San Juan sports year concludes with track and field, boys tennis state championships
It’s hard to believe, but the 2020-2021 San Juan High School sports season came to a successful close this past weekend with state championships involving the boys tennis and track and field teams.
There’s not a soul in San Juan County, or around the country for that matter, who doesn’t have the loss of the entire 2020 spring season due to COVID-19 fresh on their minds.
At times, the just-completed season was also in doubt, and we understand it was a great blessing to experience this season, despite a few hiccups along the way.
Track and field
This past Friday and Saturday, May 21-22 the boys and girls track and field teams headed to Davis High School in Kaysville looking to finish strong with a 3A state championship.
It was a good effort from both teams, with the girls collecting 27 points to finish eighth out of 15 teams and the boys scoring nine to finish 12th out of 16. The team combined for 36 points and landed in ninth place out of 17 teams.
On the girls side, we’ve talked about San Juan senior Shae Nielson quite a lot in the sports section of the San Juan Record this spring.
Though we don’t like to repeatedly single out an individual athlete, Nielson has truly been impressive for the Broncos all season and that didn’t change at the state meet.
She accounted for all 27 of the girls team’s points, finishing in second in both the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes with times of 13.03 and 26-22 respectively.
She got third place in the 300 hurdles, finishing that race in 46.35 seconds. And she rounded out her day with a fourth-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles with a 15.78.
The boys got their best track result in the 4x100 relay when Dallin Anderson, Austin Pemberton, Jensen Grover, Landon Black, Magnum Nielson, and Tyler Winn joined forces to finish third with a time of 44.85.
In the boys field events, Magnum Nielson led the way with a seventh-place finish in the long jump with a leap of 19 feet, two inches. Tyler Winn grabbed ninth in that event with a jump of 17-11.25.
Nielson threw the javelin 149 feet, seven inches to finish eighth. And two tenth-place performances rounded out the state championships for the Broncos. Austin Pemberton cleared 5-06 in the high jump and Chance Hoggard got a shot put distance of 38-06.25.
Reflecting on the San Juan track and field season, first-year head coach Samantha Pemberton said, “I love these kids and am so proud of them. We had a pretty good season considering we had to take a year off.”
Looking to the future, she continued, “We have big plans to change things up, start including the community, and get kids involved in the sport at a younger age.”
This season was one the team can build on, and a return to the 2A ranks next season should help them to be competitive. Congratulations to Coach Pemberton and all the student athletes on an excellent season.
Throughout the spring sports season, a young and inexperienced San Juan boys tennis team battled hard to find their place in the scheme of 2A tennis.
Though there were some bumps along the way, impressively the entire varsity team qualified for state in every category except first singles.
So, this past Friday and Saturday, May 21-22 the Broncos headed to Salt Lake City to play in the 3A state championships at the Liberty Park Tennis Center.
San Juan’s strongest performance at the event came from the brother duo of Cameron and Spencer Jensen in the first doubles bracket. They advanced to the final eight with a nice 6-4, 7-5 win over Delta’s Elijah Tolman and Sam Hansen.
In the state quarterfinals, the brothers matched up with Jake and Josh Cox of North Sanpete, who were 11-4 on the year coming into the state tournament.
Jensen and Jensen suffered a tough 6-3 loss in the first game but battled back to tie 6-6 in game two and force a tiebreaker. They battled hard, but came up just short, falling 7-5 in the final game of the tournament for San Juan.
In other matches at the state tourney, Bryce Adams suffered a loss to Delta’s Luke Prestwich in first round second singles action, Conner Montella fell to Rowland Hall’s Cole McCartney in third singles, and Denim Howell and Bryant Francom lost to Juab’s Jake Squire and Jonah Settle in the second doubles bracket.
Following the tournament San Juan head coach Lance Knight said he was very proud of his team, specifically underclassmen who stepped up to fill positions when numerous players had to be shuffled during the season.
The Broncos had a fairly large team this season including a number of freshmen and sophomores who will bring increased experience and skill in the coming years. That’s something that excites Coach Knight as the team moves forward.
Congratulations to Coach Knight and the San Juan boys tennis team for sticking with it this year, battling hard, and finishing strong.