View’s Lauren Rawlinson were the features in some of the best races of the afternoon.
Love repeated as the 5A 100- and 200-meter champion and also aided in Herriman’s repeat as the 4x100 relay champion, but none of them came easy as the three victories came by a combined 0.44 seconds.
“They did end up being tight races, but these girls are great competitors,” Love said. “Honestly, I can’t say that I was way confident going in, but you have to have some confidence when you’re racing at this level.”
Love, who will be heading to UNLV to compete at the collegiate level, said that Saturday was a pretty perfect way to end her high school track career.
Coming down the final stretch in the 400, Rawlinson found herself trailing Lone Peak’s Emily Ellis, the returning champion. Rawlinson chased Ellis down and stretched past her a few meters before she crossed the finish line and collapsed onto the track’s rough surface.
“I knew that if I could stick with her that I would have a good chance to pass her,” Rawlinson said after receiving her medal. “About the 300 [meter] mark down there is when I knew I was going to win, I just had to stick it out a little longer. [Ellis] is a great runner and I respect her a lot but I worked really hard for this … I really wanted it.”
Some other noteworthy performances from Saturday included Hillcrest High’s sweep of the 4A pole vault and North Summit’s domination in the relays.
Hillcrest senior Grace Weaver and sophomore Tara Sharp shared the top of the podium as pole vault co-champions, while junior Gracie Otto took third. Weaver and Sharp each cleared 2.74 meters while Otto finished with a vault of 2.59 meters.
North Summit teams finished first in all of the 2A relays, including the medley relay (4:22.71), the 4x400 (4:05.63) and the 4x100 (50.61).
R Herriman’s Kaysha Love wins two events as her team wins Class 5A team title on final race.
• West Ridge’s Kasia Matthews wins three events in Class 1A.
• Hillcrest sweeps top three spots in pole vault in Class 4A.