Buckaroos dominates competition for girls and boys wins in home invitational

by Jessica Walker
Contributing Writer
The Monticello Buckaroos defended their home turf, besting eight other teams to earn first place in the girls and boys competitions at the annual Blue Mountain Invitational this past Friday, April 29.
The MHS boys scored 165 points to beat San Juan by nine while the girls scored 150.5 for a 21-point advantage over the Broncos. Combined, Monticello outscored the runners-up 315.5 to 285.5.
On the tail end of an impressive cross country and track career, It was the final home meet for Buckaroo Lily Long as she winds down an impressive cross country and track career.
Long, a four-time All-State cross country athlete with multiple top-ten state finishes in distance track events, dominated the distance field with wins in the 800-meter, 1600, and 3200 events.
Lilly Burton finished behind Long, taking second in the 3200 and fourth in the 400. Ayla Carling finished fifth in the 400, fifth in the 800, and third in the 1600. Marah Long placed sixth in the 800.
Buckaroos claimed the top two places in the boys 3200-meter race also. Edging his teammate Curtis Bunker by three tenths of a second to claim the win was Kaden Pehrson. Pehrson also finished second in the 1600 while Bunker grabbed seventh in the 800.
Middle-distance athlete Boston Freestone claimed his fourth win this year in the 400 meter, finishing just ahead of teammate Soren Welch who claimed second place in the race. Freestone is currently ranked first in the region and fifth in the entire 1A division in the 400-meter run.
Freestone also finished second in the 800 ahead of teammates Jesse Pettit (third) and Josh Wheeler (sixth). Wheeler added a fourth-place finish in the 1600 meter and a seventh in the javelin.
Taylor Lewis set the bar for the sprinters on the day, with wins in the 100 and 200-meter races. Lewis is currently ranked first in the region in both events.
Berlynn Black placed in several events, including first in the high jump, second in the long jump, second in the 300 hurdles, and third in the 200 meter. Especially impressive was Black’s high jump of four feet, eight inches, half a foot higher than her nearest competitor.
In the boys jumping events, Tommy Sheeran showcased his expertise with a win in the long jump that was over two feet farther than the runner-up. Sheeran also picked up a second place finish in the high jump.
Robert Morrison joined Sheeran in the high jump with a solid fifth-place performance. Morrison also hucked the javelin 122 feet, ten inches to earn himself a third-place finish.
Nial Reay threw the discus far enough to earn second place in that event. Kyleigh Adair also scored a second-place finish in the girls discus to go along with a sixth-place result in the shot put.
Also placing in their home invitational for the Buckaroos were Rosy Beh (tenth in the 100 and 200), the boys sprint medley team (first), Logan Draper (eighth in the high jump, ninth in the 200), Donovan Atwood (eighth in discus), Easton Young (ninth in the 100, sixth in the high jump), the girls 4x100 team (second), the boys 4x100 team (second), the girls 4x400 team (second), Jesse Gomez (ninth in discus), Tommy Sheeran (sixth in the 100), Jacob Johnson (fifth in the 400, eighth in the high jump), Cami Dowell (fourth in the high jump), Nial Reay (fourth in the 100), Tavon Black (fifth in the 110 hurdles, fifth in the 200), Shayla Pehrson (fourth in the 300 hurdles, seventh in discus) and Kenlee Atwood (ninth in shot put, tenth in discus).
San Juan
With the BYU Invitational just around the corner, tensions were high for the San Juan High School teams at the Blue Mountain Invitational.
It was the athletes’ last chance to qualify for the prestigious BYU invite and many of them were feeling the pressure. Despite the stress, the Bronco athletes rose to the challenge.
Zach Conway was one of those athletes. He bested Grand County’s Brenden Dowd in both the 100 and 200 meter to earn two wins and twenty points for his team.
Eoin Kaer, Magnum Nielson, and Brody Bilbao joined Conway in the top ten with third, fifth, and seventh place finishes in the sprint event. Bilbao also placed fourth in the 200-meter race.
In the girls 100 Maycee Conway led the way, tying for third place with a time of 14.62 seconds. Conway was followed by Ashlyn Palmer in sixth place and TaiNea Anderson in eighth.
Brigham Nielson added two second-place finishes to his career in the 110 hurdles and 300 hurdles. Close behind Nielson with two third-place finishes in those events was Daniel Jolley.
The girls 100-meter hurdles were dominated by San Juan athletes. In first, second, fourth, and fifth were Alex Shumway, Leah Castellon, Meagan Palmer, and Ella Davis.
Shumway and Castellon hurdled their way to first and third-place finishes in the 300 hurdles with only seventh tenths of a second separating the two athletes. Castellon also got second place in the high jump.
Reghan Laws secured a win in the 400 meter with a speedy time of 1:08. She also finished fourth in the 200 meter.
Though jump events look deceptively simple, each minute detail is important and each step requires consistency to achieve a favorable outcome. One misstep can lead to a drastic change in performance.
In talking with San Juan jump event coach David Johnson, we discussed this concept as well as the excitement of seeing San Juan athletes begin to master these technical skills.
Several of those athletes showcased their skill at the Blue Mountain Invitational. Hudson Whatcott, a natural talent, placed second in the long jump and fourth in the high jump.
Keaton Ivins placed fourth with a personal record over two feet longer than his previous best. Ella Lyman also placed fourth in the event with a jump of four feet.
In the throwing events, Magnum Nielson won the javelin and Tyler Winn placed second. Winn placed fourth in the shot put and discus competitions and Nielson placed sixth in shot put. TaiNea Anderson finished fourth in the javelin competition with a throw of 70 feet, ten inches.
Ryleigh Laws finished second in the 800-meter race with a personal record of five seconds, a difficult feat to accomplish in that particular race. Her performance is the fifth-best 800 meter time in Bronco history and third-best for a junior girl. Laws also finished fifth in the 200 meter.
In other middle and long distance events, several athletes snagged top-five finishes. In the 400 meter, Lynnox Benn placed third with a time of one minute. Ella Lyman placed fourth in the 1600 and Logan Keith placed fourth in the 800.
Other top-ten performances included four wins in the relays by the girls and boys 4x100 and 4x400 teams, Sierra Richmond (eighth in javelin), Rigley LaGiglia (ninth in the 400), Josh Nielson (eighth in the 100), Savannah Richmond (sixth in discus), JD Palmer (sixth in javelin), Maycee Conway (ninth in the 200), TaiNea Anderson (seventh in the 200), Taryn Nielson (seventh in the 400), Logan Keith (ninth in shot put, tenth in discus), and Lynnox Benn (seventh in the 200).
Whitehorse High School track and field athletes gave their all at the Blue Mountain Invitational and came away with several top-ten finishes.
Shania Mitchell reinforced the reason why, despite being in one of the smallest schools in the state, she is ranked in the top three in the 1A division in both the shot put and discus events. With two third-place finishes in the throwing events Mitchell earned three quarters of her team’s total points.
In the 400 meter, Robryan Tapaha placed eighth with a time of 1:14. Rueshandin Jim jumped 11 feet, 11 inches to earn a fifth-place finish.
Nicolas Howel hurdled his way to an eighth-place result in the 300-meter hurdles. Sebastian White threw the javelin 87 feet, eight inches for an eighth-place finish.
Monument Valley
The Monument Valley Cougars put up quite a showing at the Blue Mountain Invitational as they competed against local teams.
Donique Ateen led the team with three massive personal records in the shot put, discus, and javelin competitions. She won the discus with an 83-foot throw, over 20 feet farther than her previous best. She finished second in the shot put with a 29-01 and second in the javelin with an 81-03.
Ateen wasn’t the only Cougar to place in the shot put competition. In fact Monument Valley had double the athletes in the girls shot put top ten as any other school in the competition. Dawnae Yazzie took fifth, Tasheena Cly got eighth, and Chalyishia Tsosie took tenth.
Other athletes who placed in the throwing events include Tsosie (fifth in discus), Shandon Fatt (tenth in shot put, fifth in discus), Seth Sheppard (ninth in discus), and Tramon Jake (tenth in javelin).
Caitlyn Yazzie braved the distance events and earned herself fifth-place finishes in the 1600 and 3200-meter races. In the 400, Doreon Chee and Joshua Hicks placed sixth and seventh.
All four of the San Juan County high school track and field teams are headed to Provo this week to compete in the prestigious 2022 BYU Invitational Friday and Saturday, May 6-7.

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