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Sugar House Journal

Highland boys, girls combine for solid showing at region meet

May 20, 2019 13h29 ● By Josh McFadden

Highland's Moira Hicks won the Region 6 championship in the 100-meter hurdles. She also placed third in the high jump and fifth in the 300 hurdles. (Photo courtesy of Gary Rowles)

By Josh McFadden | [email protected]

Though track is largely an individual sport, teamwork came up big for the Highland Rams at the Region 6 meet, May 8 and 9.

The girls team placed second among the six teams in the region, and the boys were fifth. When officials tallied the scores, the boys and girls together had the highest total among all competitors.

“We have been very satisfied with the season,” head coach Gary Rowles said.

On the girls’ side, Amy Frank set a 27-year-old school record in the 100 meters, taking first in the event at the meet. Her time of 12.26 seconds topped the output of Tiffany Jackson’s time in 1992. Her efforts in the 200 were also good enough for top honors. 

“[Frank] has definitely been our outstanding athlete this season,” Rowles said. “She has consistently placed in all of our invitationals and goes into the state meet with the fastest qualifying time in the girls 100 meters.”

Annie Murdock placed first in the 400, and Moira Hicks was the individual winner in the 100 hurdles. Lili Fifita placed first in the shot put. 

Rowles had nothing but praise for his girls and their hard work and performances all season. The team lost out on a team title by a slim margin.

“We had high expectations coming into the season for our girls team, and, for the most part, they met those expectations,” he said. “A few key injuries down the stretch hurt our chances of repeating as region champs, but so many girls stepped up that it wasn’t a disappointment at all. We went into the last event of the meet with a chance to win it, but Skyline’s victory in that relay gave them the team championship.”

Ben Nielsen captured the title in the boys high jump. Also, for the second straight year, the boys 4x100 relay team won that event. Lynn Aung, Ben Boren, Nick Pembroke and Jonah Gaye took part in that title run. Pembroke also qualified for state in the 100, 200 and 4x400 relay, in addition to the 4x100 relay. Aung also placed in the 100, while Rex Graham was second in the long jump, third in the high jump and anchored the 4x400 relay. 

“Our boys team probably exceeded expectations, as they had a number of athletes step up,” Rowles said. “Our medley relay team of Josh Apgood, Hunter Justice, Brennan Going and Micah Jeppson earned a surprising second place in the first event of the meet and that set the tone for a great meet for our boys.”

A total of 24 athletes qualified for state for the Rams. Many of these competitors had personal-best times at the region meet. Rowles was excited to see what Frank would do at state as well as how Murdock, Fifita and Hicks would fare against the best track athletes in Utah at the state meet, May 16 and 18. 

“I’m just very pleased overall with the performance of our athletes this season,” he said. “We battled weather throughout the season, even through our region meet had three weather suspensions on the first day. But, it didn't faze our kids; they just came out and really performed well. It's been a very satisfying season, topped off by the largest group of state qualifiers we've had here in the past 10 years.”


SIDEBAR:


Athletes who qualified for the state meet:

Josh Apgood, Jr., medley relay

Lynn Aung, Sr., 4 X 100 meter relay, 100 meter

Ben Boren, So., 4 X 100 m relay, 4 X 400 m relay

Meg Boren, Sr., 4 X 100 m relay

Elizabeth Brown, Jr., high jump 

Maureen Clark, Fr., javelin

Lili Fifita, So., shot put, discus

Amy Frank, Sr., 100 m, 200 m, 4 X 100 m relay

Jonah Gaye, Sr., 4 X 100 m relay

Brennan Going, Sr., medley relay

Rex Graham, Sr., high jump, long jump, 4 X 400 m relay

Moira Hicks, Jr., high jump, 100 m hurdles

Geneva Humbert, Sr., 4 X 400 m relay

Micah Jeppson, Jr., medley relay

Hunter Justice, medley relay 

Lourdes Lyons, 4 X 100 m relay

Nalu Mack, Jr., javelin

Molly Martin, Jr., 4 X 100 m relay

Annie Murdock, Jr., 200 m, 400 m, 4 X 100 m relay, 4 X 400 m relay

Kate Murdock, Fr., 4 X 400 m relay

Ben Nielsen, Sr., high jump, 4 X 400 m relay

Belvia Noudjougoto, Sr. 4 X 100 m relay

Nick Pembroke, Jr., 100 meters, 200 meters, 4 X 100 m relay, 4 X 400 m relay

Madison White, Jr., 4 X 400 m relay