PROVO—They may say that lightning never strikes the same place twice, but Levi Smith sure did.
The Manti Templar showcased incredibly at the 2022 BYU Track and Field Invitational during the weekend of May 6-8, winning the gold in both the boys 100-meter final and the long jump final as he led a proud contingent of Sanpete County’s top athletes from Manti, North Sanpete and Gunnison Valley in the proverbial mother of all track and field events in Utah.
Smith’s incredible outing led to a sixth-place finish for the Manti boys track and field team, the highest among all teams in the county. Alongside a 19th-place finish from the girls team, Manti placed 10th cumulatively among the roughly 60-65 3A-1A teams from all over the Rocky Mountains that participated, scoring 39 points. North Sanpete took an overall 20th place with 25 points. Gunnison Valley finished with a third of a point to place 55th.
“Having the kind of success that [Smith] has been able to achieve this season is a testament to his work ethic and drive,” Manti head coach Trent Nielson said. “He is working very hard to earn the things he gets. You are always happy to see the kids that are deserving of success accomplish their goals, and the invitational was a big stage to do that on. We’re proud of him.”
The 100-meter final was spectacularly close as runners second to ninth all finished within a half second of each other, but Smith managed to (relatively) separate from the pack with a time of 10.86 seconds, 0.22 seconds ahead of second place.
In the long jump, Smith again edged out a tight group of competitors with a jump of 21-09.50, roughly an inch ahead of the second-place finisher.
Smith also made it to the final of the 200-meter dash. He finished fourth in that event with a time of 22.76 seconds.
Smith’s victories were two of three times that Sanpete had one of their own on the medal stand. North Sanpete junior Madelyn Christensen claimed a silver medal in the girls’ 1600-meter final. Christensen finished with a time of 5:13.82.
Gunnison’s lone scoring finish came courtesy of senior Jack Hansen. Hansen had a solid day in the boys high jump final, clearing the bar at a height of 5’10”. This put him in a three-way tie for eighth place, splitting a single point between the three finishers.
The other scoring finishes for Sanpete athletes are as follows:
Christensen took fourth place in the girls 3200-meter run with a time of 11:50.65.
Manti’s girls 4×100-meter relay team finished in fourth place with a time of 51.75 seconds.
Manti’s girls sprint-medley relay team finished in eighth place with a time of 4:31.61, while the boys sprint-medley relay team just missed out on a scoring finish in 10th place.
Manti’s girls 4×400-meter relay team took seventh with a finishing time of 4:16.82. North Sanpete just missed scoring on the event with a 10th place finish.
North Sanpete senior Morgan Bowles made an impressive leap. After finishing eighth in the boys 300-meter hurdles heats in 41.24 seconds, he cut over a second off his time and ran the final in 39.82 seconds to finish fourth.
North Sanpete junior Tylee Henrie finished in seventh place in the girls high jump final, clearing the bar at 5’00”. Henrie also placed eighth in the girls long jump final, completing a jump of 16-04.00.
Manti sophomore Lacie Christensen finished eighth in the girls shot put with a throw of 33-03-50. North Sanpete junior Emma Johansen finished ninth in the same event with a throw of 33-00-00.