Buckaroos dominate Region 19 Track and Field Championships

by Rhett Sifford
Sports Editor
The Monticello High School track and field team dominated the Region 19 Championships on their home turf this past Wednesday, May 8.
The Buckaroo boys scored a whopping 213 points to win the region title. Second-place Green River was a distant 171 points behind. Whitehorse finished third with 27 points and Monument Valley came in fifth with eight points.
The Monticello girls also won their region championship easily, scoring 178 points to top Pinnacle by 142. The Whitehorse girls scored 20 points to take fourth and Monument Valley was fifth with three points.
In the combined standings Monticello collected an insurmountable 391 points. Whitehorse had 47 in fourth place and Monument Valley scored 11 to come home fifth.
The top eight finishers in each event earned points during regular season meets, but only the top five scored at the region meet. When one team had more than three finishers in the top five, only the top three of that team’s athletes scored points.
That was very common for the Buckaroos as both the boys and girls swept a number of events and won individual region championships in all but five of the 31 events in which they competed.
In total Monticello won 26 individual region championships and just running down the list of competitions clearly displays their complete dominance.
In the boys 100-meter dash Tavon Black took the title with a speedy time of 12.07. Carter Rogers was second in 12.20 and Josh Morrison fourth in 12.82.
Chandler Henderson won the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 18.41. Curtis Bunker was half a second behind in second and Seth Taylor took third in 19.92.
Carter Rogers won the 200 meter with his time of 24.49. Tavon Black finished second but almost tied his teammate with his time of 24.51. Caleb Coleman was third, crossing the line in 25.48.
In the boys 300-meter hurdles Chandler Henderson and Curtis Bunker competed alone, finishing in 49.48 and 49.56 respectively.
The Bucks swept the top four places in the boys 400 meter with the top three finishing within .39 of each other. Soren Welch took the win in 56.37. Aaron Peterson was just .21 behind in second and Caleb Coleman was.18 behind Peterson in third. Ronnie Harris finished fourth but didn’t score points.
Monticello also took the top four spots in the 800 meter with Aaron Gillette, Jesse Pettit, Kaden Pehrson, and Ronnie Harris finishing in 2:21.54, 2:22.32, 2:22.65, and 2:28.36 respectively.
Aaron Gillette won the 1600 with a time of 5:26.48. Jesse Pettit was second in 5:27.13 and Kaden Pehrson took fifth in 5:35.99
Aaron Gillette also took the region title in the 3200, crossing the line in 12:21.93. Jesse Pettit was second in 12:30.51 and Kaden Pehrson was fourth in 14:05.78.
The boys 4x100 relay team of Tavon Black, Carter Rogers, Robert Morrison, and Soren Welch crossed the line in 46.73 seconds to take the win.
And the 4x400 team of Ronnie Harris, Chandler Henderson, Aaron Petersen, and Caleb Coleman was second in 4:25.11
In the field events, Nial Reay took the title in the boys discus with an impressive throw of 141 feet, 9.25 inches. Zac Thayn was second with an 89-10.0 throw. And Ryan Lewis was fourth with an 86-6.25.
Robert Morrison won the shot put with an effort of 40 feet, 3.25 inches. Nial Reay was second with a 35-9.25 and Mason Atwood got a 33-1.50 performance to take fourth.
Morrison took second in the javelin with a throw of 121-3.0, just over a foot short of the winner. Appropriately, MHS quarterback JD McDonald placed fifth in the event with his 100-7.0 throw.
Morrison won the boys long jump by almost three feet, sailing 20-10.0. Josh Morrison was second with an 18-1.0 and Curtis Bunker was right behind in third with his 18-0.5.
Curtis Bunker was the boys high jump region champion when he cleared five feet, four inches. Soren Welch came in fifth with a 4-10.0 jump.
In the girls division Madison Adair won the 100-meter dash with a 15.18 while Hailey Murdock finished fourth in 16.14.
Lay Petersen took the region title in the 100-meter hurdles in 18.88, barely holding off teammate Maron Freestone who crossed the line second in 18.91.
Makenna Peterson won the 200 meter with a 30.8-second run and Hailey Murdock was third in 34.09. In the 300 hurdles it was Maron Freestone crossing the line first with a run of 54.92, Lay Petersen taking second in 57.98, and Shayla Pehrson finishing third in 58.89.
Makenna Peterson took the 400-meter title with a run of 1:08.36 and Grace Coleman was second with a 1:10.61.
Ayla Carling won the 800-meter race, crossing the line in 2:50.37. Marah Long took second only .39 behind her teammate.
Long got a little revenge when she won the 1600 in 6:08.20, 3.26 ahead of Carling. Alexis Bailey took third with her run of 7:16.83.
In the girls 3200 it was Bailey claiming the title with a 15:09.95. Carling took second in 15:11.65. The Lady Buckaroo 4x100 team crossed the line first with a time of 1:02.02.
The 4x400 team of Grace Coleman, Makenna Peterson, Maron Freestone, and Ayla Carling won in 4:54.78. And the sprint medley team of Madison Adair, Coleman, Marah Long, and Peterson was first in 4:50.43.
Madison Adair earned the runner-up position in the girls discus throw with her solid effort of 83 feet, 5.5 inches. Shayla Pehrson registered a 77-6.0 throw for fourth place, and Kyleigh Adair came home fifth with her 73-8.0.
Kyleigh Adair was the top Lady Buckaroo in the shot put, earning third place with a 28-7.0. Braylee Freestone was fifth with a 22-8.25.
Lay Petersen took the region title in the girls long jump, sailing 14 feet even. Dani Black came home third in that event with a jump of 12 feet, seven inches.
And the girls high jump was all Monticello. Maron Freestone and Dani Black finished 1-2 with jumps of four feet, six inches and four feet, two inches respectively.
Ethan Begay was the top individual finisher for the Whitehorse boys team when he took third in the 1600-meter race with a nice time of 5:27.28.
He was also part of the Raiders’ only Region 19 Championship in the 4x400 relay. He and his teammates Landin Clark, Robryan Tapaha, and Elam Etsitty crossed the line ahead of everybody in 4:19.72.
Whitehorse earned a runner-up medal in the boys sprint medley relay. The team of Landin Clark, Elam Etsitty, Riley Benallie, and Robryan Tapaha crossed the line in 4:25.38
Lucas Collins was third in the boys discus with his throw of 87 feet, four inches. Elam Etsitty took fifth in the 200-meter dash with a time of 26.61. And Riley Benallie was fifth in the 400 with a 1:05.18.
Rayauna Lee scored 16 points to lead the way for the Lady Raiders. She took second in the 200-meter dash in 33.18, second in the long jump with a 13-foot, 2.25 inch jump, and third in the 100 with a 16.04.
RueShandin Jim was fifth in both the girls long jump and javelin with performances of 11-3.0 and 63-6.0 respectively. And Hope Palmer took fourth in the shot put with a 23-5.25.
For the Monument Valley boys Josiah Gipe took third in the 3200 with a time of 12:58.60 and fourth in the 1600, crossing the line in 5:27.67. Akecheta Shortman was fifth in the discus with his throw of 84 feet, two inches.
And Taylor Stanley scored the only points for the Lady Cougars. She took fourth in the 1600 meter with a time of 7:43.02 and fifth in the 800 with a 3:31.55.
It’s hard to believe, but there’s just one event remaining to close out the 2024 high school track and field season for all the teams representing San Juan County.
They’re all headed to Provo to compete in the Utah State Track and Field Championships at BYU’s Clarence F. Robison Stadium. The tournament runs this Thursday through Saturday, May 16-18. 

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