by Tad Barton
Last year, then sophomore Katie Giddings surprised the 3A Track and Field world when she stole the 3A State Championship in girls discus.
Fast forward one season and Giddings, now on everyone’s list of athletes to watch, joined some elite company as a two-time state champ.
Giddings’s winning throw of 109 feet 3.75 inches came on her second attempt of the day at the 2019 Utah High School State Track and Field Championships.
The Bronco junior out-threw her closest competitor by over two feet. In fact, Giddings had another throw of 107 feet 11.25 inches that would have edged runner up Emily Malouf from Judge Memorial.
Giddings, along with her teammates, helped San Juan to a 12th place finish overall with the Lady Broncos finishing ninth in the 3A Girls division and the boys placing 13th in the 3A Boys division. The Broncos’ individual and team results are below.
In the girls events, Katie Giddings finished first in Discus. She also placed sixth in the shot put.
The relay team of Shae Nielson, Rachel Barton, Tasiah Little, and Delaney Palmer placed fourth in the 4x400 meter relay and sixth in the 4x100 meter relay.
In the 300-meter hurdles, Shae Nielson medaled in third place. Rachel Barton finished in ninth.
Barton placed fifth and Nielson ninth in the 100 hurdles.
In the 400-meter, Delaney Palmer placed sixth.
Aysia Pehrson, Maycee Conway, Tyler Barton, and Celeste Hillhouse finished 11th in the spring medley.
In the boys events, Kian Conway finished fourth in the 200. Jaxon Torgerson finished sixth in the 100-meter dash.
The 4x100 Meter Relay team of Kian Conway, Seth Spackman, Lymir Benn, and Jaxon Torgerson finished in eighth place.
Kian Conway was 12th in the javelin.
Below is a quick wrap up of San Juan Bronco athletics from the 2018-19 school year and a glimpse at what 2019-20 holds in store for the Broncos.
Fall Sports recap
Volleyball: 2018 Region 15 Champs and 3A State runners-up. San Juan returns a solid core of athletes who should make another run at a state championship in 2019.
Football: 2018 2A South Region Champs, qualified for the state playoffs for a record 42nd consecutive season. San Juan returns eight starters on both sides of the ball as they move up to 3A in 2019.
Girls cross country: Third place in Region 15 and a fifth-place finish at State. All but one of the runners who placed for the Lady Broncos at the 3A State Championships will return in 2019.
Boys cross country: Placed sixth in Region 15 with a stable of young runners. Look for San Juan to improve in 2019 as all but one runner return.
Girls soccer: Completed their second year of competition in 2018 and will move up to a varsity schedule for 2019.
Boys golf: Kylor Johnson was the lone Bronco to qualify for the 3A State Golf Championships in 2018, placing 13th overall. The San Juan boys golf team has improved over the past few seasons and should continue that trend in 2019.
Girls tennis: Jade Warren was the lone Bronco to compete at the 3A State Tennis Championships after placing fourth in First Singles in Region 15.
Winter sports recap
Wrestling: A very young team represented San Juan well all season in 2018-19. Three wrestlers qualified for the 3A State Tournament: Josh Lacy, Seth Spackman, and Landon Burke who placed sixth at 132 pounds.
While participation was down at San Juan in 2018-19, the Broncos should benefit in 2019-20 from the experience gained by their sophomores and freshmen, who all competed at the varsity level.
Girls basketball: The 2018-19 Lady Broncos finished their season in fourth place in Region 15, losing in the opening round of the 3A State Tournament.
With four returning starters coming back in 2019-20 San Juan should be ready to take the next step and compete for a Region 15 title.
Boys basketball: A couple of close losses down the stretch dropped the Broncos to sixth place in a highly competitive Region 15. San Juan ended their 2018-19 season with a loss in the first round of the 3A State Tournament.
With a solid core of athletes returning in 2019-20, the Broncos should be right in the hunt for the Region 15 crown.
Spring Sports recap
Baseball: The Broncos had an up and down season in 2019 but qualified for the 3A State Tournament where they won two games before being eliminated in the fourth round.
San Juan boasted two of the best pitchers in the state with seniors Corbin Palmer and Trez Perkins, who finished second and fifth across all classifications in strikeouts.
The Bronco baseball team is yet another team whose future looks bright as they will return a host of players with varsity experience in 2020.
Softball: The 2019 softball season was a tough one for San Juan. The Lady Broncos finished seventh in Region 15 and missed the State Tournament for the first time in a number of years.
The 2020 season could shape up to be a good one for SJHS who will bring a lot of experience to the diamond next spring.
Girls golf: Due to the massive amount of snow that fell on San Juan County in the winter, the Lady Bronco golf team struggled just to get on the course in 2019 for practice. With participation up, look for these ladies to push each other and improve in 2020.
Boys soccer: Much like their female counterparts, the San Juan boys soccer team has shown steady improvement in their first two seasons of competition. Look for San Juan to continue to learn and grow when they move up to a varsity schedule in 2020.
Boys tennis: Three athletes from the boys tennis team qualified for the 3A State Tennis Championships in 2019. Josh Webb represented San Juan in Second Singles, while Kolton Shumway and Bryant Francom did so in Second Doubles.
Look for Shumway, a freshman, and Francom, a sophomore, to lead the way for the Broncos in 2020.
Track and field: Katie Giddings’s first place finish in the Discus helped the Lady Broncos finish ninth at the 3A State Track and Field Championships in 2019.
Both the boys and the girls teams should improve in 2020 with a seasoned group of athletes returning next year to compete.
That wraps up another year of competition at San Juan High. Great job Broncos! Have a safe and productive summer.