Jaguar, Grizzly track and field teams back in action, with a few athletes to watchMar 31, 2023 02:44PM ● By Greg James
This past fall Copper Hills celebrated the success of its cross-country student-athletes. Michael Ballard, Riley Taylor, Ryan Mautz and Broc Traver received the academic all-state award from their principal. (Photo courtesy of Garth Rushforth)
The 2023 high school track and field has begun and West Jordan and Copper Hills athletes have set out for personal records and success.
Last season West Jordan placed 11th overall at the Utah High School Track and Field Championships. They scored 52.5 points, only five points behind 10th place, Copper Hills placed 16th. The Jaguar’s boys team placed 10th and its girls were 11th. The Grizzlies girls finished 12th and the boys 19th.
Corner Canyon High School won the state track and field championship last season. The finals held at BYU saw a shift in racing excellence. Utah is no longer just a distance runner state. There were two state records set last season in sprint categories.
For years college football coaches have advocated for high school athletes to participate in multiple sports, including track and field. This is contrary to an age of sport specialization. Many high school coaches only give this lip service, but Corner Canyon head football coach Eric Kjar, who doubles as the school’s sprint coach on the track team, doesn’t allow his players to participate in off-season 7 on 7 drills. He calls track “the perfect off-season sport for football players.”
Grizzly athletes to watch include junior Baylee Beck. She had the 10th fastest 100-meter time in the state for underclassmen last season. Lillian Smith had the eighth fastest 300-meter hurdle time and Katerina Aguero topped 9 feet 8 inches in the pole vault, the 10th highest jump in the state.
West Jordan returns senior Gabe Remy, who ran a 10.99 second 100-meter last year. That was the eighth fastest in the state. On its long-distance team, senior Alex Maxfield had the fifth fastest time in the state in the 800 meter and 10th fastest 3200 meter time.
Copper Hills and West Jordan kicked off their seasons on March 15 at a Mountain Ridge High School’s dual event. They also competed in the Salt Lake Classic at Corner Canyon High School on March 18 (both events after the press deadline). They are also scheduled to compete at the Taylorsville Invitational on April 8.