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Deseret News week 37 high school star athletes of the week

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Deseret News high school prep athletes of the week


Zack Geertsen, Corner Canyon (Jr.)

Zack Geertsen delivered some timely hits to lead Corner Canyon to a much-needed victory over Lone Peak last Friday.

In the 7-6 victory, he drove in the tying runs in the bottom of the seventh on an RBI single, and then in the bottom of the ninth he singled in the winning run to snap a 9-game losing streak.

“Zack put together a solid game at the plate with four quality at-bats, especially late in the game,” said Corner Canyon coach Jeff Eure.

It was the second game-winning RBI Geertsen has recorded in region play this year.

The junior leads Corner Canyon with 14 RBIs to go along with his three doubles.



Avery Takahashi, Lehi (Sr.)

Avery Takahashi came up big last week in leading Lehi to a pair of Region 7 victories.

In wins over Timpanogos and Orem, Takahashi went a combined 4 for 8 as she is now batting .515 on the season with 50 hits and only three strikeouts in 97 at bats.

In the 5-4 win over Orem, she drove in the tying run in the seventh inning, with Pioneers eventually earning the win in extra innings. She also earned the victory in the circle as she entered the game in the sixth inning — her first appearance all season.

“You hear the term about coaches being players coaches. Avery is a coach’s coach. She’s like having an extra coach on the field. I usually just need to make eye contact with her and she knows what to do. During practice, she helps our younger kids in her fielding group with teaching proper mechanics. She’s a leader in every sense of the word,” said Lehi coach Tim Kennedy.

Takahashi is a four-year starter for Lehi and also maintains a 4.0 GPA.

Boys soccer

Mark Bigelow, Pleasant Grove (Sr.)

A few weeks ago Pleasant Grove goalie Mark Bigelow suffered a concussion and had to sit out while recovering.

His return helped propel to a fantastic close to the regular as the Vikings prepare for the state tournament which starts this weekend.

“He has persevered and continually puts his body on the line for this team. I’m so proud of him,” said Pleasant Grove coach Chris Ecalono.

In his first game back against Lone Peak he saved a penalty kick in the last two minutes to preserve a 1-0 win. Two nights later he made some heroic saves to key a 3-2 win over Skyridge. Last week he was in goal for a shutout win over Corner Canyon and a 3-2 win over American Fork in the region finale.


Boys lacrosse

Berkley Horoba, Alta (So.)

Led by Berkley Horoba, Alta is coming off its most productive week of the season.

In big wins last week over Lehi, Orem and Skyline, the sophomore tallied five goals and 13 assists. For the season the attacking player has now recorded 31 goals and 49 assists for 80 points.

“Berkley is one of our hardest-working players and is always looking for ways to improve. He is always looking for ways to make his team better and focused on how the team is doing more than how he is doing,” said Alta coach Brandon Horoba.

In last Friday’s 12-2 win over Skyline, Berkley Horoba had one of his most productive games of the season as he recorded five assists and then two goals on three shots on goal.


Girls lacrosse

Jaimeson Meyer, Waterford (Sr.)

Heading into the final week of the regular season, Waterford senior Jaimeson Meyer hopes to continue what has already been a dominant season as she ranks third in the state with 94 goals scored.

“Jaime is a relentless competitor who truly loves playing lacrosse. Throughout her time here at Waterford, she has elevated our level of play and helped change the program. She is a game changer all over the field: she is fierce on the draw, leads our team in caused turnovers, and is always going to come up with the ground ball,” said Waterford coach Elizabeth Weidner.

Meyer will continue her lacrosse career after high school as she has signed to continue playing for the U.S. Naval Academy.

“Jaime is constantly looking to improve her game, and she will continue practice after practice is done and on the weekends. The most amazing thing to me watching her this year as a senior is just how much power is in her game. Her shot is lethal and her dodging is fast and intense. When we play other teams, there are usually two or three players guarding her, and she still gets the shot off. She has really challenged the rest of our small team to work hard every day, and it has been fun to watch her grow over these four years.”


Boys track and field

Peyton Williams, Desert Hills (Sr.)

Peyton Williams won both the shot put and discus at the Sentinel Twilight Invitational at Mountain Ridge High school last week.

He won the shot put with a throw of 59’07 and the discus with a throw of 169’09. His shot put throw is the top mark in the state this year, and a previous throw of 170’02 in the discus is the best mark in Utah in that event as well.

“Peyton epitomizes the definition of what a student-athlete is. He works hard as a track and field athlete but more importantly as a student. Peyton has become a true student of throwing the shot put and discus. Since COVID-19 shut down track and field last year, Peyton has practiced throwing almost every single day. He has worked harder more than anyone we have ever had at Desert Hills High School. Due to this, he has put up some incredible marks this spring. Peyton is an incredible human being and a joy to be around,” said Desert Hills coach Logan Fielding.

He’ll be the big favorite to win both events at the Region 9 tournament this week and then the 4A state tournament next week.


Girls track and field

Adi Nielson, Delta (Sr.)

As the track season heads into the final two weeks, Delta senior Adi Nielson continues to get better as she looks to peak at the final meet of the season.

Last week at the BYU Invitational, Nielson won the 300 hurdles (43.78) and 400 meters (56.86) in the 1A-3A division, and her time in the 300 hurdles was the best of all participants regardless of classification. Her 400 time was the second best at the entire meet.

“Adi is everyone’s dream to coach; she is not only talented but also hardworking. What makes Adi great is her grit and determination. She hates to lose and doesn’t shy away from a challenging race or opponent,” said coach Clint Peterson.

Nielson was named outstanding track athlete for 1A-3A teams at the BYU Invitational.

She owns the best 300 time in the entire state at 43.37 from the Bingham Invitational on April 30, and her times in the 200 and 400 meters rank in the top five in the entire state.


Boys tennis

Hardy Owen, Brighton (Jr.)

A five-star recruit, there aren’t many better tennis players in the nation in his age group than Brighton junior Hardy Owen.

So far this season he owns a 7-0 record at first singles for Brighton in the high school season and will be one of the favorites at next week’s 5A state tournament.

“He is so committed to tennis that during his ninth grade year he played the semifinals of state (at first doubles) with a broken back. He is an extremely hardworking young man who always shows great respect to everyone he comes in contact with,” said Brighton coach Natalie Meyer. “He has great sportsmanship and is a great asset to our team.”

In the USTA National rankings, Owen ranks third in his age group and in the Intermountain region he’s ranked first. He recently took fourth in the National Clay Courts tournament, which Meyer said is a national level 1 tournament. He made it to the round of 16 at the National Hard Courts tournament.


Girls golf

Ellie DeMond, Morgan (So.)

Just a sophomore, Ellie DeMond wrapped up the Region 13 golf season last week by claiming the region title.

In the final match of the season at Lakeside Golf Course she shot a 73 to finish with a 79.5 season average, good enough for a one-shot edge for region medalist honors.

“Ellie has been in a tight race all season. I was so proud of her to step up under the pressure at the region championship and play her best round of the season. She just keeps getting stronger and along with the passion she has for the game it will be fun to see where she’s at in the next two years. She has also been a great team leader,” said Morgan coach Dennis Peterson

DeMond will compete this week in the 3A state tournament at Mountain View Golf Course on Wednesday and Thursday.