Olympus track and field looks to keep region title streak going
Apr 09, 2018 11:19AM
● By Josh McFadden
Olympus runners Charlie Miner (10), Asael Horne (12) and Dallin Jenkins (12) competing in the 1600 meters at the Simplot Games at Idaho State University in Pocatello, Idaho, this past February. (Photo/Anna Mitchell)
Winter has hung around a little longer in the Salt Lake County, making it challenging for spring sports teams to get their seasons underway. This only makes the Olympus track and field team more eager to defend their championships.
Both the Titan girls and boys have won the last two Region 6 crowns. Head coach Todd Mitchell sees no reason why the teams can’t continue their league dominance. Mitchell does acknowledge that it’s hard so early on in the season to predict how his boys and girls measure up against other Class 5A teams. Last season, the boys placed second in 4A and return some key athletes who scored points for the team at state.
“The focus is on improvement on an individual and team level, and we believe that process will lead us to strong results,” Mitchell said.
Both Olympus teams need to find replacements for those contributors who graduated last year. Mitchell is eager to find out who among his newcomers and returners can fill the void.
“I am excited to see who steps up and fills the holes left behind from our graduating seniors,” he said. “We have a lot of young athletes who are excited to improve and make their mark.”
Seniors Jacob DowDell (fresh off contributing to the Titans state championship boys basketball team) and Kayden Hossfeld will be key components of the jumping events. Seniors Cam Latu, Jima Rout and Brach Davis specialize in throws, distance runs and sprints, respectively. A trio of distance runners also return — Roberto Porras (senior), Katie Duckworth (senior) and Abby Rasmussen (junior). Another athlete to keep an eye on is junior Taygin DeHart, who was also excellent on the basketball court for the girls team this past season.
The boys and girls each have their own strengths, which Mitchell believes will only help the teams succeed overall.
“The boys have lots of individually talented athletes,” he said. “The girls have depth and lots of young, hard-working athletes.”
Mitchell hopes to improve the boys team depth by developing younger athletes and up-and-coming contributors. He also believes the boys need to remain focused in order to maximize their skills and potential. As for the girls, Mitchell said he needs some new team members to emerge as leaders and top performers capable of reaching state.
Dedication is another critical factor if the Titans hope to win their region once again and compete well at state.
“I think the biggest challenge we face is coming together as a committed team,” he said. “I have found that our commitment level predicts our success as a team much better than the level of talent on the team.”
In Region 6, Olympus will contend with Highland, East, West, Skyline and Murray. The Titans will compete in various meets and invitationals in preparation for the state meet May 17–18 at Brigham Young University.