Wednesday, January 16, 2013

2013 Davis Track Schedule

March 6           Davis Time Trials                    Davis High School               3:00 pm
March 15         Alumni Meet                           Davis High School               3:15 pm
March 19         Super Meet - Girls                   Davis High School               3:00 pm
March 20         Super Meet – Boys                 Davis High School               3:00 pm                      
Mar 26-27       Davis District                          Syracuse High School          3:00 pm
March 30         UVU Invite                             Utah Valley University         9:00 am
April 5-6          Arcadia Invitational                Arcadia, CA (by invitation only)
April 10           Weber @ Davis                       Davis High School               3:00 pm
April 13           Grizzly Invitational                 Logan High School                9:00 am
April 17           Davis @ Layton                      Layton High School              3:00 pm
April 24           Northridge @ Davis               Davis High School                3:00 pm
April 27           Davis Invite                            Davis High School                9:00 am
May 1              Davis @ Fremont                    Fremont High School           3:00 pm          
May 3-4           BYU Invite                             BYU                                    8:00 am
May 8-9           Region Championships           Syracuse High School          3:00 pm
May 14            Sophomore Region                 TBA                                     3:00 pm
May 17-18       State Championships              BYU                                    8:00 am

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2012 Davis Track & Field and Cross Country Year in Review

2012 was such an amazing year for Davis Track & Field and Cross Country. It is hard to capture all that happened throughout the year, but I hope to at least hit on some of our highlights. Like most years, we had our ups and downs. We definitely had some of the sweetest victories in the history of the program, but we also faced plenty of challenges as individuals and as a TEAM. Through all of it, I saw a lot of hard work, TEAMwork, determination, heart, passion, and toughness. We were so blessed to have some great athletes and some great people to surround ourselves with. There is so much about 2012 that I never want to forget. I have high hopes and high expectations for the program in 2013; let's make it another memorable and exciting year!

We started 2012 with a strong run through the indoor season. Both the boys and the girls won the state indoor championships. The girls dominated with 113 points to win over Ogden (44) and Riverton (36). For the boys, it was a little closer--we scored 69 to finish ahead of Riverton (52) and Syracuse (41.5). We had individual state titles from Brad Nye (1600m, 800m), Seth Fortin (60m dash) Jeni Christensen (pole vault), Addy Jones (60m hurdles), Sylvia Harrison (60m hurdles), and Shea Martinez (800m). (Results are found at

The highlight of every indoor season is the Simplot Games--this year was no different. We had the most athletes from any school at the meet, and we put 21 individuals and a record-setting 14 relay teams in finals on Saturday. Brad Nye won the 1600m with a school record of 4:12, Ellie Child and Shea Martinez finished 3-4 in a very strong 800m field, and Brayden Cromar finished 5th in the 3200. We also had a number of relay teams make the podium including a first place finish from our boys 4 x 800m (Jackson Sagers, Seth Thompson, Hayden Hansen, Alex Hedquist).

The indoor season ended with two of the greatest performances I have ever witnessed. Brad Nye and Brayden Cromar traveled to New York City for the New Balance Indoor Nationals. Brayden earned All-American honors for his 5th place finish in the 5000m in a school record 14:56, and Brad Nye upset the field to finish as National Champion in the mile with a time of 4:08.67 - the fastest time ever run by a Utahn in indoor track. It was well worth the trip, and definitely one of the most exciting races of my coaching career. Brad ran a perfect race--it still gives me goosebumps watching it. . .

Outdoor Track: The success continued in the outdoor season, but the season was not a breeze by any means. The boys lost an early season meet (UHSTCA Championships) to Riverton--although we didn't have everyone running. It ended up being our only loss of the entire season as we went on to finish undefeated through the rest of the year. The girls faced some adversity late in the season when we lost our star sprinter, Sylvia Harrison, who went down at the BYU Invitational with a severe hamstring pull. The BYU Invitational ended up being our only loss of the year on the girls side (63-62 to Bingham). It was a season where we saw some outstanding performances from our experienced leaders--Brad Nye, Brayden Cromar, Shea Martinez, Ellie Child, Adelyn Jones, and Sylvia Harrison; and it was a season where so many of our young athletes stepped up to the next level--all athletes who are back in 2013: Seth Fortin in the sprints, Christine Van Brocklin in the hurdles, Bailey Carling in the sprints, Taylor Cox in the distance races, Marcus Daley in the jumps, Trevor Leavitt in the 200m and 400m, and a great group of throwers - Jessica Richardson, Kaylee Brown, Ben Bracken, Sam Matina, and Jeff Whittaker.

We had a great time traveling to the Arcadia Invitational in California - one of the biggest meets in the U.S. during the track season. Brad Nye continued his hot streak in the mile with a 4:08 for the win (the number #1 time in the U.S. at that point), Shea Martinez ran 2:10 for 3rd place in the 800m (U.S. #5 at the time), and Brayden Cromar was only :03 off the school record with a 9:08 in the 3200m. We also entered the girls in the hurdle shuttle relay where they ran the top time in the U.S. (which held for all of 5 minutes until the fast heat). There was also a surprise visit from the Easter Bunny on the trip. Not to mention that the boys looked stylin' in their v-neck t-shirts and the girls looked fabulous in their animal print tees.

At the end of April, the Davis Invite was as much work as it has ever been, but turned out to be a success due to the great athlete participation and the incredible coaching staff of Jamie West, Preston Parrish, Jeff Agnello, Alayna Ferrin, Lauren Johnson, and Brad Anderson (seriously the greatest coaching staff of all-time). It was the 55th Davis Invitational, and the very last one on a black track that was torn out the following week - and boy were we ever ready for this beautiful new one.

Despite training at a neighboring track, or on the grass, or wherever we could find to train, we went on to a very strong region championship performance. It was the 13th straight title for the girls (or something like that) and the 7th straight for the boys. There were some great performances as both TEAMs really pulled together when it counted most.

Going into the state meet, we knew that we could come away with repeat victories for the boys and the girls.  We had a few injury issues that made it challenging and things didn't always go our way through the meet, but I have never seen a TEAM respond so well to the challenges. It seemed like time after time our athletes came up with huge performances when we really needed them. For the boys: Brad Nye with the triple win (800-1600-3200); Seth Fortin coming back huge in the 200m with a near school record after a very rough false start in the 100m; sophomore Trevor Leavitt running like an experienced veteran in the 400 with a 48.50 (Davis #2 all-time); Marcus Daley winning the long jump with a monster 6th jump of 23'00 after he struggled in the high jump; Jeff Whittaker moving from 4th to 2nd with his final attempt in the javelin (and his first time over 180'), and a tremendous near win from our boys 4 x 100m team. The boys ended up with the victory scoring 124 points (Riverton - 87, Syracuse 86). For the girls: The 1-2 finish from Shea and Ellie in the 1600m started us off strong, both running under 5:00; Addy Jones winning the 100m hurdles without teammate Sylvia to push her; Christine Van Brocklin finishing 3rd in the 300m hurdles with a huge pr; Michelle Clark with an incredible 3rd place finish in the javelin also with a huge pr; Shea-Ellie-Taylor finishing 1-2-3 in the 800m; the girls 4 x 100m coming up big finishing 3rd without Sylvia; Jessica Richardson coming through in the discus with a 2nd place finish; and Bailey Carling running so well in the 100m and the relays despite some killer shin splints. Overall, it was complete Davis girls domination. We won with 128 points - over double what 2nd place scored (Bingham - 62).
It was a proud moment in Davis Track and Field history, and it sets us up nicely for a THREEPEAT on both sides this season.

Shea Martinez and Brad Nye finished off our track seasons with some very impressive performances. Shea's race came in a small meet at Layton's track - just me versus her in the 800m. There were only about 8 fans who got to witness the race. Shea got the victory although I gave it my best effort. The impressive thing was that her hand time of 2:07.4 would be the state record if it had been run in an official race. (Thank you Jackson Sagers for the fine job pacing).

Brad Nye ran his final race as a Davis athlete at the Adidas Dream Mile in New York City. He went out with a bang as he ran 4:04.46 - the fastest ever by a Utah high school athlete. Brad also earned the Gatorade Athlete of the Year Award for track and field in Utah - only the 2nd Davis athlete to win the award in any sport (Shea Martinez - 2010 XC).

Even though we were not officially in a season in the summertime, we stayed busy. We started with the Wasatch Back Relay in June. It is a 192 mile relay from Logan to Park City along the back of the Wasatch Mountain Range. It is an extremely challenging event, for runners of any age. Both our boys and our girls won the high school division for the 7th year in a row, but more impressively they both finished 3rd overall for men's and women's divisions. The boys finished in 21 hours and 40 minutes, and the girls finished in 26 hours and 20 minutes. Girls, thanks for making me another skirt for my collection. Boys - you are looking great in tightest Davis stuff we could find (I need some of those speedsuits back for the track season).

Cross Country Camp is a highlight of every summer for me. Although it is one of the toughest weeks of training up at Marsh Lake (9000+ feet), it is so fun and so rewarding. This year was definitely one to remember. We had a great group of alumni up at camp to help out, and we had some great TEAM bonding experiences. Horse shoes, frisbee golf, the 1-5 game, swimming and bathing in the freezing cold lake, running  and running and running, the always intense game of fugitive, never ending card games, ghost stories, Red Castle, and so many other things make high altitude camp one of the best weeks of the year.

We went into the cross country season with high expectations. The boys had finished the past 2 years with trips to the Nike Nationals in Portland (11th in 2010 and 3rd in 2011), and the girls had won 2 straight state championships and had their dreams set on getting to Portland in 2012 with the boys. It was definitely a season with some of the sweetest successes and some of the most bitter defeats, but in the end I feel that we accomplished something great. We came together as a TEAM, we saw some gutsy performances and some incredible comebacks, we brought home 2 region trophies and 2 state trophies, and for the first time both the girls and the boys qualified TEAMs for NXN.

Looking back on the season, so much happened in such a short time. I felt like our boys team learned a lot about themselves. We really had to deal with challenges, and I felt like we continually did the best we had with what we were given. Our 2nd place finish (for the 3rd year in a row) meant so much more to me than just another trophy. It represented all of our persistence and all of our sacrifice--not just for months, but for years leading up to this season. Alex Hedquist had such a great break through year and led our TEAM with a region championship and a 3rd place finish at state with the fastest time we have ever had on the course (15:21). Brayden Cromar and Preston Johnson ended their cross country careers with their 3rd straight state championship race--they have really carried our TEAM all three years. The night after the state meet, Brayden says to me, "Don't worry coach, we'll get 'em next year." If so, it will be with a completely different team, but none of that really matters at the moment. What matters to me is that this TEAM gave their all. They did all that they could in the track season, the summer, and the cross country season to get themselves fit and ready--and to me, they are champions.
The girls had a different path to the state meet. We tore through the season setting TEAM and course records at Grass Relays, BYU Invite, Murray Invite, Bob Firman, and Region. We really had a good shot at setting the team time record on the state course, but State ended up being the first time we really faced a major challenge. The challenge didn't come from another team, but from having an off-day ourselves. We had to fight as hard as we could because it ended up not being our best day, but we showed what we are made of. Even on a rough day, we dug deep and finished hard for each other. I think Joanna captured our toughness and guts perfectly with her race--even though she was recovering from strep throat--she still fought to the finish for her teammates. It was a well-deserved threepeat as champions, and we looked great doing it in our bright yellow uniforms. I was so proud of Shea and her courageous move with 1200 meters to go in the race. She was so close to her 3rd straight state title - something only a couple of girls have ever done - and she gave everything she had on that day to get it. Her bravery and her desire mean so much more to me as a coach than a first place finish. She was willing to risk and willing to push her body to the limit. It is a race I will never forget, and a race I hope that Shea will never forget. I was also very impressed with all that Ellie accomplished in her first season running cross country. She really strengthened our TEAM and pushed us to the next level. With those two leading the way, we became one of the greatest girls cross country teams in Utah history.

Here is the highlight video from the 2012 DXC Season . . .

The Nike Regionals race in Mesa, AZ was one of our most intense races of the year. There was a lot on the line for both the boys and the girls. The girls were looking for their first trip to Portland since 2007. They faced some pressure after struggling on the course a year ago and after not racing our best at the 2012 state meet. But the girls ran their best TEAM race of the year. Shea and Ellie both finished in the top 7 (earning 1st team all-region), and the rest of the TEAM raced with so much patience and toughness. We won the Southwest Regional - and handed Fort Collins their first defeat in the regional since it started in 2007. It was the first time a Utah girls team had won the race. It also completed a perfect season for the girls--we went undefeated up until the Nike Nationals.

The pressure was on for the boys as well. The competition was as strong as it has ever been, and we were not 100% healthy going into the race. Hayden Hansen was out with a concussion. Andrew Aposhian tried the best he could to warm up on a strained hamstring/calf, but could not get his leg to work, and we had to pull him an hour before the race. Stokton Smith had been struggling with his asthma and with his back. It seemed like we would need a miracle to qualify for the Nationals. Our boys kept their cool and put together an extremely solid race. Alex Hedquist, Brayden Cromar, Skylar Williams, and Preston Johnson ran strong up front, and Sam Haws and Jackson Sagers stepped up to work as our #5 giving us the 2nd place finish and the 3rd straight trip to Portland. It was an experience I will never forget - very exciting and very emotional. One of my proudest moments as a coach because of the character, the determination, and the toughness of both the boys and the girls.

The Nike Nationals is always a dream come true. The best part about this year was bringing both the boys and the girls and bringing my wife, Stefanie, with me. It took a lot of work and sacrifice to get there, but once we were there, it was all worth it. It may not have been our best race of the year, and I know that both teams were not satisfied with their finishing places, but I was so proud of their efforts on a course that was in its worse condition ever. It was a complete mud-fest, and nearly impossible to find any consistent rhythm. Still, the girls finished 12th in the U.S. and the boys finished 13th. Both extremely hard fought finishes. It was a great way to end our year, and a great way to end the cross country careers of so many amazing seniors. I think, in this case, the pictures tell the story the best . . .