by Walter & Becky Bird
For only the second time in school history, the Monticello boys track and field team won a state title on the Clarence Robinson Track at BYU in Provo, this past Friday and Saturday, May 17 and 18.
However, Monticello’s track and field dominance has been a recent phenomenon. They’ve won two of the last four 1A state titles since capturing their first title in 2016.
The boys started fast on a rainy weekend, jumping out to an early 30 point lead. They had just enough depth and scoring to hold off the competition, ultimately amassing 123.5 points in the meet.
The Panguitch Bobcats finished a close second, scoring 114 points, and the Milford Tigers ended the state meet in third place with 106.
To win a state track title, a team needs depth and consistency, and Monticello exhibited these by scoring points in all facets of the meet – distance, middle distance, sprints, hurdles, and field events.
That said, Monticello arguably secured the win by scoring almost half of their meet total, 56 points, in the distance events of the 3200-meter, 1600, and 800.
Senior Adam Bunker led the Bucks’ effort, securing 30 points by himself as he earned state titles in the 3200-meter, 1600, and 800 by running times of 9:47.66, 4:32.53, and 2:01.43.
Fortunately, Bunker had some great support from sophomore teammates, including Alan Pettit, who claimed a second place finish in the 3200 (10:20.49), a fourth place finish in the 1600 (4:50.1), and a fifth place finish in the 800 with a time of 2:07.12.
Cory Bunker secured a fourth place finish in the 3200 (10:21.79) and a fifth place finish in the 1600 running a 4:50.06.
In the sprint events, Monticello also fared well. In the 100-meter, senior Reed Hedglin placed fourth by running a time of 11.80. Hedglin followed that up with a fourth place finish in the 200, recording a time of 24.30.
Teammate and senior Lucas Hatch captured a seventh place finish by running a time of 24.35 in the 200.
The Bucks 4x100 relay team (Reed Hedglin, Lucas Hatch, Colton Lewis, Cedar English) placed third overall with a time of 47.41.
In the middle-distance events, the Bucks secured points from Lucas Hatch when he placed sixth in the 400 with a time of 54.23 and senior Colton Lewis had a good race, placing ninth (56.63) in the same event.
The Medley Relay team (Reed Hedglin, Lucas Hatch, Colton Lewis, Alan Pettit) also claimed a state title running a time of 3:52.29.
The Bucks 4x400 relay team placed seventh, recording a time of 4:04.11.
In hurdles, Monticello showed great depth in an event that has traditionally been a non-factor for Buckaroo track teams.
In the 110-meter hurdles, sophomore Camden Lewis broke the tape in fifth place with a time of 17.81.
Senior teammates Mark Beh secured seventh place and brother Matt Beh scored a point for eighth place with times of 18.91 and 19.45.
In the 300 hurdles, Camden Lewis again placed fifth, running a 44.67, and Mark Beh placed sixth with a time of 45.05.
In the field events, Adam Bunker placed second in the high jump by clearing the 6-00 bar with teammate and junior Cedar English clearing 5-06 to claim a fifth place finish. English followed that up with a third place finish in the long jump, leaping 19-07.00.
Closing out the scoring was Cedar English in the javelin when he scored a sixth place finish, heaving the spear a distance of 139-09.25.
Although he didn’t score, Cory Bunker placed 10th in the discipline with a throw of 131-03.50.
The Monticello Lady Buckaroo track and field team also had a nice weekend at the state meet, placing fourth overall as a team by scoring 45 points. The Panguitch Lady Bobcats won the 1A girls title by scoring 142 points.
The Milford Lady Tigers secured third and the Piute Lady Thunderbirds fourth after scoring 136 and 67 points respectively.
This year’s girls state meet was certainly an improvement from the 2018 1A meet where Monticello placed seventh overall after scoring 31.5 points. The improvement was fueled by depth and consistency in the distance and hurdle events.
In the distance events, freshman Lily Long really shined, capturing a third place finish in the 3200-meter by recording a time of 12:32.80.
Teammate and junior Madison Freestone, finished just out of the scoring in the 3200, placing ninth with a time of 14:13.40.
Long followed that up with another third place finish in the 1600 after she crossed the tape in 5:40.77. Lily also placed fourth in the 800 (2:38.08).
The Lady Bucks also had success in the relays, placing second in the Medley Relay when the team (Lily Long; Makayla Sheeran Annsheri Reay, senior; Tori Johnson, sophomore) ran a collective time of 4:46.19.
The girls also placed fifth in the 4x100 relay with a time of 55.96.
Monticello also scored some much-needed points in the hurdles as junior Makayla Sheeran captured the lone Lady Buck individual state title when she won the 100-meter hurdles, crossing the line in 17.18.
Sheeran followed that up with a third place finish in the 300 hurdles with a time of 50.50.
Although they did not score, freshman Taylor Lewis finished ninth in the 100-meter dash (14.05), junior Presley Lewis placed ninth in the long jump leaping 14-02.75, and junior Naomi Mantz placed 10th in the high jump with a jump of 4-07.00.
As you can see, the girls team is young and should have some good years ahead as their talent grows and they improve to rise up and compete in the 2A ranks next season.
The teams couldn’t have had success without the time and efforts of the coaching staff – Jeff Hunt, Brad Bunker, and Roxy Long.
These coaches deserve a huge thank you from the kids and parents for the time they spent this season away from their families, making sure the teams were prepared to do their best every week.
1A State Golf
When the Monticello golf teams loaded the bus on Monday, May 13, they had a truly daunting task ahead of them – miss three straight days of school to play golf in the sunshine at the 1A Utah State Golf Championships held at the Cove View Golf Course in Richfield, UT.
On Monday afternoon, the team spent the day playing a practice round on the Richfield course. The boys officially played the course Tuesday and Wednesday and the ladies competed only on Wednesday.
Despite the nerves of the competitors, the Cove View course played well Wednesday morning with decent golf weather.
However, in the afternoon the wind kicked up and conditions to score well became considerably more difficult. You know the wind is blowing hard when it affects putts on the green.
Despite the drastic change, the four-member Monticello girls golf team persevered and even thrived, posting a team score of 429.
Their play was good enough to secure a third place state finish, just 11 shots behind second place Milford. State champion Rich posted a solid team score of 378.
As usual, Lady Buckaroo Tymbr Black led the team with a round of 95. This effort was good enough to tie for a third place finish for the senior.
Sophomore Olivia Chamberlain medaled at state when she placed fifth overall after shooting a 98.
Junior Brooklyn Holt shot a 107 on her state round, and sophomore Kennedy Brewer finished the team scoring with her round of 129.
All in all, it was a great day and great year for the Lady Bucks who only lose Tymbr Black next season.
With some strong talent returning, they should compete well in 2A golf, which remains a spring sport.
On Tuesday, the boys teed off for a do-or-die qualifying day. In 1A boys golf, only the top 60 percent of teams qualify to play in the second round and maintain a shot at a state championship.
That day, Britton Brewer led the Buckaroos with a round of 95 followed by Taylor Torgerson’s 96, Dylan Bird’s 97, and Wyatt Fullmer’s 106 for a team total 394.
This total first day score, secured by four shots, meant that the Bucks would play the next day.
Teams from Diamond Ranch, Manila, and Green River were eliminated after day one.
On Wednesday, the Bucks’ scores increased with the difficult afternoon conditions, and they could only manage a team score of 399 for the day and a two-day total of 793.
This total gave Monticello a fifth place finish behind Panguitch (762), Milford (758), Rich (731), and state champ Valley (697), who secured their fifth straight 1A boys golf title in a row. Impressive.
That last day, senior Taylor Torgerson was the best Buckaroo, shooting 95 for a two-day total of 191 and 16th place overall.
Senior Britton Brewer finished 17th overall with rounds of 95 and 102 for a total of 197 at the state match.
Dylan Bird followed his first day 97 with a second day 104 for a total of 201, which gave the junior a 19th place overall finish.
Freshman Boston Freestone came in 23rd after rounds of 108 and 100 for a two-day total of 208.
Freshman Breckyn Hoggard shot rounds of 110 and 102 for a 212 total to place 25th individually, and senior Wyatt Fullmer closed out the Buck scoring with rounds of 106 and 109 for a tournament total of 215 – good enough for 26th place.
With the change of classifications next season, the Monticello boys golf team will also change to 2A fall golf for the 2019 season.
That means the next golfing season for the Buckaroos will start in just a few short months and, with any luck, avoid any snowouts.
A shout-out of appreciation needs to go to Head Coach Nathan Chamberlain and his assistant Shane Brewer for the time and effort they put into this year’s teams – even though they do get to play most of the courses the kids play during the season.
I know the kids had fun and enjoyed the successful year.