Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015 Year in Review

2015 was a year to remember for the Davis Track and Cross Country programs. It was a year of individual and team victories, 4 region titles, 2 state titles (and two 2nd places), a national championship, and a few All-American awards. Most of all, it was a year of inspirational performances, character, guts, desire, and teamwork.

Indoor Track - The indoor season was highlighted with some very strong all-time marks, one of our best Simplot meets ever, and a national championship 4 x 800m relay. During the season, Nate Allred jumped 6'06 - only 1 inch away from the school record; Logan MacKay ran 1:54 in the 800m (Davis #2 All-Time); Josh Ward ran 4:18 in the 1600m (#3 All-Time) and 9:25 in the 3200 (#2 All-Time - and only 2 seconds away from Brad Nye's school record; Jaron Erickson ran 8.53 in the 60 Hurdles (#3 All-Time); Jordan Barnett ran 60.13 in the 400m (#3 All-Time); and Aubrey Argyle shattered the school record in the 3200m by over 10 seconds with 10:45.
We had 111 athletes at the Simplot Games - a new record for the most athletes entered from a single team. Like always, we showed our TEAM unity and excitement by being the noisiest, rowdiest group in the arena. We had plenty to cheer for with 19 individuals and 14 relays making finals for Saturday. It tied our record for relay teams in the finals. Our girls medley and boys 4 x 800 teams both brought home the gold, and our boys medley team (Flood, Erickson, Moffett, and Ward) set a new school record in 3:34.47 (only .06 away from the state record). I will always remember Josey Hedquist getting the thrilling victory in the girls medley (her 3rd race of the day) followed by another gutsy performance by Josh Ward anchoring the boys medley (his 3rd race of the day).
Our indoor season was capped off with 3 amazing races at the New Balance Indoor Nationals in New York City in March. Aubrey Argyle set the tone when she ran a phenomenal 5000m race, surprising everyone with a time of 16:50 - good enough for 4th place and an All-American award (top 6). Our 4 boys (Stokton Smith, Colter Blanchard, Logan MacKay, and Josh Ward) were going after 2 relays. Their first race was the 4 x mile against the heavy favorite, LaSalle from Rhode Island. All 4 boys ran PRs in the mile and we ended with a near victory - only .4 seconds behind LaSalle - but our time of 17:11.44 was the 4th fastest in U.S. History (Video -, it was one of the most incredible performances I've ever witnessed. If that wasn't impressive enough, less than 4 hours later the same 4 boys lined up for the national championship 4 x 800 relay. We put ourselves in a great position with our first 3 boys all running 1:56 and change, getting Logan MacKay the baton with a shot at the win. Logan anchored in 1:53, and we pulled off the VICTORY with 7:42 - a Utah State Record and U.S. #6 All-Time for indoors. (Video - If you have 30 minutes and want to be inspired, watch both of these races. Their heart, toughness, and TEAMwork capture what we always want Davis Track and Field to be. (performance lists and all-time lists)

Outdoor Track - We showed much of the same toughness and determination through the outdoor season in our quest for redemption at the State Championships. I will remember the 2015 TEAM as a squad that worked hard and performed with high energy. The highlights of the outdoor season were the Davis Invite and the Region and State Championships.
With the help of a ton of people, we pulled off a great Davis Invite. It wasn't quite the rainfest that it was in 2014, but we did battle some rough weather. Some of our best performances of the year came from that day. Our boys medley team broke the 18 year old state record with 3:29.85 (Jake Moffett, Ty Hinds, Jordan Goldsberry, and Logan MacKay). Hunter Simonsen won the high jump with a PR 6'08, Matt Calvin won the pole vault in the rain, both of our 4 x 800 teams picked up victories, and our girls placed 1st and 2nd in the 4 x 400m relay - both teams running under 4:06 in the rain.
What I will remember most about the region championship is our TEAMwork. We scored in every single event for both the boys and the girls. Although many of our points came from putting 2, 3, 4, or even 5 people in the top 8, we also had a long list of region champs: Jordan Barnett (300 Hurdles), Ally Geisler (800m), Aubrey Argyle (1600m), Paige Erickson (pole vault), Ty Hinds (100m), Logan MacKay (800m), Josh Ward (1600m), Johnny Thornton (Long Jump), Hunter Simonsen (High Jump), and 5 of the 6 relay races. It was another 2 days of poor weather, but we stayed strong, stayed focused, stayed unified, and pulled off TWO Region Titles.
The State Championships gave us two more rainy days (seemed to be the theme of the track season) - but also a ton of excitement and two trophies. The boys redeemed the 2014 7th place finish with a dominating 55 point victory. We scored 138 points with only 3 individual first place finishes (Ty Hinds in the 100m, Logan MacKay in the 800m, and Matt Calvin in the pole vault). It was another TEAM effort with points in nearly every event. It was our 7th state championship in the last 9 years--pretty close to a DYNASTY. The girls fought extremely hard and nearly beat the heavy favorite (Herriman). The girls were picked to be 2nd by 20+ points, and ended the grueling two days only 10 points behind. A few times during the Saturday, it looked like we might pull off the upset. Aubrey Argyle won both the 1600 (4:57) and 3200 with a new 5A state record in the 3200 (10:35) and Paige Erickson was state champion in the pole vault (Paige is also the state record holder in the pole vault at 10'08). We were very proud of how much heart the girls put into that state meet, and it kept their streak of top 2 finishes going (12 years in a row). In the state update I wrote, "It was truly one of my favorite state championships I have ever been a part of - from the redemption on the boys side, to the near comeback and upset victory by the "undercats" on the girls side."
It was a long outdoor season, but we came together as a TEAM and accomplished some great things. We hope to see a lot of the same toughness, teamwork, leadership, and gutsy efforts that made us successful last year as we face the indoor and outdoor track seasons in 2016.
After an extraordinary track season, Logan MacKay had the opportunity to represent Davis Track and the U.S.A by traveling with the U.S. Junior Team to Cuba. Logan raced both the 800m and the 1500m. He won the 1500 and finished a close 2nd in the 800. It was a pretty historic event as our two countries restored diplomatic ties less than one year ago. (performance and all-time lists)

Cross Country - We had some very high hopes going into the cross country season. Both the girls and the boys teams put in some great training in the summer, and we were returning some experienced, talented runners. We spent the majority of the season ranked in the top 10 in the U.S. with both squads, and we put together some of of our greatest races of all time.
The girls won the BYU Invite, the District Championship, and the Region Championship. We also finished 2nd at Highland, Murray, and State - all 3 in close battles with American Fork. We battled some late season injuries, but put together a 3rd place finish at Nike Southwest--it was enough to get an at-large bid to NXN for the 2nd year in a row. The Southwest race was one of the most courageous TEAM races I have been a part of. Although we went on to finish 20th at NXN, the girls would have been in the 10th place range with Aubrey who was unable to race because of a stress fracture (that she raced on at NXN Southwest). Courtney Wayment led the way for us most of the season, and re-wrote a bunch of the record books. She had a breakthrough race at Bob Firman (in Boise) to get the victory against some of the greatest runners in the country. Court went on to win region with a new course record and then became the Utah State Champion with a new course record as well--a very impressive 17:24. At NXN, Courtney ran a gutsy race and finished 17th, earning her first All-American award (of many more to come).
The boys were on a rampage through the season. We won the Highland Invite, BYU Invite, Murray Invite, District Championships, and the Region Championships. We finished 3rd at Bob Firman, but only 5 points behind 1st place (behind two teams that finished 1st and 5th at NXN). Our boys shattered the all-time team time record at Region by 75 seconds (a record that may stand forever). We had our greatest race at the State Championship where we put 5 runners in the top 13 and had an unbelievable 18 second spread for 1-5. Camren Todd and Logan MacKay were both All-State (6th and 8th). The boys also set our team time record for the state course, and we had the lowest score in the combined division results - against the best Utah team field in history (7 teams that should be ranked in the top 30 in the country). We also ended AF's streak of 6 state titles and won our first cross country title since 2007. It was truly one of the best performances in DXC history--a legendary victory. We followed that up with one of our most heartbreaking performances ever. It was a rough day for the boys at NXN Southwest--a day we wish we could have back but we learned a lot from. Such is the nature of running and the nature of sports. But I truly believe our boys are champions and will be remembered as such. They will comeback stronger than ever with a determination to succeed in running (now and in college) and in life. They showed tremendous resiliency and tenacity through the season, and they will continue to do so as we move forward. (all-time lists/results)

I was honored to be a part of the Davis program for 2015. I continue to be inspired by some of the most incredible young men and young women. Time after time they have shown me that people are capable of great things if they put their heart and mind into it. I think we saw multiple times where hard work, teamwork, and pure guts resulted in some amazing performances. Moving forward to 2016, I challenge each of you to be passionate about what you are doing. Find joy in your track and cross country experience - the training, the competing, and the TEAM. Believe in yourselves and work together and we are going to do some awesome things.