Girls' track and field: Distance runners star at state meet
Provo • Herriman's Lucy Biles and Panguitch's Whitni Orton turned in memorable performances in the distance events Friday and Saturday to lead their respective schools to Utah state track and field titles in the largest and smallest classifications.
Add to that another amazing performance by Ogden distance star Sarah Feeny, and this turned into a memorable weekend for the long-distance stars.
Biles added a 3,200-meter title Saturday to go with the 1,600 meters she captured Friday to help Herriman end Davis' three-year run as state 5A champions. The Mustangs were the 4A defending champions but moved up to 5A this year.
Orton, a sophomore, turned in a difficult-to-do triple victory by capturing individual wins in the 3,200-, 1,600- and 800-meter events to help the Bobcats easily defend their 1A title.
"I am really, really tired," said Orton. "My mile was the best. It's my favorite one. I feel like I do the best in it."
Ogden's Feeny might have been the best of the best on a day where athletes from Rich to Kanab turned in memorable efforts. Feeny, who ran the fastest 1,600 meters in Utah girls' history Friday, turned in a 10:22.87 time to do the same Saturday in the 3,200 meters. She won the 800 meters later on a scorching afternoon before several thousand cheering fans. And, for good measure, she captured a fourth gold by anchoring Ogden's medley relay team win.
"I was really trying to get the record," said Feeny, who also won academic all-state honors and will run for the University of Utah next year. "It has been my goal since last year. I can't even believe that I ran that fast. I was just trying to break the record. But I ran almost 10 seconds better than my personal best. This is like the first really hard two-mile I have run in state all year. â¦ I am excited to reach my full potential and to see what I am capable of."
Park City also received strong distance performances, as Maddie Scriscione won the 1,600 Friday and the 800 Saturday and teammate Sophie McDonald captured the 3,200 meters. That, and a win in the javelin by Chrissy Glassman, helped the Miners defend their 3A state title.
Sprinter Kaysha Love helped Herriman win its 5A title by sweeping the 5A 100 and 200 meters.
"I was hoping," she said of the chance to win and help her team. "It was a goal I was expecting to get. I was excited that I could help contribute to the win."
Desert Hills' Olivia Leavitt turned in the strongest individual performance in the 3A division with wins in both hurdles events and the 200 meters and a fourth-place finish in the 100 meters. She said she didn't expect to win three titles.
"I am happy to be over this," said the Thunder junior. "It was so fun."
The day's biggest drama, though, was in the 4A team race, where Box Elder edged Maple Mountain by a half-point. It came down the final 4x400 relay, and Maple Mountain's team missed getting the point it needed to win the title by a matter of inches. The Bees used amazing depth to win their title.
O Ogden senior Sarah Feeny sets her second state record, in the 3,200 meters, after winning the 1,600 Friday. She also wins the 800 and anchors Ogden's winning medley relay team.
• Panguitch's Whitni Orton wins the 3,200, 1,600 and 800 meters to help the Bobcats defending their 1A title.
• Herriman's Lucy Biles wins the 3,200 and 1,600 meters to lead the Mustangs to the state title in their first year in 5A.
• Herriman sophomore Kaysha Love sweeps the 100- and 200-meter runs.
• Desert Hills' Olivia Leavitt wins the 200 meters, both hurdles events, and finishes fourth in the 100 meters.
• Box Elder wins the 4A title without an individual title.
5A • Herriman
4A • Box Elder
3A • Park City
2A • North Summit
1A • Panguitch