When the sixth annual Utah Summer Games track and field meet was finally finished late Tuesday night - some 15 hours after it had begun - no one stood taller than Dan John, who produced the day's most impressive mark. On the other hand, there was Team Jorgensen, which got positively greedy when it came to gold medal hauls. Speaking of greedy, what about Chris Yorges? For the record, they were just a handful of the 600-plus athletes who competed in a meet that was actually 18 meets in one. For the first time in the meet's history, the youth competition was held simultaneously with the open and master's competition. It made for one long day and night. The meet began at 8 in the morning and finally finished at 11.
Half of the meet was stymied by a steady wind that blew between 20 and 35 miles per hour throughout the day. It stopped runners in their tracks on the homestretch and ruined many of the performances. To the relief of many, the wind finally died in the evening and the good performances began.John, a 33-year-old former Utah State athlete, (see column on page D1), won the shot put in the morning with a personal-record throw of 50-81/2, then won the discus in the evening with a meet-record throw of 180-10 - (a mark that will rank among the top 25 throws in the country this year).
John was pleased, but when last seen he was muttering about the even bigger one that got away.
"I threw one out of the sector that went well over 190," he said.
Setting records is nothing new for the Rod Jorgensen family of American Fork. Rod won state championships and set state records during his heyday, as did his father. More recently, his son Bart and his daughter Windy have continued the tradition. Windy, all of 15 years old, is unbeaten in two years of high school competition outdoors and she's still going strong following a long prep season. On Tuesday, she set age-group meet records in all three of the sprints - 12.47, 26.54, 60.47 - and anchored a record 4 x 100 relay. They were relatively slow times by her standards, but then she had to battle the wind in all three events.
"The wind really slowed me down," said Jorgensen, repeating an oft-heard refrain.
Her 13-year-old brother Joel had more luck. He ran most of his races in the evening, when the winds had calmed, and won the 100 (12.37), 200 (a youth meet-record 24.15) and anchored two winning relays.
When it came to cramming a week's worth of races into one long day, the top honors went to Yorges, who just completed his junior season at BYU with a third-place finish in the steeplechase at the Western Athletic Conference championships. In the morning he ran just hard enough to set a meet-record in the steeplechase (10:16.61), and placed second in the 400-meter hurdles. In the evening, he won a tactical 1,600-meter run in 4:38.3 and a close, tactical 800-meter race in 2:01.43. He also managed to run legs on the runnerup 4 x 100 relay and the winning 4 x 400 relay. Six events, six medals.
Despite the wind, the long day produced a number of other top marks. For instance:
- Erik Lundmark, an Olympus High student, set a record in the young men's division by clearing 6-10 in the high jump.
- Ellie Dakin, a fine youth-division runner from St. George, won the 400 in a record 1:00.19.
- Mark Kallas won the open long jump with a leap of 23-9 1/2.
- John Price threw the discus 141-5 - at the age of 47.
- Robert Shirts, a former All-American at Southern Utah State, won the javelin with a throw of 207-3.
- Matt Snyder scaled 15-6 to win the open pole vault.