Desert Hills junior Chandler Swaney went from barely competing in the 3A high jump, to taking home a state title in the event Friday in the first day of the Utah state track and field championships for all classifications.
Because of the schedule of the 100-meter trials, he missed the first two rotations of clearing 6-feet 2-inches.
“My heart stopped for a little bit,” coach Dace Goulding said.
But Swaney finished his sprint, hustled to the high jump, and cleared the height on his one and only available try.
“He composed himself and got focused,” Goulding said. “That’s what great athletes have to do in these kinds of meets. He had that one chance to keep going, or he wouldn’t have scored any points at all.”
Swaney managed to set a personal record in the 100 and bested a school record in the 200-meter dash — both of which he’ll participate in for Saturday’s finals — along with long jump. He has the best distance of any classification in the state this year, Goulding said.
Swaney’s points total could be key in helping Desert Hills earn another team title.
In other 3A action, Dylan Tripp of Cedar took second in discus, while Malary Reid of Hurricane took second in her final year of long jump.
Beaver’s Macdonald dominates 2A competition
Kellie Macdonald can feel a little cloud of sadness around her at the state track and field meet.
This is her last go.
If Friday’s body of work was any indication, the sadness won’t last long. She won the long jump for the second consecutive year, and has her sights set on Saturday titles in the 100-meter hurdles (which would be another repeat) along with the 300 hurdles. A fourth title could be the 100-meter dash.
Macdonald seamlessly handled the mixture of one event’s championship round along with the three track heats that she breezed through to set up a busy second day at BYU’s Robison Track.
“I just like to push myself through the trials the same way,” Macdonald said. “I like to set goals in every event, from the beginning of the season to these races.”
That doesn’t come as a surprise to Beaver track coach Randy Hunter, who is also the athletic director. He points out Macdonald is a straight-A student who was academic all-state in volleyball.
“She’s a very gifted girl in many aspects,” Hunter said. “Speed is one of those.”
Macdonald’s father, Scott, works with her and the team. She said they have a good relationship about how to communicate between races.
She will attend Utah Valley University on a track scholarship next year, and said she’ll miss being around not only her father, but also her younger brother. The siblings race everyday, she said.
Taylor Macdonald took third in his first state meet in the high jump (6-feet 1-inch), only four inches out of the championship clearance from Delta’s Logan Smith.
Macdonald was hardly the only success story for Southern Utah-area schools after the first day in virtually perfect conditions.
Whittni Orton, a Panguitch sophomore who also stars during the cross country season, won the 1A 1,600-meter race in 5 minutes, 11.95 seconds — 18 seconds ahead of runner-up teammate Catania Holman.
Walker Halterman of Parowan capped his senior year with a 2A pole vault championship (11 feet).
Also worth noting, Makaylee Fotheringham of Beaver took second in the 2A shot put.
In 2A discus, Daven Russell of Kanab won with a throw of 159 3/4, while Parowan’s Cannon Brunsvik was right behind him (146).
Saturday’s track action starts at 9 a.m., with a slew of 3,200-meter races (2A girls go first). Field events begin at 8 a.m., with all five classifications having an event at the start of the day.
Macdonald is expected to start at about 11:30 a.m. with the 100 hurdles final, and have about a half-hour turnaround for the 100-meter dash.