Quentin Meza, Cyprus (Sr.)
Cyprus point guard Quentin Meza is heading into the home stretch of a remarkable four-year career that puts him in very elite company.
Last week he scored 24 points in both games against Taylorsville and Granger as No. 2 Cyprus improved to 15-3 on the season. For the season he’s averaging 24.3 points, 5.8 rebounds and 5.3 assists.
“Q has been an important part of our success here at Cyprus for the last 3.5 years. As soon as he came in as a freshman he contributed right away to winning. What he has done a great job of is leading his teammates where it is needed,” said Cyprus coach Tre Smith.
For his career, Meza has scored 1,872 points, which currently ranks 17th in state history. With six games left in the regular season, he’s on pace to reach 2,022 career points, which would make him just the eighth player in state history to surpass 2,000 career points. With potentially four more playoff games, Meza could climb as high as No. 4 on the all-time score list.
“There are nights when he needs to score the ball for us and nights where he can get his teammates involved. The numbers in his career speak for themselves. It has been great coaching him and building a relationship of trust as well. I am looking forward to seeing his progression when he plays at the collegiate level,” said Smith.
Olivia Hamlin, Snow Canyon (So.)
The Warriors are off to a perfect 6-0 start in Region 10, and the steady play of sophomore Olivia Hamlin has been a big reason why.
Last week she scored 19 points in a 67-42 win over Hurricane, and then two nights later scored 14 points with four assists and four steals in a 62-34 win over Desert Hills.
“Olivia is a special talent. Her speed, anticipation, and willingness to attack are what make her so hard to stop. She’s a great player and a great teammate,” said Snow Canyon coach Dan Roden.
Hamlin currently ranks third in the state and first in 4A in scoring at 22.6 ppg.
Last season as a freshman Hamlin was voted Deseret News first team all-state.
Josh Walker, Crimson Cliffs (Jr.)
There’s been no swimmer in 4A more dominant than Josh Walker.
The junior has swum in six of seven individual events this season and he owns the best time in 4A in all six, including top 10 times in the entire state in four of those events.
“The thing that sets Josh apart, aside from his commitment and dedication, which he and a lot of his teammates share, is his immense versatility. Whether it’s a sprint event like the 50 free, or mid distance like the 200 free, or the test of all strokes, like the 200 individual medley, he is prepared to not only compete, but win,” said Crimson Cliffs coach Braiden Hustead.
“This is unique and doesn’t come along very often in swimming. It usually works out that swimmers specialize in a stroke or two by their junior and senior year, but Josh is so diverse that I could put him anywhere and he’d have success. He’s a coaches dream swimmer.”
Walker owns the top mark in 4A in the 50 freestyle (22.14), 100 free (48.32) and 200 free (1:45.90). His time in the 200 free is fifth in Utah this season. He also owns the best 4A time in the 200 IM (1:57.66), 100 backstroke (53.22) and 100 butterfly (54.64).
Sophie Scoville, Pleasant Grove (So.)
Sophie Scoville has proven herself to be the fastest swimmer in 6A so far this season, a trend she hopes to continue to the end of the season next month.
Two weeks ago she posted a time of 24.77 in the 50 freestyle at the Swimitational meet in Park City. It’s the best time in 6A this year and the fourth best time overall in the state.
“Sophie is an amazing athlete, she always gives everything she has. She is dedicated and focused at practice, and no one loves to compete more than Sophie,” said Pleasant Grove coach Lisa Harris.
Last season as a freshman Scoville finished third at state in the 50 freestyle with a time of 25.01.
Scoville also ranks in the top 10 in 6A in the 100 freestyle as she posted a time of 56.26 last week.
Kayden Barlow, Tooele (So.)
Tooele’s second-year wrestler has proven to a be a quick learner and great addition to the program over the past two years.
“Kayden enjoys the sport of wrestling and soaks up whatever knowledge others are willing to share with him,” said Tooele coach William Willson. “Kayden is also a wrestler who is gracious in both winning and losing. Throughout this season, Kayden has come out on the winning end of many great matches.”
So far this season Barlow has amassed a 12-11 record, and is looking to qualify for state after narrowly missing out a year ago.
Willson said that after a match this year that Willson won, he received an email from a parent praising the sophomore for his post-match decorum.
“Rather than rubbing it in his opponent’s face, he, instead, sat and shared words of encouragement with him. When matches have not gone his way, he was shown respect for his opponent and dignity in the way he has conducted himself leaving the mat. As a coach, I feel honored to be able to coach a wrestler who is a strong competitor, avid learner of the sport and still handles himself with class regardless of the outcome of his match.”
Alexis Kirkland, Bonneville (So.)
Alexis Kirkland has been a standout wrestler for Bonneville this season, which includes a recent first-place finish at 145 pounds at Bountiful’s Redhawks Rumble.
As a freshman last season Kirkland finished second at the state-qualifying division meet but unfortunately wasn’t able to participate at state. She’s a definite threat to place based on her performances this year.
“As a coach she has really impressed the team with her attention to detail along with always being positive. She put a lot of work in the off season and it is paying off. She is the girl that everyone looks up to. She has set a great example in being a student athlete. She’s a perfect fit for our team and what our team needs,” said Bonneville coach Dakota Caldwell.
For the season, Kirkland owns an 19-11 record, which includes a third-place finish at the Layton Invitational and a runner-up finish at Dixie’s Aviatrix Invitational.