Red Devils track teams hoping to stay competitive
by Jeff Richards
contributing writer
Feb 28, 2013 | 1508 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
GCHS junior Jacob Francis runs in the medley relay during the state track and field tournament last year. Francis and several other boys and girls track team members are expected to anchor the teams this year. Times-Independent file photo
GCHS junior Jacob Francis runs in the medley relay during the state track and field tournament last year. Francis and several other boys and girls track team members are expected to anchor the teams this year. Times-Independent file photo
Monday, Feb. 25 was the official first day of track practice, and Grand County High School head coach Dennis Wells said he was encouraged by the strong turnout. Wells said 81 students have expressed interest so far and have shown up for workouts.

“We’ve had 44 boys and 37 girls come out, which is encouraging,” Wells said. “We should be very competitive in both boys and girls this year.”

The Red Devil boys have a tough act to follow, having taken the state championship each of the past two years. But Wells said he expects Grand to be a strong competitor in the 2A boys division once again. He said the team’s toughest challenger likely will be the Richfield Wildcats.

“Our boys should still be strong, but they will have to compete against Richfield. It will be a two-way race at state,” Wells said.

The GCHS girls track team also has a good chance to do well in the region, Wells said, adding that Emery High and North Summit will likely be the top two teams to beat in the girls’ 2A division.

“Our girls can finish in the top three,” Wells said. “They will have Emery and North Summit to contend with.”

The Red Devils have a number of returning athletes who placed at state in various events last year, and who are expected to be strong contenders once again.

For the GCHS boys, distance runner Jacob Francis, now a junior, took first in state in both the 3200-meter and 1600-meter races last year. He also placed third in the 800-meter event and helped the Red Devils to a first-place finish in the medley relay.

Sprinter Wesley Rodda, now a senior, placed second last year in the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes, and ran a leg in both the first-place medley relay and the fifth-place 4x100 meter relay.

Hurdler Andy Bathemess, now a junior, took second place in the 300-meter hurdles last year and third place in the 110-meter hurdles. Other hurdlers expected to compete for Grand this year include Wade Kemmsies, Jordan Bryant, and Chase Holyoak.

In addition, junior throwers Edgar Gomez and David Bentley are expected to contend in both discus and shot put events.

For the Lady Devils, senior hurdler Carly Dalton placed at state in both distances last year, taking third in the 100-meter hurdles and sixth in the 300-meter hurdles. 

Also for the Grand girls, juniors Kayeley Wells and Madi Stocks are expected to compete in the throwing events once again, each having placed in state in the discus last year (Stocks was fifth and Wells finished sixth).

Grand’s first meet of the season will be the Red Rocks Invitational in Moab on Saturday, March 9. At least a dozen other schools are expected to attend the early-season meet, Wells said, adding that volunteers are needed to help with field events and the hurdles crew.

Following that home invitational meet (the Red Devils’ only scheduled home meet of the season), Grand will not have another track meet for nearly another month, according to Wells.

“Our second meet won’t be until we go to Delta on Saturday, April 6,” he said.

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