Sophomore Alex Toone, juniors Brindisy Russell and Melody Callister, sophomore Taylor Thomas and freshman Ciara Stewart led the way for Tooele at the 17-team Juab Invitational Friday.
Toone finished fifth in the 200 meters and seventh in the 100 meters for the boys. Russell placed fourth in the 400 meters, and Callister was third in the 300 hurdles for the girls. Thomas finished third in the shot put, while Stewart placed third in the long jump.
“We’re still young in a lot of events and the future looks promising,” said Tooele coach Al Bottema. “I would say our strength is in the sprints, but that’s the case with most of the teams in our region.”
Some of Tooele’s top track athletes missed out on the Juab Invitational attending other school activities, but the main goals for the Buffaloes are to qualify as many athletes as possible for the state meet, peak about the same time the region championships come around in May and have each individual on the team improve.
“That’s the thing we try to teach the kids regardless of where they are in the rankings. If they improve then they have been successful,” Bottema said. “If you work hard in track it manifests itself with improved performances. If you dog it, that shows too.”
Senior Alyssa Banks already has qualified for the state meet in the 100 and 300 hurdles, and Toone is closing to qualifying times in the 200- and 100-meter sprints. The girls 4×400 relay team is 3 seconds from a qualifying time. The region meet is important because the top four in each event qualifies for the state meet.
Midweek track meets are somewhat like practice sessions, while Saturday all-day invitationals are state-qualifiying meets, Bottema said.
Tooele will be in Heber City this Saturday for the Wasatch Invitational. The Buffaloes host Stansbury and Bear River Wednesday afternoon, and will compete at the Morgan Invitational on Saturday, April 27.
The Stallions will host the qualifying Tooele County Invitational on Wednesday, May 1 with Tooele, Stansbury, Grantsville, Dugway and Wendover competing. The region meet is May 8-9 at Morgan and the state meet May 18-19 at BYU.
At Juab, Chris Bonner finished 18th in the 100 with Thomas Wright seventh and Tayler Boswell 10th in the 400. Wright placed seventh in the 800.
Tooele’s 4×100 relay team of Boswell, Bonner, Drew Petersen and Toone finished fourth at the meet with a time of 46.09. The same four placed third in the 4×400 with a time of 3:39.34.
Logan Mott finished 14th in the shot put and 11th in the discus. He tossed the shot 38-feet-3-inches and threw the discus 116-feet-5-inches.
Sean York placed fifth in the javelin with a throw of 148-feet-7-inches.
Freshman Nate Pollman finished 16th in the long jump at 17-feet-8.25-inches.
Junior Melody Callister placed 12th in the 100 with Kenya Russell and Stacey Medley 19th and 20th respectively in the 200 meters. Kiyome Johnson finished 17th in the 400 meters and 16th in the 800 meters. Shawni Williams finished 17th and Mikayla Arnold 18th in the 800.
Eva Olcott and Williams were 15th and 17th respectively in the 1600 meters.
Williams placed 10th, Olcott 11th and Kaitlyn Bresee 16th in the 3200.
Courtney Chambers finished 14th in the 100 hurdles and 16th in the 300 hurdles. Megan Alvarez placed 14th in the 300 hurdles.
McKenzie Alvarez finished sixth in the shot put and 10th in the discus. Freshman Morgan Hinton finished 19th in the discus. Thomas also placed 16th in the high jump and ninth in the long jump.