Panthers take giant step forward at state
Youthful squad gets key experience competing with the best on the biggest stage of the year
With a young team that is still gathering plenty of experience at every meet, having a handful of athletes compete at the State Meet at BYU last weekend should prove to be invaluable going into the future.
And that's exactly the way Pinnacle High Head Track Coach Tim Turpin sees it.
"I was really proud of the effort from everyone that competed at State," said Turpin. "The experience they got competing at State should be a big help going into next year."
The Panthers qualified six athletes for the State Meet. They included Huntter Sherman who made it to the finals of the 110 meter hurdles finishing in eighth overall with a time of 18.52.
"He's got great speed and he competed right to the end of the race," said Turpin of Hunter, who is a freshman at Pinnacle.
In a qualifying heat for the 200 meter race, Sherman finished in 11th place with a time of 24.27. The ninth place runner, Tanney Nay of Piute High School, finished with a time of 23.94 taking the final spot for the finals.
The girls 4x400 Relay team also qualifed for the State Meet. Turpin said the team ran in the relay for the first time all season and took second which qualified them for state.
The team which consists of Raycee Birch, Nyet Rasmussen, Morgan Prettyman and Misty Bingham finished in eighth place in the finals with a time of 4:48.99. Turpin noted that the team was able to shave off about twenty-seven seconds off of their time that they posted at the Region 19 meet.
"That's a big accomplishment for them to do that," he said.
Birch and Rasmussen also competed in the 100 meter hurdles and the 200 meter race. Birch and Rasmussen finished in 12th and 13th place respectively in the 100 meter hurdles. In the 200 meter heat, Rasmussen finished in 17th place and Birch took 19th. Only the top nine in the event qualifed for the finals.
Valentina Motte, competing in the girl's shot put finals, finished in 17th place with a throw of 23-11.75 feet.
All of the athletes who competed at the State Meet will be able to return for the Panthers next season. And the experience of making it to State and competing on the biggest stage of the season should help provide an extra boost in knowing what it takes to make it to that setting, Turpin explained.
"The State Meet was a good building experience for us with the group of athletes getting a chance to compete in that environment," he said. "They all did very well and I think it's a really good thing for our program."
Turpin said he is hopeful everyone on the team currently will return next year. He is also hoping that more students will join the team next season.
"We have a lot of great talent coming back next year," he said. "We're excited to come back next year and try to do well. The program is getting better and we've made some good steps this season and hopefully we can continue to go in the right direction."