Gunnison runner breaks 18-year-old school record at BYU Invitational
By Kellie Harrison
PROVO—One of the fastest female runners in the state lives in Sanpete County.
Her name is Jade Wimmer, and she broke the all-time Gunnison Valley High School women’s 400-meter record set 18 years ago as she won the event at the recent BYU Invitational in 58.99 seconds.
Jade, a sophomore, also placed third in the 200-meter dash with a time of 26.53 seconds and has qualified for state competition in both the 200-meter dash and the 400-meter dash.
At the Mr. Mac BYU Track and Field Invitational held in Provo on Friday, May 4, and Saturday, May 5, 128 track teams from Utah, Wyoming, Nevada and Idaho gathered to compete.
Many athletes from the four Sanpete County high schools qualified to compete in the BYU Invitational, and quite a few finished in the top 10 in their events.
In the men’s medley relay, which consists of four athletes running two 200-meter legs, one 400-meter leg and one 800-meter leg, Manti took first place out of 25 teams with a time of three minutes and 44.26 seconds (state qualifier).
North Sanpete took second place with a close time of three minutes and 49.34 seconds (state qualifier).
In the women’s medley relay, Manti took third place with a time of four minutes and 30.54 seconds (state qualifier).
The North Sanpete women’s medley relay team took eighth place with a time of four minutes and 37.55 seconds.
North Sanpete High School’s Isabelle Hightower placed second in the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.66 seconds (state qualifier), and her brother, Parker Hightower, placed fourth with a time of 11.38 seconds in the 100-meter dash (state qualifier) and fifth in the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.94 seconds (state qualifier).
Manti’s Riley Searle came in fifth in the 800-meter dash with a time of one minute and 59.22 seconds (state qualifier) and 11th place in the 400-meter dash with a time of 51.59 seconds (state qualifier).
Senior Kjerstin Birch from Manti took sixth place in shot put with a throw of 33 feet and 2.5 inches, which is a state qualifying throw. Birch also placed 21st in javelin with a throw of 95 feet and 11.5 inches.
In the men’s 4×100-meter relay, North Sanpete placed sixth with a time of 45.38 seconds, and Manti placed 11th with a time of 46.15 seconds.
Jordan Cheney, a senior at Manti, placed ninth in the 3200-meter run with a time of nine minutes and 54.61 seconds (state qualifier) and 13th in the 1600-meter run with a time of four minutes and 34.65 seconds (state qualifier). He placed 15th in the 800 meter.
Cooper Parry from Manti placed ninth in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 17.04 seconds.
Manti’s Madison Norris placed ninth in the 800-meter dash with a time of two minutes and 27.16 seconds and has qualified for state in this event. She also placed 22nd in the 1600 meter.
Her teammate, Sanilaiti Takeiaho placed 10th in shot put with a throw of 32 feet and 7.75 inches, also qualifying for state.
Quite a number of local athletes placed in the top 25 in their event.
In the women’s 4×400 relay, Manti came in 11th with a time of four minutes and 23.14 seconds, Wasatch Academy came in 12th with a time of four minutes and 32.24 seconds and North Sanpete placed 13th with a time of four minutes and 32.42 seconds.
In the men’s 4×400-meter relay, Manti placed 11th with a time of three minutes and 39.85 seconds, and North Sanpete placed 12th with a time of three minutes and 40.13 seconds.
In the women’s 4×100-meter relay, North Sanpete’s team placed 13th with a time of 52.91 seconds.
Brody Barson of Manti placed 12th in the discus with a throw of 119 feet and 1.25 inches.
North Sanpete shot-put thrower Alan Oldroyd placed 13th with a throw of 41 feet and 4.5 inches.
Wasatch Academy’s Sheilah Cheruiyot, a junior, placed 13th in the 800-meter dash with a time of two minutes and 28.25 seconds.
Cheruiyot also placed 13th in the 1600-meter run with a time of five minutes and 28.42 seconds (state qualifier). Cheruiyot’s teammate, sophomore Ashley Lagat, came in close behind Cheruiyot and took 14th place in the 1600-meter run with another personal record of five minutes and 29.14 seconds (state qualifier).
Cheruiyot also placed 17th in the 3200-meter run with a time of 12 minutes and 7.8 seconds.
Lagat placed 16th in the 3200-meter run with a time of 12 minutes and two seconds (state qualifier) and placed 17th in the 800-meter dash with a personal record of two minutes and 30.04 seconds.
Gunnison Valley’s Garrett Francis, a sophomore, placed 17th in high jump by clearing 5 feet and 8 inches.
Manti junior Naomi Boorman placed 18th in the discus with a personal record of 88 feet and 3 inches.
North Sanpete freshman Halee Pay placed 23rd in long jump with a jump of 4 feet and 8 inches.
North Sanpete’s Mcade Poulson placed 22nd with a shot-put throw of 39 feet and 7.25 inches, and Manti’s Mike Mahlstrom placed 22nd in discus with a personal record of 110 feet and 5.25 inches.
Manti’s Breana Barson placed 24th in shot put, throwing 30 feet and 6.5 inches.
Wasatch Academy sent seven athletes and participated in 17 events. Gunnison Valley High School sent 10 athletes and participated in 16 events.
Manti sent 17 athletes and participated in 26 events, and North Sanpete sent 14 athletes and participated in 23 events.
The state competition will be held on May 18-19 at the BYU track in Provo.
The BYU Invitational was first held in 1911, started by Eugene Roberts, BYU athletic director. It is now the longest running track and field invitational in the Intermountain West.
Roberts said, “The great purpose of the meet … was to bring together hundreds of athletically inclined and interested people for mutual stimulation and benefit.”
Each team is allowed to enter up to 25 athletes per gender. All of the athletes who were entered in the events at the BYU Invitational had to have qualifying times and/or throws at previous track meets.