Manti runners go the distance, take first place at Kanab Invitational

KANAB—Manti track and field tasted victory early in the season as the Templars reigned supreme in the Kanab Invitational on March 20.

The Templars earned an overall score of 270 points to take first place in the Invitational ahead of the hosting Kanab Cowboys, who scored 228 points. The Gunnison Valley Bulldogs were also one of 11 squads that came to the event, taking an overall seventh place with 54 points.

Out of 32 events, Manti took first place in eight different events and placed in 10 more. Manti’s strongest showings were in the distance running events. Called the “Distance Crew” by Coach Jack Rapier, the runners led the Templars to victory with 98 total points on just four events, the boys’ and girls’ 1600-meter and 3200-meter finals.

The Templars were ahead of the pack in the relay events as well. Manti boys placed first in the sprint medley relay and the 4×400 relay event, while the Lady Templars took third in the sprint medley relay and second in the 4×400 relay. Both the boys and girls took first place in the 4×100 relay.

Sophomore Fiel Woods was a superstar for Manti as she claimed the blue ribbon in multiple events, winning the 1600- and 3200-meter finals, finishing both events well over 10 seconds ahead of her teammate, junior Keltsy Fowles.

For Gunnison, the upperclassmen led the way as senior Zach Stewart won the boys’ 110-meter hurdles with a time of 46.14 seconds, getting past North Sevier’s Tate Goble by a mere half-second. Junior Jack Hansen showed up in the 200-meter final with a third-place finish.

Gunnison’s boys’ relay also came up big with a second-place finish in the 4×100 relay.

Gunnison and Manti both showed strong in the field events as senior Breanna Barson won the girls’ discus throw, while Hansen and Stewart each took second place in the high jump and long jump finals, respectively.

The Templars, being on spring break, were minimally represented at the Strata Invitational in Roosevelt last weekend, with a pair of distance runners that did not place.

Manti’s next meet is scheduled for the Juab Invitational on Friday, where they’ll face 15 other schools from 6A down to 1A, including North Sanpete.

Gunnison will next run at the Milford Invitational on April 10.