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Lehi-area tracksters earn state spots at region meet

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Megan Wallgren | Lehi Free Press

In one of the most competitive regions in Utah, Lehi and Skyridge High School athletes punched their tickets to state competition at the Region 3 Championships May 7, 8, and 9 at Lehi High School.

American Fork High School swept the top spots at the meet in the girls, boys and combined team categories. The Cavemen’s combined team score was a commanding 403.5 points. Skyridge’s combined teams earned 231 points for third place and Lehi’s 169 points led to a fifth-place finish.

Athletes can qualify for the 6A state championships by earning a state qualifying mark in any event or by taking fourth or better in an event during region competition.

Field events were the strength of the Falcons with many of their points coming from wins there. They swept the top three medals in the boys Javelin competition.

Senior Whit Slack placed first with a throw of 178-feet 7-inchers. Jack Burke, a senior, placed second with a throw of 168-6 feet. Coming in third was junior Edward Hutchings with a throw of 157-10 feet. All three will be moving on to state competition.

Another Skyridge first-place finish came for Burke in the boys Long Jump. He earned gold with a leap of 21-4.75 feet. His teammate, senior Benton Goodwin, placed second with a jump of 20-10.5.

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It was a pair of first-place honors for Falcon high jumpers. Taking the boys competition was sophomore Ty Baird with a winning jump of 5-11 feet. The girls event winner was sophomore Abigail Dotson who claimed gold with a jump of 5-1 feet. 

Coming up big on the track for the Skyridge team was freshman Eva Lewis, who earned gold in the girls 400-meter run with a new personal best of 58.98 seconds.

Sophomore Lucy Hawkins took first in the girls 3200 meters with a time of 11:20.80, earning her a spot at the state meet. Junior Eddie Fuller won the boys event with a time of 9:33.51 and will also advance to State. 

The girls 4×800-meter relay team earned a trip to the state meet with a first-place finish and a time of 10:30.39. The winning squad included sophomores Clara Madsen and Clair Jensen and juniors Eliza Bodine and Reese Mehr. 

“It was a great meet for the team,” said Skyridge Coach Ronda Hansen. “We had several region champions, more individual state qualifiers, and we qualified the rest of our relays for state.

“I’m so proud of our whole team for their hard work and dedication. Consistency and a positive mindset can do amazing things to improve results in competition and life far beyond high school,” she added.

The Pioneers came away from the meet with 17 new state-qualifying entries and 19 new state-qualifying athletes.

The Lehi boys 4×200-meter relay team won the day with a time of 1.33.33. The gold-medal squad included senior Hyrum Faber, junior Kaden Barrus and sophomores Matthew Heap and Ryan Hemingway.

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It was a photo finish for the Lehi boys 4×100-meter relay team,which earned their spot in State by winning a run-off with the Westlake boys relay team. After their first race, the two teams were tied for the fourth and final state qualifying spot with a finish time down to the thousandth of a second. 

The Pioneers won the run-off with senior Hyrum Faber, junior Kaden Barrus and sophomores Matthew Heap and I’ence Smith.

Lehi coach Emily King said, “This is our first year in 6A, and the region we got placed into is extremely competitive. The coaching staff is so impressed and proud of how all the athletes rose to the occasion of competing in this tough region.

“We only had a couple of athletes qualified for state before this meet, but we had nearly 20 new athletes qualify through region competition alone,” she said. “I’m excited to see this team continue to grow and become a tough competitor in this new 6A division.”

Next up for these athletes is the Utah UHSAA 2024 State Championships on May 16, 17, and 18 at the Clarence Robison Track on BYU’s campus in Provo.

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