The Lovell Bulldogs split their track and field squad last week, sending some athletes to the BYU Invitational in Provo, Utah, Friday and Saturday, May 1-2, while the rest of the team competed at the Meeteetse Invitational on Friday.
Several of the Lovell thinclads more than held their own in Provo, competing in a field of 37 boys teams and 30 girls teams in the Class 1A-2A Division.
Junior Jacob Newman won the 1,600 meters with a personal-record and school-record time of 4:32.54, edging Jonathan Rothschild of North Summit High School, who finished in 4:33.32. Lovell senior AJ Dickson was strong, too, placing seventh with a personal-record time of 4:36.85.
Newman’s run broke the LHS school record of 4:35 set by Jason Thomas in 1992.
Coach Josh Sanders said both Dickson and Newman ran excellent, strategic races, running in different heats.
“They started dead last by the end of the first 200 meters,” Sanders said. “I wasn’t worried about it, and Coach Caleb (Sanders) wasn’t worried about it, but if you were a spectator, you would have been worried.
“I tell you, that’s where track and field is fun to watch, races like that. It’s about positioning and racing in the real sense of the word. Both of them took the lead in about the same spot, toward the end of lap three.”
In his heat, Dickson was eyeing the school record on a large scoreboard timer as he came through on the home stretch of the third lap, Sanders said, knowing he had to pass the runner in front of him. He did so and held the lead to win the race.
“You’re always skeptical about passing,” the coach said. “If you take the lead you’d better do it with the intention to keep it. Otherwise, don’t take it. AJ saw that the kid was a little slow at that point and passed him with commitment and didn’t want to give it up.
“He was debating. He had seen others give up a lead, but he led all of the fourth lap and never gave it up. Both AJ and Jacob did the same thing. Not only did they take the lead, he opened up the lead, which was so different from the other heats.”
Coaches named Dickson as the male athlete of the week.
Another Lovell long-distance runner, Jaclyn Caldwell, placed fifth in Provo with a personal-record time of 5:31.39. Sanders said the strong field helped her run her best time.
“That’s the benefit of being there. You don’t have to run alone,” he said.
Senior Whitney Grant won the pole vault in Provo, clearing 9-7¾. Sanders said a mix-up in how the event was run cost Grant a higher mark. She actually vaulted 10-1 on Friday, but the top vaulters were supposed to have vaulted on Saturday only, so she was asked whether she wanted to keep her vault Friday or start fresh on Saturday. She chose to vault Saturday and after winning the event at 9-7¾ chose to jump all the way to 10-5. She didn’t make that height but won the 1A-2A event anyway.
Grant was named the female athlete of the week for her performance, and Sanders noted that she, in essence, won the event twice. He noted that her 10-1 vault would have won all classes in Provo, topping even the larger schools.
Senior Chayli McArthur placed second in the long jump, sailing 15-11¼. McArthur also ran a personal-record time of 49.01 in the preliminaries of the 300-meter low hurdles, finishing with the 12th best prelim time but not making the finals.
“That wasn’t Chayli’s best jump, but the whole field was under (their top jumps coming in),” Sanders said. “I don’t know if it was the time of day or what.
“In the 300s she looked slow at the beginning but she finished the race strong. Because of her spill at the Riverside meet she was hesitant because she didn’t want weak legs at the end. She did not go out like she did at Riverside. If she had, she would have been in the finals. At the same time, I understand her hesitancy.”
Sophomore Brandon Teter cleared 6-¾ in the high jump to place second in Provo.
Senior Cade Bischoff finished with the 26th best time (out of 98 runners) in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.78 but did not make the finals. He also placed 11th in the long jump with a leap of 19-4¼.
Caitlyn Lundberg finished 12th in the long jump at the BYU meet with a jump of 15-3½.
Minus the eight athletes to traveled to Utah, the balance of the Lovell squad turned in some strong performances at the Meeteetse Invitational Friday.
Junior Merrill Beck set a new personal record in the 1,600 meters Friday, running the four laps in 5:07.01 to place second on the heels of Rocky Mountain’s John Higgins. Brent Snyder ran the 1,600 for the first time this season and placed fourth with a time of 5:15.94, and Will Lillard placed sixth in 5:23.44.
Beck also ran a strong 800 meters, placing third at 2:16.75, not far behind Kaleb Mayes, who won the race at 2:12.07. Sanders said he would like to see Mayes run under 2:10 Dalton Nixon placed fourth at 2:16.76.
Will Lillard placed sixth in the 1,600 meters with a time of 5:23.44, a personal record, and ran the 3,200 meters for the first time, placing seventh at 12:32.54.
Senior Eston Croft was strong in the 110-meter high hurdles, winning the event in 16.36 and prequalifying for State in the process. He won the 110s for the third straight meet.
The 400-meter relay team of Drake Welch, Mysen McArthur, Dalton Croft and Eston Croft placed second with a time of 47.65.
Welch popped a jump of 20-1 in his first long jump competition of the year, placing second, and McArthur placed sixth in the triple jump at 37-10¼. Jaccob Mickelson pole-vaulted for the first time this season and cleared 9-6, placing seventh.
In throwing, Garet Fowler placed sixth in the discus with a personal-record toss of 116-4 and placed seventh in the shot put at 39-9½.
Other boys results in Meeteetse included:
100m dash – Dalton Croft eighth, 12.01, Britton Woody 17th, 12.33, Tyler Teter 19th, 12.46, Eston Croft 24th, 12.63, Mysen McArthur 25th, 12.65, Aaron Monterde 26th, 12.71; 200m dash – Croft eighth, 25.31, Ty Teter 16th, 26.04, Richard Mangali 24th, 29.06; 400m dash – Jaccob Mickelson 15th, 1:03.44; 1,600 meters – Mangali 17th, 6:12.31; 300m hurdles – Ben Cornia 14th, 52.21; long jump – Britton Woody 14th, 17-8¼, Ty Teter 15th, 16-7¾; shot put – Jaret Collins eighth, 39-3½, Kyle Burton 21st, 35-2, Aaron Monterde 24th, 34-6½, Ben Bates 30th, 32-11½, Payton Hetland 42nd, 29-9; discus – Monterde 14th, 107-5, Burton 17th, 102-11, Collins 20th, 98-9, Hetland 35th, 79-11 (PR), Bates 39th, 77-4.
Girls in Meeteetse
One of the highlights for the Lady Bulldogs in Meeteetse was junior Madison Harper’s performance in the 100-meter intermediate hurdles. Harper ran a personal-record time of 17.86 to place fourth. Sanders said she has been transitioning between four-stepping and three-stepping between hurdles, which is a difficult transition, but she is improving.
Also improving is sophomore Shelby Wardell, who placed fourth in the 300-meter low hurdles with a personal-record time of 53.28. Sanders said if Wardell starts a little quicker she can reach her target time in the 51-second range.
Freshman Jessica Caldwell set two personal records Friday, placing fifth in the 1,600 meters with a time of 6:08.82 and ninth in the 800 at 2:48.46. Trysa Flood placed sixth in the 400-meter dash at 1:07.05.
In field events, Wardell placed second in the pole vault at 7-6, and Emily Snell tied her PR at 7 feet, tying for sixth place.
Mandi Jo Baxendale placed fourth in the triple jump with a leap of 30-2¼.
Other girls results in Meeteetse included:
100m dash – Emily Snell 13th, 14.04, Bailey Mitchell 14th, 14.19, Madison Bryson 20th, 14.64; 200m dash – Snell 10th, 29.20 (PR), Trysa Flood 11th, 29.22, Kincaid Johnston 16th, 29.93, Madison Bryson 17th, 30.09 (PR); 400m dash – Charri McArthur 10th, 1:09.12, Mitchell 12th, 1:10.61 (PR), Mandi Baxendale 13th, 1:11.43; 1,600 meters – Afton George 14th, 6:57.46; long jump – Johnston eighth, 14-8, Bryson 29th, 11-10, Saki Yokota 32nd, 11-6 (PR); triple jump – Yokota 19th, 23-8 (PR); shot put – Sierra Montanez 22nd, 26-2½, Sami Stevens 28th, 23-0, Hailee Nielson 33rd, 21-11½, Sable Angell 36th, 21-4½; discus – Montanez ninth, 85-5, Stevens 11th, 82-2, Nielson 24th, 68-0 (PR), Angell 32nd, 58-1.
The Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs will travel to Thermopolis Friday for the Bobcat Invitational. Action is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.
The 3A West Regional meet is May 15-16 at Star Valley.
By David Peck