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MountainStar Healthcare Star Athletes of Week 25

This week’s star athletes are Manti’s Grady Thompson, Syracuse’s Whitney Sorenson, Skyridge’s Hadley Cowan, Viewmont’s Luke Harris and Cottonwood’s Jessica Loyd.

Boys basketball

Grady Thompson, Manti (Jr.)

Top-ranked Manti will try and wrap up a perfect region season this week, and a big reason for the success has been the consistent play of Grady Thompson.

For the season Thompson is averaging 13.3 points, 6.0 rebounds and 5.5 assists, which includes a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds in last week’s 56-42 win over ALA.

“Grady is one of those players you love to coach. Grady is coachable, gives his best effort, has remarkable preparation and is competitive. Grady is well-rounded and loves to grow his game. He has had 12 career double-doubles along with a triple-double,” said Manti coach Devin Shakespear.

“Grady is a career 180 player, meaning he impressively averages over 65% from 2, 42% from 3 and 80% from the free-throw line in his career.”

“Grady’s basketball IQ makes him a constant threat on and off the ball. This IQ also correlates to defense where he gives instinctual help and traps when he sees an advantage.”

Girls basketball

Whitney Sorenson, Syracuse (So.)

Is coming off a great week in which she led Syracuse to a couple of key region wins over Clearfield and Weber.

Last Tuesday in a 58-36 win over Clearfield, she scored 15 points, and then three days later, she recorded 17 points in a 48-43 win over Weber.

“Whitney has been a great player for us all year long. She loves to compete and works very hard at her game! We love her tenacity, her aggressiveness and her drive to succeed,” said Syracuse coach Braden Hamblin.

For the season, Sorenson is averaging 9.5 points and 4.9 rebounds.

Wrestling

Hadley Cowan, Skyridge (Sr.)

Heads into the state tournament next week poised for his best finish ever.

Last weekend the 138-pounder finished first at the 6A Divisional B tournament, giving him one of the top two seeds at the state tournament.

Cowan, a 4.0 student, has a 48-7 record this season and a career record of 197-24. He’s a three-time state placer, and his top performances this year include a first-place finish at the 6A state duals, the Davis Duals and a second-place finish at the Salem Showdown.

He also won his match at the All-Star Duals last month.

“He is a very hard worker and has great technique. He has been a four-time team captain and is looking to continue his wrestling career after high school. Very special young man,” said Skyridge coach Lyle Mangum.

Boys swimming

Luke Harris, Viewmont (Sr.)

Was instrumental in leading Viewmont to a second-place finish at the Region 5 championships last week at the South Davis Rec Center.

Harris finished first in the 200 freestyle (1:46.92) and first in the 500 free (4:48.70), and he also swam a leg in Viewmont’s two winning relay teams, the 200 free and 400 free.

“Luke has an internal motivation and drive like no other. During his races you can see his internal motivation kick in and he takes off with about 200 yards to go in his 500,” said Viewmont coach Steve Doman. “The kid has something special about him. Luke is well balanced as he maintains a 3.5 GPA also.”

Girls swimming

Jessica Loyd, Cottonwood (Sr.)

Had a great showing at the Region 6 championships last weekend at the South Davis Rec Center heading into the state meet in two weeks.

The senior showed her versatility at the region meet by winning the 500 freestyle (5:05.33) and the 100 butterfly (58.01).

“Jessica is one of the hardest working athletes I have ever had the opportunity to work with. She has been a leader for us in and out of the water over the last four years, and particularly as our team captain during her junior and senior years. I cannot wait to watch her continue her swimming and leadership careers at the Air Force Academy. She will be successful in whatever she puts her mind to,” said Cottonwood coach Ron Lockwood.

Loyd’s time in the 100 fly is the second-best in Utah this season, and her 500 time is tops in the entire state.