Junior Andy Bathemess took scored 22 points and senior Wesley Rodda scored 17 to help lead the Red Devil boys to a sixth place finish at the UHSAA Utah State 2A Track and Field Championships, which took place Friday and Saturday, May 17 and 18 at BYU’s campus in Provo. The Red Devil girls also finished sixth, led by senior Carly Dalton, who scored 19 points.
Bathemess got his 22 points by placing second in the 300-meter hurdles with a 40.32 and seventh in the 110-meter hurdles with a 15.98. He was also part of the second-place 4×400-meter team with Rodda, and juniors Wade Kemmsies and Jordan Bryant; the quartet ran a 3:30.35. Bathemess and Kemmsies joined with sophomores Garrett Brown and Koby Sobremesana for a fifth place time of 46.21 in the 4×100 meters.
Red Devil track and field coach Dennis Wells said he felt going in like Grand’s best chance to take home an individual event victory was in the hurdle events.
“Andy was favored to win the 300 coming into the meet,” he said. “He stuttered at a couple of the hurdles and it cost him the win.”
The 300-hurdles yielded the most points for the boys of any individual event as along with Bathemess’ second-place run, Kemmsies finished fourth with a 41.60 and Bryant finished eighth with a 42.70, giving the Red Devils 14 points in the event. The trio of juniors figure to be three of the top four returning runners in the event in 2014, Wells said.
Rodda also finished third in the 200 meters with a 22.73, seventh in the long jump with a 19-foot, 11-inch jump and eighth in the 100 meters with an 11.45. First-through-eighth place was only separated by .62 seconds.
Sophomore Richie Cordero was the only other Red Devil boys scorer, placing fourth in the javelin with a 152-foot, 10.75-inch throw. Junior David Bentley narrowly missed out on a scoring finish, placing ninth in the discus. Fellow junior Jackson Knowles also just missed out on points, placing ninth in the 800 meters with a 2:06.50 and 10th in the 3200 meters with a 13:03.34; he also finished 14th in the 1600 meters with a 4:53.13. Junior Jacob Francis, who won the 1600 and 3200 and placed third in the 800 in 2012, did not compete at the state championships this year as he’s still recovering from a foot stress fracture.
A dropped baton in the medley relay likely cost the Red Devils at least six points as they figured to be a shoe-in for the top three, Wells said. That six points was the difference between sixth place and third place as the Red Devils scored 42 points as a team, just 2.5 points out of third place; the third-through-seventh-place teams were separated by 3.5 points. Richfield, as expected, ran away with the boys title, scoring 172 points. Second-place North Summit managed 70.5 points.
“Our boys missed out on a lot of points they should have gotten,” Wells said.
Francis’ absence hurt the Red Devils immensely as they certainly would have taken third place and put up strong competition for second place, Wells said.
“In our school’s history whenever we’ve done well we’ve had a strong distance runner,” Wells said. “We didn’t get any points in distance events this year, which really hurt our final score.
Dalton scored her 19 points with a second-place finish in the 300-meter hurdles with a 45.86, a third-place in the 100-meter hurdles with a 15.26 and a fourth-place in the 200-meter race with a 26.83 to lead the girls.
“She had a chance to win the 100 hurdles and ran one of her faster races of the year,” Wells said “But the girl that took first almost broke the state record.”
Junior Tiffanie Whipple joined Dalton in the girls’ scoring effort with a second-place finish in the long jump with a 16-foot, 10 inch leap. Whipple joined fellow juniors Malina Bohannon and Haley Rice and freshman Kwincey Wells for a fifth-place finish in the 4×100-meters as the group ran a 53.08.
Sophomore Kasey Betts jumped 5 feet, 1 inch in the high-jump final for fourth place and juniors Madi Stocks and Kayeley Wells placed third and fifth in the discus with 103-foot, 4.25-inch and 95-foot, 2.5-inch throws to round out the girls’ scoring at 45 total points. Junior Mercedes James nearly scored in two races, placing ninth in the 1600 with a 5:47.01 and 10th in the 3200 with a 13:03.34.
North Summit won the girls’ title with 95 points and Richfield was second place with 79.
Should the Red Devils stay healthy through track season next year, combined with their fiercest foe in Richfield moving up to 3A, the Red Devil boys and girls figure to be top contenders for the 2014 state title.
“The boys should take state next year, especially with Richfield moving up to 3A,” Wells said. “And the girls, they only had one senior on the whole team this year. With a lot of hard work, they should right there with the boys competing for a title next year.”