In competition that featured both outstanding individual and team efforts, the girls' portion of the Standard Examiner/Universal Athletic Service of Utah Weber State High School Track & Field Invitational, held Friday at Wildcat Stadium, was one for the record books.
Weber High School captured the overall team victory, scoring 63 points to edge Mountain View, who tallied 61. Weber went over the top in the meet's final event, the mile relay, taking first place while Mountain View finished fourth. Jen Johnstun, who ran the last leg of the relay, also helped Weber with a hard-fought victory over Skyline's Melissa Balderas in the 800 meter run, edging Balderas by only two-hundredths of a second. "I was scared to death," Johnstun said, "she was right behind me; I thought she was going to catch me there at the end."Balderas came right back in the next event, however, running the first leg for Skyline's team in the medley relay. Despite being fatigued, she built a huge lead for Skyline by the time she passed the baton. "I was really dead at the beginning. I just found a little bit extra at the end."
Amy Allen was a big part of Mountain View's success, winning easily in the 3200 meter run with a time of 11:24.70, missing the meet record by less than 10 seconds.
In terms of other excellent individual achievements, American Fork track star Windy Jorgensen broke her own meet record of 25.15 seconds in the 200 meter dash, which she set last year, by posting a mark of 24.90. Two long-standing individual marks fell also, as Clearfield's Jill Zaugg dashed to a time of 45.41 seconds in the 300 meter hurdles trials, breaking a record set by Kellie Park of West in 1980, while in the javelin Amy Christiansen of Grantsville shattered a 14-year old state 2A record with a throw of 140 feet 2 inches. Christiansen also gained Most Valuable Athlete honors for the meet, denying Jorgensen a chance to win that honor for a third consecutive year.
Jorgensen's victory in the 200 meters, coupled with a first-place finish the 100 meter dash, helped American Fork end up third in the team standings, with a total of 44 points. Highland and Layton rounded out the top five, with Skyline finishing a close sixth.
Fifty-five teams competed in the meet, including two each from Wyoming and Nevada, and one from Idaho. Weber State track coach Jim Blaisdell, who also serves as a coordinator for the meet, explained that the Weber State Invitational is a qualifying event for the state meet later in the year. "The state sets a standard for how fast or how far, and if an athlete hits that standard during the season they don't have to place first or second in the region meets," Blaisdell said.
The boys' portion of the meet will be held today, with finals in the field events beginning around 10:30 a.m., and finals in the track events starting at 2:00 p.m.