ETV News stock photo by Dusty Butler
Every team has a claim to inexperience this track and field season after missing nearly all of last year. In a roundabout way, this year will mark the first high-school track and field season for all sophomores and freshman. While this applies to all teams, the Spartans may feel it more due to their large number of underclassmen.
“We have a lot of new kids,” said boys’ head coach Hugh Christiansen. “We want them to learn that track is fun and that they can do hard things. We are just happy to be back.”
As a result, the freshman and sophomores are still trying out multiple events to see what is the best fit for each of them individually. “We’re so young, we just need to get some confidence and find success,” added the girls’ head coach Courtney Justice. “I’m full of hope [for the season].”
While there is certainly a lot of youth on the team, there are several returning state qualifiers for Emery as well. Treven Brazier (110 and 300 hurdles) is a “phenomenal hurdler,” said Justice. Fellow seniors Bryar Meccariello and Jess Christiansen will be back in the one- and two-mile distance races. In addition, Jace Curtis is a returning state qualifier in the 200 meter and 4×1 relay as is Bethany Justice in the 300 hurdles.
Emery also has a great coaching staff that extends to its assistant coaches. Brett and Kristy Guymon come over from cross country to help with the distance runners. Brett competed in hurdles for Utah State University and was also invited to an Olympic qualifier when he was in college. Talina Labrum (distance) and Jaylin Gordon (long jump) will also be back to aide Emery.
New to the team is Kale Allred, who will coach the throwers. “He will be a positive to the team,” stated Justice. One thrower in particular that is ready to have a big year is Derek Canterberry, and Allred’s addition should pay dividends.
The Spartans have all the pieces to build an exciting team, now they just need opportunities to gain valuable experience.