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The City Journals

Lightning-fast Jaguars take to track

May 17, 2017 05:01PM ● By Greg James

Mack Wakley lines up for his 100-meter sprint. He holds a top-15 time in the state this season. (Greg James/City Journals

By Greg James |  [email protected]

The West Jordan High School track team has had an increase in team members this season. That increase has brought with it a new level of success.

“We are excited our team has grown this year,” Jaguar head track coach Steph Davis said. “I helped coach football, and the kids all got to know me and our program. We have a mission as a school to better our athletes. We know that track can help. We would like to win a region title and take more kids to state for sure.”

On April 1 at the 2017 Copper Hills Invitational, the Jaguars demonstrated its newfound achievements. The girls and boys both placed second just behind its Region 3 rival Copper Hills.

Freshman Sherry Nima is among the newcomers to the team using track to help be better in her main sport, soccer.

“My race felt great; I think the middle was better,” she said. “I have not attained my goals, but I will get there. I think track can help me get faster for soccer.”

She ran the 100 meters in 13.01 seconds at the Copper Hills Invitational April 1. Her first-place run was just short of a state qualifying time of 12.87. She plans to run track her entire career at West Jordan.

“We want to represent the school well,” Davis said. “We would like to show up at an event and have everyone say there is West Jordan. Our throw team is strong, and we have some good sprinters. Some people think of track as running, but I feel our field events are very good.”

Another sprinter, sophomore Jasmine Lopez, finished third at the Invitational with a 13.87 time in the 100. Lopez combined with Nima, Machenzie Perfill and Olivia Horrocks to finish second in the 4x100 relay.

“I like to be competitive,” Lopez said. “I felt like I gave it my all in this race today. This season, I feel like we have a lot of good athletes. I have looked up to Kaysha Love (from Herriman and current UNLV runner) she leaves it all on the track. I have never met her, but I have seen her around the meets and stuff. She is what I would like to become.”

The boys sprinters were not to be outdone by the girls. In the 4x100 relay, senior Mack Wakley closed the gap on the back stretch, and the Jaguars held on for a second-place finish. Wakley, Tyler Martain, Allan Ahanonu and first-time track participant Carl Odom finished the relay in 44.26 seconds.

The 4x400 relay was the highlight of the runners’ meet. Wakley, Martain, Forest Rich and Andrew Klinger out-distanced the second-place Copper Hills team by five seconds.

“I have been trying to qualify for state,” Wakley said. “I started running track to stay in shape for football. Then I figured that I was pretty good at it, so I just stayed with it.”

The state track meet is scheduled for May 19–20 at the Clarence F. Robison Track and Field Stadium on the BYU campus.

“I run track to help me in football,” Odom said. “Coach tells us that track is one of the hardest sports he ever did. He just wants us competing.”

In field events at the Invitational, Travis Jensen and Jonathan Soto placed first and second, respectively, in the pole vault. Sophomore Sadie Adams won the javelin, and Zerah Frost placed fifth. Senior Kaiden Snow placed second in discus and fourth in shot put.