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Valley Journals

West Jordan track athletes set for state meet

May 07, 2018 02:54PM ● By Greg James

West Jordan High School senior Olivia Horrocks ran a 19.39 100-meter hurdle time at the Taylorsville Invitational. (Greg James/City Journals)

By Greg James |  gregj@mycityjournals.com         

The high school track season is winding down, and several West Jordan athletes are setting top times.

“We are doing pretty good with the kids we have,” Copper Hills head track coach Garth Rushforth said. “I think we are weak in a couple of spots. We have some good kids trying their best, and we have about 200 kids, which is about normal from past years.” 

Copper Hills, West Jordan and Westridge High School track teams competed together at the Taylorsville Invitational April 14 at Taylorsville High School. The Jaguars placed fifth overall; the Grizzlies were seventh.

The Jaguars had several top finishes. Drake DeHann placed second in the 3200 meters; he also finished fifth in the 800.

As a team the Jaguars girls finished third overall in the 4x400 relay and sixth in the 4x100. The boys finished third in both the 4x400 and 4x100.

Jaguar junior Jasmine Lopez finished 33 in a fast 100-meter field.

“I think my start is the best,” Lopez said. “All season, I try to keep going by putting motivational sayings on my mirror to keep me focused. Every single day, I go for it. I want to be region and state champion by trying to have a positive attitude and taking good care of my body.”

The Taylorsville event was one month before the 2018 State Track and Field Championships at BYU May 17–19. Rushforth said it is a good barometer of where each athlete stands in their preparation.

“Now at mid-season we need to fine tune them,” Rushforth said. “We try to take out the roughness and get to where they are focusing on different parts of each race and cleaning it up. Same thing with throws and jumps—we need to clean up the approach and hit the peak at the right time.”

The Grizzlies Garrett Stone took first place in the 200 with a time of 22.58 seconds.

The boys and girls sprint medley teams both took home second-place finishes in their events. The girls  team members are Payton Case, Madison Leseberg, Abigail McVey and Hailey Kidd.

“I felt pretty good about my race,” Leseberg said. “It has been cold so far this season, so I am not quite to where I want to be yet. I have goals to get to and match my PRs (personal records). I practice constantly and try to take care of myself all season.”

The Grizzlies’ Camilla Andam finished second in the long jump. Rushforth said there are many athletes to watch on this year’s team.

“I have very few academic issues with our team,” he said. “I very seldom have to worry about that. They are great students. They are all active in the school. I have kids involved in everything. A track team definitely helps athletes in all sports. We want the top athletes to participate with us.”

Track and field finishes its season at the state championships, yet Rushforth said he wishes students could see its benefit in all other sports.

“Kids used to be multi-sport athletes,” Rushforth said. “I ran track, played football and basketball. Over time I figured out what I was good at. Today, we put so much on our kids, and they just don’t have time in their lives. We need to realize it is not the golden ticket we should be looking for. We should let them have their experiences in school and life. Those experiences are what they are going to take with them for the rest of their lives.”

Westridge High School had several students compete. Hope Keaton finished 39th in the 100, Sophomore Sydney Arsenault placed 47th in the shot put.