Red Devil boys win BYU Invitational track meet
by Jeff Richards
Contributing Writer
May 08, 2014 | 675 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jacob Francis (right) competes in the 1,600-meter race at the BYU Invitational on Saturday, May 3. Francis won the event, helping the Red Devils to a first-place team finish. Also pictured is Jack McCulloch of Wasatch Academy, who placed second in the 1,600-meters. Photo by John Knowles
Jacob Francis (right) competes in the 1,600-meter race at the BYU Invitational on Saturday, May 3. Francis won the event, helping the Red Devils to a first-place team finish. Also pictured is Jack McCulloch of Wasatch Academy, who placed second in the 1,600-meters. Photo by John Knowles
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The Grand County High School boys track team took first place at the BYU Invitational held in Provo on May 2 and 3.

The Red Devils earned 68 total points at the meet, narrowly edging runner-up Kanab’s 66. Grand’s girls also fared well, as the Lady Devils took 9th out of 32 schools in the 1A/2A division at the two-day meet.

Grand senior Jacob Francis placed first in the 1600-meter run with a time of 4 minutes, 25.60 seconds, once again breaking his own personal record and the GCHS school record. He also came very close to the long-standing 2A state record of 4:25.06, set by Lance Harrison of Richfield in 1986.

The Red Devil boys also took first place in the 4x400 meter relay, with Andy Bathemess, Wade Kemmsies, Jordan Bryant, and Mason Tranter teaming up to post a time of 3:29.24, eclipsing the former GCHS school record of 3:30.25, set in 2013 by three of the same runners plus Wesley Rodda. For this year’s record-setting race, Tranter replaced Rodda, who graduated last year.

“We had just enough points, even though we missed out on a few events,” said GCHS head coach Dennis Wells, who noted that distance runner Jackson Knowles and sprinter Koby Sobremesana didn’t make it to the BYU event, and senior high jumper Trevor Bertuzzi broke his foot while doing the high jump at BYU and is and out for the remainder of the season..

“Kanab came out of nowhere to challenge us, but we had some strong finishes,” added Wells, noting that Bathemess took first in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 40.03 seconds, while Kemmsies was a close second at 40.49. “We got 18 points by going 1-2 in that one event,” Wells said.

“If we’re going to take state this year, it will probably be close,” Wells said, adding that while the Red Devil boys won the BYU Invitational with just 68 points, they will probably need more than 100 total points to win the state meet. “We’ll need everyone to step up and help us get those points,” Wells said.

Also at Provo, Kemmsies placed second in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 15.76 seconds. Bathemess was fifth in that event with a time of 16.39 and Bryant took eighth in 17.73. Kemmsies also picked up two more points by finishing seventh in the 200-meter dash.

Francis also placed fourth in the 3,200 meters but finished 12th in the 800 meters. The boys medley relay team finished a lower-than-expected seventh place.

In field events, David Bentley placed seventh in shot put and Edgar Gomez was eighth. Richie Cordero took fourth in the javelin with a throw of 158 feet, 0.75 inches

For the GCHS girls, Mercedes James placed seventh in the 3,200 meter run. Kasey Betts tied for sixth in the high jump finals with a leap of 4 feet 11 inches. Also, Tiffanie Whipple took sixth in the 100-meter hurdles and third in the long jump. Fellow senior Madison Stocks placed eighth in the discus. The Lady Devils also placed third in the medley relay and fourth in the 4x100 meter relay.

This week, the Red Devils were scheduled to take part in the Region 15 championship meet at Salina on Tuesday, May 6. The state track meet is May 16 and 17 at BYU in Provo.

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