With the region meet just two weeks away and the state meet set for May 18- 19 at BYU, the Tooele track team continues to build strength for those two high profile meets.
Several Tooele High School athletes excelled at the Juab Invitational last Friday. Their combined efforts helped the girls team place second and the boys team fourth against some of the top 3A teams.
“The Juab Invitational gave us a look at some of the stronger 3A teams outside of our region,” said coach Albert Bottema. “Class 3A is extremely competitive with a lot of strong teams. It should prove to be a very interesting state meet next month.”
The coach is pleased with the progress of his athletes so far this season. “We are having a great year and our athletes continue to improve in their events. As coaches we are very proud of their accomplishments, hard work and the desire to improve.”
Tooele long jumper Chris Ebert was the best in the field at the Juab meet. The junior finished first in the long jump with a leap of 21 feet, 0.25 inches. Teammate Tell Stewart was also one of the leaders in the event finishing seventh with a jump of 19 feet, 9.5 inches.
“Chris and Tell have been improving their long jump marks the last several meets. The 3A boys long jump may be the toughest classification in the state this year, with several athletes’ marks over 22 feet,” Bottema said. “Tell and Chris are also both outstanding sprinters. Tell is a member of the men’s 4×100 meter relay and we are going to use Chris to run one of the 200 meter legs of our medley relay team.”
Finishing in first place in two events at the Juab Invite was Becca Smaellie. The senior placed first in the discus with a toss of 92 feet, 190 inches, and first in the javelin with a throw of 116 feet, 11 inches. “Becca continues to shine at the meets and she has the fifth best throw in the state in the javelin this year,” Bottema said. Smaellie won the javelin in a region meet at Ogden last week and also placed second in the discus and third in the shot put. She was second in the discus and fourth in the shot put at a meet in Price.
Brindisy Russell also grabbed a firstplace finish at the Juab Invitational. “Brindisy is proving to be one of the top female 400 meter runners in the region,” the coach said. She finished fourth at the Carbon Invite, first at a tri-meet at Ogden, first at the Juab invitational. Besides the 400 Brindisy runs the 1600 (5:53), the 400 in the medley relay and is the anchor leg of the 4 x400 meter relay. She has also has run a 2:41 in the 800 meters this season.
Lizzie Stewart finished second in the 200, third in the javelin, sixth in the 100 and ninth in the discus at Juab. “Lizzie continues to improve in all her events,” Bottema said. At Carbon she was fifth in the 200 meters and sixth in the 100 meters.
Alyssa Banks is another top track star for the Buffaloes. Banks has been injured for two weeks and should be able to run again next week at the Wendover Invite. “She still has some of the best times in the region in the 100 and 300 meter hurdles and should be a contender in those events when we get her back on the track,” Bottema said.
Ben Medley is a first-year hurdler and continues to improve his times in the 110 and 300 meter hurdles each meet. Medley recently finished sixth in the 110 hurdles and fifth in the 300 hurdles at the Carbon Invitational. At the Juab Invite, he competed against a very strong field and finished fourth in the 110 and third in the 300. Medley also runs on the 4×400 meter relay.
Coach Bottema says that Logan Pectol may be one of the most versatile athletes at THS this year. Against 3A state competition Pectol has the fifth fastest 100 meter time at 12:27, the second fastest 200 meters at 24.32, the fastest 400 meters at 52.95, the third fastest 1600 meters at 5:14.32 and the second fastest 300 meter hurdle time at 45.05. Pectol is also part of the 4×400 meter relay team and will run the 400 meter leg of the medley relay at upcoming competitions. Last week at the meet in Ogden he was fourth in the 200, first in the 400 and second in the 300 meter hurdles. At the Juab Invitational Pectol was third in the 400 meters with his PR for this year and the 4×400 meter relay was fourth with the team’s best time this year at 3:41.66.