After earning both the boys’ and girls’ Region 13 titles, the MHS track team headed to Provo with high hopes for the 3A State Track Championships that were held May 18-19 at BYU. Although the team didn’t return with a state championship, four individuals and one relay brought gold home to Morgan while the boys finished third overall and the girls fourth. Four of the Trojans’ five state championships came in field events: Bremmer Bennett-javelin; Marcie Stapley-shot put; Dillon Petty-discus; and Logan Duran-long jump. The boys’ 4×100 relay of Jacob Burt, Porter Giles, Chris Payne, and Jakob Lenthe brought home the lone gold medal from the track. Morgan also had four athletes who earned Academic All-State Awards as well: Erika Parry, Myles Barney, Braydon Jones and Dillon Petty.
Coach Brennen Fuller enthusiastically shared, “This year has definitely been one for the record books! We had the biggest team we have EVER had, we have won more medals, had more individual Region Champions, won BOTH Region Championships, had more State medalists and State Champions, and we qualified the most athletes for State out of ANY school 1A through 6A!”
“I am so proud of our team and how hard they worked this year. We had a lot of first year track athletes, especially Seniors who stepped up and helped us win our Region Championships,” he praised.
“This year more than ever, these kids would’ve done anything for each other and the team. I saw kids push themselves, in moments that are easy to give up, to levels they never dreamed would be possible. It is the best feeling as a coach to see your athletes find that they are capable of more than they ever thought. It is an attribute that we as coaches hope will take them far in all aspects of life!” Fuller continued.
“We have proven the last few years that Morgan Track is competitive and will be fighting every year to compete with the best. That is what happens when you have the best coaching staff in the State. Success breeds success, and we have started something really special up here in Morgan!” he concluded.
At State track, Morgan’s field crew rose to the top. Junior Bremmer Bennett claimed the javelin gold on Friday with a huge final throw of 171-11 that bested his PR by nine feet. Bennett’s first throw of 153-05.7 kept him in fifth place going into the final round before he launched his gold-medal winning missile. Most of the competitors saved their best for last as the top three finishers threw their winning distance on their final throw. Bennett outpaced Juab’s Parley Kay by over seven feet to stand atop the podium. Morgan’s Jay Carrigan finished in eighth with a 149-08.75 mark.
Seniors Marcie Stapley and Dillon Petty, both favored to win double gold in the shot put and discus, each claimed a gold medal and top three finish in their other event. Stapley started her tournament with a disappointing third place in the discus on Friday but rebounded on Saturday to throw a personal record en route to a gold medal in the shot put. Recording one of her shortest final throws of the season in the discus at 108-05.50, Stapley collected her bronze medal and turned her focus to the shot put on Saturday. Oh her final high school throw, the Snow-college bound senior, who had already earned first place with her first throw, launched a 40-01 toss to cap her stellar high school career with a personal recored. Stapley out distanced her nearest competition by almost three feet.
The Trojans’ Suzie Stegelmeier, a junior, finished fourth in the discus with a 97-08.5 throw and eighth in the shot put recording a 31-09.00.
On the men’s side, Petty launched his state winning discus fling on his very first throw and returned to the top of the discus podium for the second time in two seasons. In 2017, Petty won the gold in discus with a 143-00.50 throw. His 2018 147-03.75 mark was almost 10 feet beyond the second-place finisher, Chase Fowles, from Delta. Petty, Fowles and Connor Ware of Grantsville filled the top three spots atop the podium in both the discus and the shot put.
Unfortunately for Petty, Ware earned the top spot in the shot put by .50 of an inch. Ware’s first throw of 49-09.75 stood through all six rounds as Petty’s third throw of 49-09.25 came so agonizingly close to taking over the top spot. Petty fouled on his next two rounds and was unable to match his Region 13 winning throw of 52’ to upset Ware. Petty finished with the silver and Fowles the bronze.
Senior Weston Stegelmeier matched his sister Suzie with an eighth place finish, but his came in the discus with a throw of 112-11.
Not to be outdone by her throwing teammates, senior long jumper Logan Duran leaped to a gold medal on her first jump with a 16-08.50 and steadily increased her lead to finish with a 17-03.75. In the course of her jumps, she established a new MHS girls school long jump record. Duran, who is headed to USU-Eastern in Price to play soccer, outjumped the silver medalist by nine inches. Duran earned her second state championship of the year with her jump. In October, she scored three goals to help her team win the 3A Girls’ Soccer State title 4-1 over Judge Memorial.
On the track, Morgan’s 4×100 team finally brought home a gold medal after being ranked #1 in the state the past few years heading into the state meet. False starts or exchange zone violations had kept the team from placing in the past, but this team, composed of seniors Chris Payne and Jakob Lenthe with sophomores Jacob Burt and Porter Giles, put together a perfect race and sprinted to a 43.36 finish to best the field and win Morgan’s only gold track medal of the day. Payne and Lenthe also placed in the 100m and 200m individual races with Lenthe (11.38) earning sixth in the 100 and Payne (11.44) seventh. In the 200m, Payne (23.32) and Lenthe (23.34) reversed positions finished sixth and seventh respectively. Both Lenthe and Payne came to sprinting late as Lenthe left soccer for track as a junior, and Payne switched from distance to sprints at the end of the 2017 track season.
As a team, the boys earned third place with 79 points behind the strong southern schools of Delta (87) and Grand County 115.5. There were several excellent performances on the boys’ team. In the 800m race, sophomore Kaleb Bowles shaved four seconds off his PR to break two minutes (1:59.37) and finish in fourth place. Junior Carson Wilkins, who recently returned to competition after a bout with bronchitis, finished fifth in both the 1600m (4:30.55) and 3200m (10:05.13). Bowles finished eighth in the 1600m (4:44.73) while senior Sanford Porter earned seventh place in 10:17.48.
Senior Ryan DeVries finished in 6th in the 300m hurdles (41.39) and 8th in the 110m hurdles (16.56). In addition, the boys sprint relay came in fourth (3:41.61), and the 4×400 earned fifth place (3:33.52).
Morgan’s girls finished in fourth place by a tenth of a point, 52, to Grand County’s 52.1 with Delta finishing second with 89.5 points and Juab winning with 107.6. Sophomore Abbie Cox ran to a silver medal in the 100m hurdles (15.83) and a seventh-place finish in the 300m hurdles (49.63). Freshman Annalyce Rudd earned eighth place in the 1600m (5:39.49). Freshman Capri Jones earned points in eighth place in the 100m (13.37) with sophomore Annie Rowlan just .03 back in ninth.
The girls 4×100 relay team came in third behind Delta and Juab with a time of 50.92 while the 4×400 relay earned seventh (4:20.32).
If you would like to be a part of the MHS track magic, please watch their Facebook page Morgan Track and Field for dates and times for their youth track camp and track meet at MHS this summer for all kids ages 4-14.