BY JENNIFFER WARDELL
Clipper Staff Writer
Davis County track stars are ready to shine at the state championships this weekend.
Both Davis High and Woods Cross High boys’ and girls’ teams claimed first in their respective region championships, held last weekend. Athletes at both schools are also shooting for individual gold medals, including record-setters Shea Martinez and the Woods Cross boys’ 4x100 track team.
“I’m so excited,” said Martinez, a senior at Davis High. “It’s my last meet as a high school runner, and I’m looking to go out with a bang.”
Martinez, who is ranked first in the nation in the 800-meter race, recently tied the state 5A record for the 800-meter with a time of 2 minutes, 8.48 seconds. She’s expected to compete in both the 1600-meter and 800-meter races at state, two events where she has previously been crowned state champion.
“I just really love running the 800 meter,” said Martinez, who will be running for BYU this fall. “I always look forward to running it, no matter how tired I am.”
Other Davis High athletes to watch out for at state include: Bailey Carling, Seth Fortin and Trevor Leavitt in the 100- and 200-meter races, Jessica Richardson and Ben Bracken in the shot put and discus, Jordan Schraedel in the pole vault and Ryan Lee, Preston Johnson and Josh Ward in the longer distance races. All these athletes will be heading into this weekend’s competition with gold medals from region.
Davis High also has several strong relay teams. The school won five of the six available medals at region. Martinez has run with the girls’ 4X400-meter relay and 4X800-meter relay teams, winning medals in both events.
“I love the team,” said Martinez. “They’re really supportive of me, and help push me to always do better. They’re so great.”
Over at Woods Cross, the boys’ 4x100-meter relay team hopes to continue their quest to break the overall state record. The foursome, which includes Sean Barton, Jacopo Spano, Chandler Judd and Derek Lord, recently set a 4A state record of 41.95 seconds. Though they won region with a relatively relaxed time of 44.09, the teens may use state to go after the overall Utah record of 41.64.
“We hope to keep all the momentum going from the last few meets,” said coach Sam Wood.
Other Woods Cross athletes to watch out for at state include Cam Dopp in the 110-meter and 300-meter hurdles, Jacopo Spano, Braxton Knapp, and Xequille Harry in the 100-meter, 200-meter and 400-meter events, Marissa Appiah in the high jump and Mackenzie Clark and Milika Holbrook in the longer distance races. All won gold at region, as did the girls’ 4x400-meter relay team.