Buckaroos finish season with excellent performance at state track and field meet
by Jessica Walker
Athletes from across the state of Utah descended on Provo May 20 and 21 for a chance to bring home state glory with individual and team medals from the Utah State Track and Field Championships at BYU.
The day was filled with high emotion as athletes laid it all on the line for their chance to bring home top honors.
As any distance track athlete can attest, immense strength and endurance is required to race multiple distance events and even greater strength and endurance is required to do well in each of those events.
Monticello Senior Lily Long showed she had what it took and, in the capstone of an amazing career, earned not just one but three second-place finishes in the 3200, 1600, and 800-meter races.
Long is now ranked second all-time for the Buckaroos in all three events, only trailing Loren Randall in the 800 and Macee Nielson in the 3200 and 1600 meter.
Also earning the distinction of medaling in the distance events for the girls team was Lilli Burton. Burton’s considerable personal record over 20 seconds faster than any of her previous performances earned third place in the 3200 meter. This year has proven to be a very promising first season for the freshman.
In the 800 meter Boston Freestone ran to a fifth-place finish with a time of 2:07.25. Freestone, a senior, jumped five feet eight inches in the high jump to tie for sixth place. As a top contributor for the team the past four years, Freestone’s presence will surely be missed in coming years.
With a jump of four feet eleven inches, Berlynn Black stole center stage in the high jump with her second-place finish. Arguably one of the most talented high jumpers in Buckaroo history, Black holds the mark for the highest jump in the last six years for the team and ties for third all-time at the school. Black also finished fifth in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 51.31 seconds.
Taylor Lewis ended the championship and closed out her career with two top finishes of her own. Her third place finish in the 200 meter was a personal record for the senior. Lewis also finished fourth in the 100 meter.
Robert Morrison beat his previous long jump best by seven inches, jumping 19 feet 9.5 inches to claim fifth place. Morrison was ranked 11th in the state prior to the meet.
In the javelin, Logan Draper placed fifth, throwing over 136 feet in the final meet of his career. Sadie Adair hurdled her way to a sixth-place finish in the 100 hurdles with a time of 18.10 seconds. Adair set a new personal best in the preliminaries with a time of 17.53 seconds.
Just a few feet shy of his personal best set at North Sevier, Nial Reay threw 108 feet eight inches to collect a sixth-place finish in the discus competition.
The girls medley and 4x100 relay teams both secured third-place finishes and a much-deserved spot on the podium.
Also earning points for the team at the 2022 State Championship were Lilli Burton (seventh in the 1600), Ayla Carling (eighth in the 3200), Jesse Pettit (eighth in the 3200 and 1600, seventh in the 800), the boys 4x400 and 4x100 teams (seventh), Sadie Adair (eighth in the 300 hurdles), Boston Freestone (eighth in the 400), Robert Morrison (seventh in javelin, eighth in the shot put), the boys medley team (fourth), and the girls 4x400 team (fifth).
As a team the Buckaroo girls finished fourth in the state in 1A with 76 points, just two points behind Rich High School. The MHS boys came home seventh in the state with 34.5 points.
All total the teams scored 110.5 points for a combined ranking of fourth in the state, just 2.5 points behind third-place Tabiona.