Spring Sport All-State Track Athletes

Local student athletes earn All-State honors
The San Juan Record is proud to continue coverage of local spring All-State honorees this week, featuring nine track and field athletes who finished third or better at their respective state competitions May 18-20 in Provo, UT.
In addition the Deseret News will release its lists of All-State student athletes from the remaining spring sports in the coming weeks and the Record will cover those as they are released.
This week the Record presents the Monticello, San Juan, and Whitehorse track and field athletes who represented their schools, communities, and county so impressively. They appear with a photo and comments from their respective coaches where available.

Berlynn Black -Monticello senior
1A high jump state champion

Head Coach Jeff Hunt: “Berlynn blossomed into the ultimate leader this year. Her quirky style kept the teams smiling while her focus kept the team going. No matter the weather or other obstacles around her, she just got the job done. She also turned into a teacher.
“With every new athlete who wanted to try a different event, she would jump in and show them how.  There were several times at practice I could just say, ‘Berlynn, show them.’ At every meet she found new friends and inspired other team members to meet new people. There is also no telling her ‘no’ when she wants to get something done. The fundraiser that she organized was responsible for a lot of new equipment this year. She did things her way and came out on top. What more could you ask?”

Tommy Sheeran - Monticello senior
1A long jump state champion

Head Coach Jeff Hunt: “The way Tommy’s season ended in 2022, I wasn’t sure he would ever jump again. It was a devastating injury that ultimately kept him out of the state meet and was definitely a lot to overcome. More than a few kids have hung up their spikes after something like that.
“He also had everything else going at the beginning of the season. He is a talented actor and Drama hadn’t quite finished. He already had his mission call so nobody would have blamed him if he would have walked away. In the end, I am sure glad he finished up.
“I think Tommy’s most rewarding quality is his dedication to what matters. For him that is family. I think ending with a state championship was a great thing for his brothers to look up to. It’s not whether you can out-jump everyone, but what you can achieve if you put your mind to it.
“Tommy is also one of the friendliest young men you will ever meet. There isn’t anyone who is not better off because they know him.”

Shania Mitchell Whitehorse senior
1A shot put runner-up

Mitchell’s coach was unavailable for comment. She put on an impressive individual performance at the Utah State Track and Field Championships in Provo on May 20 with a second-place result in the shot put. She propelled the shot 32 feet, 7.75 inches to beat out 18 competitors in the event. She finished just one foot, five inches behind the state champion and put the Lady Raiders into 12th place at the state meet with eight points.

Hudson Whatcott San Juan senior
2A high jump runner-up

Head Coach Samantha Pemberton: “Hudson competed in both the high jump and long jump for San Juan High. He put a lot of time into his jumps this year, attending many camps and working one-on-one with coaches throughout the state. He placed second overall in the high jump and fifth in the long jump at state. He said all year he wishes he would have started as a freshman.”

Nial Reay Monticello junior
1A discus runner-up

Head Coach Jeff Hunt: “Nial can flat out chuck. There are more than a couple of dents in the discus cage he helped build that he is responsible for. He is definitely not the biggest kid out there, but he outworks everyone there.
“There were several occasions this year where we had to tell Nial to stop throwing. His dedication goes far beyond the discus ring as well. He is a great student, always willing to help others, and a very skilled welder. Like I said, he helped build the discus cage he throws out of.
“He is always willing to help out in other areas as well. He has thrown his hat in with the San Juan Youth Corps and Hope Squad where he can be a friend and an example to almost everyone. When we ask him to do something, the only question he ever asks is whether or not he can do it in cowboy boots.”

Magnum Nielson San Juan senior
2A javelin third place

Head Coach Samantha Pemberton: “Magnum was a senior this year and has unfortunately had both knee and shoulder surgery in the last couple years, making it difficult to be a sprinter this year. Luckily we still had him for the javelin. Magnum consistently stayed in the top three for 2A the whole season. He ended up taking second at state and the points he contributed to the team will be missed.”

Brigham Nielson San Juan junior
2A 300-meter hurrdles third place

Head Coach Samantha Pemberton: “Brigham is one of those athletes who could be put in any event and he would excel in it. Unfortunately we can only put him in four. Because he is such a strong competitor we put him on our 4x1 and 4x4 relays and both teams placed in the top three at state this year. He is also our strongest boys hurdler and has placed many times throughout the season. Brigham was also one of our captains and we are lucky to have him for one more season next year.”

Robert Morrison Monticello junior
1A javelin third place

Head Coach Jeff Hunt: “Robert can do almost anything. The real question we had this year was where we could put him that would give us the best return. He can jump, throw, and sprint. Next year we will have to make him run distance and see how he does there. I’m betting he will be pretty good.
“The hardest thing for Robert is to sit out; he wants to participate in everything. It was tough for him to sit out region because of illness and even tougher to sit and watch javelin with an ice pack on his elbow, knowing he couldn’t throw again. He is the ultimate competitor.
“Robert is also a great cheerleader. He was always keen to help out the other athletes, giving them a tip here or a pointer there. Several of our younger athletes could attribute some of their success to Robert. He is also very fun-loving and fond of a good laugh, even if it’s at my expense.”

Marah Long Monticello sophomore
1A 3200 meter third place

Head Coach Jeff Hunt: “Marah is flat out tough as nails. It takes someone pretty tough to outrun her down the stretch. I have seen her make up impossible gaps and beat people she had no business beating. Once upon a time she didn’t have any desire to be a distance runner, but I am thrilled that she reconsidered.
“She shows that drive in other aspects of life as well. Whether it’s in music or drama, you know you will always get her best. When life gets tough, she gets up and kicks its tail. Being only a sophomore, it will be interesting how far she goes over the next couple years. She is witty and quick with a comeback whenever the jokes start flying.”

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