Dalton’s success began Thursday, April 11, at the Cortez Invitational in Cortez, Colo., where she took first place in the 100-meter hurdles.
On Saturday, April 13, Dalton competed in the Carbon Invitational in Price. She first raced in the 100-meter hurdles, where she clocked a winning time of 15.2 seconds, .07 second faster than the previous school record, set in 2007 by Kelsey McKinnon. Dalton’s time was also the third fastest 100-meter hurdle time recorded at any high school track competition in Utah this year, in all school divisions, 1A through 5A.
Later in the day, Dalton won the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 46.37 seconds, which broke the previous school record of 46.79, set by McKinnon in 2008.
“I wasn’t really expecting it,” Dalton said of her record-setting 100-meter hurdle race. “Actually when I started it felt kind of slow.”
Dalton, who is only in her second year of running track, said the achievement was a “big surprise.”
“I didn’t intend to break the record, but just wound up going by faster than I intended,” she said. “I started out slow but then I was over the eighth hurdle and I just kind of went ‘woah, there’s only two left?’ I didn’t know what my time was until coach [Wells] came up to me after and told me.”
Dalton said she is optimistic about improving her time, setting her sights on the 2A state record of 14.88.
“I think I can definitely work on the 100 hurdles … not so sure about the 300 [-meter hurdles] but I think that, yeah, it’s the middle of the season and I’m still improving my times,” she said. “I have a shot. I’ve got a lot to learn and gain still, but I’m still chipping away at it.”
Grand fielded fairly sparse teams for both competitions, due to scheduling conflicts on both dates, but the Red Devils had several athletes who nonetheless gave some impressive performances.
At Cortez, junior Andy Bathemess won the 110-meter hurdles and finished third in the 300-meter hurdles. Junior Jordan Bryant placed second in the 110-meter hurdles, and junior Wade Kemmsies took second in the 300-meter hurdles. Bathemess also took third in the 100-meter dash, and Kemmsies was fifth in the 200-meter dash.
Several of Grand’s relay teams also placed.
In other track events, the girls also had a successful meet. Kwincey Wells and junior Malina Bohannon took third and fourth in the 100-meter dash, and junior Haley Rice placed fifth in the 200-meter dash. Mercedes James was fifth in the 800 meters, and junior Tiffanie Whipple was fifth in the 100-meter hurdles.
Grand had good results in the field events for the day as well. Sophomore Kasey Betts won the high jump, Whipple took third in the long jump, and junior Madi Stocks continued a record of strong performance in the discus by placing a solid third.
For the boys, junior Trae Downard placed fifth in the discus. Both boys and girls placed third in the overall team results.
Two days later, the team traveled to Price to compete in the Carbon Invitational. In addition to Dalton, several of Grand’s athletes also recorded excellent performances. Bathemess won the 300-meter hurdles, while senior Wesley Rodda took first in the 200-meter dash and third in the 100-meter dash. For the girls, Wells placed second in the 100-meter dash. As the ACT college entrance exam was scheduled that Saturday, Grand was unable to enter many athletes and did not place as a team.
“Our girls are definitely doing a lot better than they were last year, which I think leaves them wide open for state,” said head coach Dennis Wells. “Our boys … definitely have their work cut out for them if they want to take state three years in a row. Richfield is really tough competition this year. They’re going to be hard for us to beat and they are bound and determined to dethrone us. We’ve got a lot of work to do this season.”
Grand’s next competition will be Saturday, April 20, in Blanding, followed by the Last-Chance Meet in Kayenta, Ariz., on Wednesday, April 24.