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West Jordan Journal

Jaguars hope to improve on last year’s fourth-place finish

May 02, 2022 09:17PM ● By Greg James

By Greg James | [email protected]

Field events such as shot put, discus, javelin and high jump are becoming a dominating strength of the West Jordan team. Team members hope scoring points in multiple events will propel the Jaguars up the standings.

“We started the season with some crappy weather,” Jaguars head track coach Taylor Hatch said. “We have had quite a few kids qualify for state, but I feel we are getting ready to peak. I feel things will get better from here on out.”

West Jordan had two athletes win state championships last season: Austin Klingler and Syrus Webster, That carried the team to a fourth-place finish at state. Both athletes have since graduated, but the team hopes to keep that momentum this year.

“We are strong in the field events again,” Hatch said. “That has carried over from last season.”

Seniors Shannan Fonua and Ulu Havea are one-two with the top shot throws in Region 3 this season. Fonua set a personal record of 38 feet 10 inches. Havea is only seven inches short of her teammate at 38 feet 3 inches.

They both have top five distances in the discus too.

“Ulu (Havea) broke the school record in the discus, and Shannan placed third at The Arcadia Invitational,” Hatch said.

The invitational is one of the most prestigious events of the year. Since its beginning in 1968, more than 200 future Olympians have qualified and competed in the event. This year, 622 schools from 29 states participated.

Aleka Leusa and Anthony Macedo lead the boys team throwers. Leusa launched the discus 152 feet 11 inches for the best distance in Region 3. Macedo has the longest distance in the shot at 53 feet 4 inches.

“They are both right behind the Layton kid (Tyler Poole),” Hatch said. “Last season, Austin and Syrus showed our athletes what they are capable of.”

To repeat last year’s fourth-place finish, the Jaguars will need to make up points in multiple sports.

“We are filling the gaps that we did not have last year,” Hatch said. “Corner Canyon is still the team to beat. They seem to score points in every event. I think that is what we need to do. The biggest thing is we are strong now in a few areas.”

Sophomore Jackson Roybal, Esafe Taufahema and Boston Farmer have had good seasons throwing the javelin. Roybal has been fighting an injury but qualified for state in his first event back.

Alex Maxfield and Dominic Overby are expected to score in the 400 and 800 meters.

“Neither of them are Austin, but they will score at the state meet for us,” Hatch said.

Senior Logan Prince went over 6 feet 2 inches at the Coper Hills Invitational high jump. Junior Gabe Remy ran an 11.17 in the 100 meters, a position West Jordan struggled in last year. This is Remy’s first year to participate in track.

West Jordan alum Jacob Garlick spoke to his former team last season. He was a 10-time All-American and was a state record holder in five events and a BYU and Oregon track athlete. He taught the athletes that it doesn’t matter where you come from.

“He talked about being a nobody,” Hatch said. “He asked the kids to trust their coaches. You can become a state champion. I think that motivated the kids. He had been where they are now. I feel like Austin and Syrus put West Jordan on the map. Our team wants to continue toward a