Boys team dominates San Juan track and field effort at Farm Bureau Invite in Price
by Rhett Sifford
The San Juan High School track and field team headed to Price on Friday, March 19 to compete in the 2022 Farm Bureau Invitational. The team battled hard to register 34 points on the day, good enough for 12th place out of 15 teams.
Carbon High School dominated their first home event of the season with 231 points. They were followed by Delta with 206.5. Juab, Union, and Uintah rounded out the top five teams.
The San Juan boys collected 32 of the Broncos’ 34 total points. Sophomore Zack Conway led the way with 15 of his own. He won the boy's 200-meter dash with a time of 23.8 seconds and came home fourth in the 100-meter with a time of 11.66.
Junior Magnum Nielson also had a strong day, with a third-place result in the javelin. He hucked the spear 149 feet downfield to score six points for the Broncos.
Sophomore Brigham Nielson finished seventh in both the 300- and 110-meter hurdles, scoring two points in each event for a total of four on the day.
Junior Hudson Whatcott rounded out the boy's individual scoring with one point in the long jump when he jumped 19 feet, two inches to finish eighth.
The relay team of Bradley Duke, Zack Conway, Eoin Kaer, and Brigham Nielson took third in the boys 4x100, earning an additional six points for San Juan.
For the girls, senior Alex Shumway and freshman Reaghan Laws earned a point apiece at the event. Laws completed the 400-meter in 1:08.36 to finish eighth. Shumway also came home eighth, in 57.91 in the 300 hurdles.
With just two events in the books, it’s still quite early in the season, but San Juan has already put on some strong performances and picked up several qualifications into the state meet later this spring.
Second-year head coach Samantha Pemberton fielded a few questions from the San Juan Record regarding her team and the young season. She responded via email and we’ll share her comments here.
Q: I know it’s early, but tell me about the San Juan track and field team this year. What are your thoughts and feelings as you enter the season?
A: I am really looking forward to this year. I’m interested to see where we sit now that we are in 2A. I feel like it’s definitely going to be a whole new ball game. We’ve had way more new athletes come out this year than we have returning athletes so that’s exciting.
Q: What athletes have made great strides since last year?
A: It’s early in the year but we’ve had lots of success already. Two of our returning athletes have already qualified for state and both are healing from injuries.
Zack Conway has been recovering from hamstring injuries and he qualified in the 100m and 200m. He also contributes to our 4x100 [relay team] which also got a state-qualifying time this past weekend. The relay also included Bradley Duke (new athlete), Eoin Kaer, and Brigham Nielson.
Magnum Nielson had shoulder surgery right after football. He was cleared to throw again this past week and he qualified by ten feet in the javelin in our Carbon meet.
We also have a new athlete this year – Hudson Whatcott. He is a junior and qualified in both the long and high jump. Brigham Nielson is one of our boy hurdlers and is milliseconds away from state qualifying. The list can go on with the talent we have this year!
Q: Who do you expect to step up into leadership roles?
A: Unfortunately we lost a lot of our seniors and only have six this year. But they are all dedicated to the sport and definitely play a big leadership role. Those seniors: Maycee Conway, Alex Shumway, Tyler Winn, Eoin Kaer, Colten Shumway, and Daniel Jolley.
Q: What are the team’s strengths? What weaknesses do you think you will need to work on this year?
A: Our strength this year is that we are a very young team. At the same time that can be our weakness. We have to start from scratch with a lot of our athletes, but our freshmen class especially is a very athletic class. We will just have to work hard on form this year.
Q: What are your goals for the season?
A: Our goal this year is to obviously do the best we can at state. We hope to get multiple kids on the podium this year!
The Broncos continue the 2022 season with a warm road trip to St. George for the Pine View Invitational this Friday and Saturday, March 25-26. It will be a very challenging field, with 46 schools registered to compete.
Coach Pemberton reports that she is only taking the top 16 athletes from the team, but says, “We are excited to compete against more 2A teams.
“Unfortunately all our region [opponents] are more on the west side of the state so we don’t get to see them much throughout the season. We are also looking forward to warm weather!”