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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Bengals send host of competitors to state after successful region meet

May 30, 2019 02:23PM ● By Josh McFadden

Adrian Bacikalo & Connor Critchlow celebrate their strong showings at the Region 7 track meet. (Photo by Jenni Larsen, assistant track/hurdles coach)

By Josh McFadden | [email protected]

There was no shortage of athletes in one location on May 9 for the Region 7 track and field meet. For a chance to qualify for the 5A state championships, plenty of Brighton athletes represented the school well.

A fourth-place showing was necessary for competitors to move on to the state meet, and the Bengals had qualifiers from 16 different events among both the boys and girls teams. 

Head coach Mitchell Lunak was hopeful for a strong performance from his teams. He said the boys and girls didn’t disappoint him.

“We had high expectations, and the kids came through,” he said. “We feel we have a good opportunity to have several state placers.”

In what was a competitive field of talented athletes, three Bengals won their individual events. For the boys, junior Riley Ballard captured top honors in the discus, with a mark of 146 feet. Teammate Benjamin Friel, another junior, won the high jump event with a six-foot jump in the competition. Senior Drew Hysong beat everyone in the long jump, leaping 20 feet, 11.5 inches. His teammate Adrian Bacikalo, also a senior, was second in that event with a jump of 20 feet, 10.5 inches. 

Other noteworthy finishes for the boys was Connor Critchlow’s 40.94 seconds in the 300-meter hurdles. It was good enough for a runner-up finish for the junior. Ballard followed up his great effort in the discus to finish second in the javelin with a throw of 151 feet. Senior Konner Kristensen placed third, giving the Bengals two qualifiers in that event. 

Bacikalo was also forth in the 110 hurdles, finishing with a time of 15.68 seconds. The boys team took fourth in the 4x100 relay with a time of 44.99 seconds. Junior Zach Cobia, Bacikalo, senior Jaeger Bostwick, Hysong and sophomore Nathan Burnett participated on the team. 


The girls team had some outstanding events as well, with three individuals placing second. Senior Bailey Brandt was runner-up in the 300 hurdles. She completed the event with a time of 46.19 seconds. Junior Laura Lundahl was second in the 800 with a time of 2:24.27. She was also third in the 400 with a time of 1:01.13. Sophomore Abigail Hunter came in second in the discus with a throw of 93 feet, 10 inches. 

The Brighton girls came in second in the 4x100 relay. Freshmen Morgan Sundquist and Madeline LaFleur, along with Lundahl, Brandt and sophomore Carolyn Affleck, ran the relay in 51.93 seconds. The 4x400 relay team of junior Lucy Dalgleish and junior Paige Sieverts were also second. Meanwhile, Brighton’s girls sprint relay team qualified for state by taking fourth place. 

Other notable girls team performances came in the 100 hurdles where Brandt and LaFleur were third and fourth, respectively. Brandt completed the event in 15.92 seconds, while LaFleur had a time of 17.11 seconds. Also, freshman Caroline Rupper was fourth in the 3200 with a time of 11:41.44. 

The Class 5A state track meet was held at Brigham Young University May 16 and 18, after our press deadline.