A significant group of high school seniors and junior college athletes from the area made college commitments over the past week.
In boys basketball, Syracuse High standout Diante Mitchell commited to continue his career at Western Nebraska Community College.
Also, St. Joseph standout Zach Johnstun committed to Willamette University in Salem, Ore. Willamette is an NCAA Division III school.
In girls soccer, five Top of Utah athletes have announced plans to play for Iowa Lakes Community College this fall.
The group includes defender/midfielder Alexis Bolos and forward/midfielder London Bolos, who played at Fremont High, along with midfielder/forward Dustyn Taylor of Northridge High and defender Haley Bell from Roy.
The school also received commitments from midfielder/defender Kacie Anderson from Woods Cross. Under coach Ammon Bennett, the Lakers were 15-6 a season ago.
Three sophomore players from Snow College's men's basketball team committed to play for Division I programs next season during national letter of intent day.
The players are point guard Nick Gruninger (California Riverside), Cheikh Sane (Marshall University) and Connor Van Brocklin (University of Utah). "It's an exciting day for Snow College to see three student-athletes going to D-I programs," said Snow coach and athletic director Rob Nielson.
Gruninger, a 5-foot-10 point guard from Davis High, ran the Badger offense this past season dishing out an average of 5.2 assists while scoring 13.1 points per game.
Sane is a 6-9 post player from Dakar, Senegal.
Van Brocklin has committed to walk on at Utah. The 6-5 swing man also played at Davis High. He led the Badgers in scoring this season with an average of 15.9 points per game including an average of 2.5 3-pointers per game.
Meanwhile, four Snow sophomores have committed to play volleyball at four-year schools.
They are Amy Sorensen who is heading west to play at Oregon State, Annie Smoot going north to Montana Tech, Katie Vincent east to High Point University in North Carolina and Nicole Koehler south to Dixie State.
Vincent, from Brigham City, had 161 kills for the Badgers as a 6-1 middle hitter this past season. A two-sport athlete, Vincent also played for the Lady Badger basketball squad during her freshman year at Snow.
Sorensen is a 6-0 outside hitter from Sandy. Smoot is a 5-11 outside hitter from Holladay. Koehler is a 6-0 outside hitter from Sandy.
Track and field
Top of Utah track and field teams traveled to both ends of the state to compete in weekend invitationals.
Ogden's Sarah Feeny was on fire at the Dixie Invitational, winning three events and setting a pair of state records.
Feeny won the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 meter races, lowering the records in the 1,600 (4:53.06) and 3,200 (10:37.37) in the process. She led nine other Tiger runners who eclipsed the 5:39 mark in the mile.
On the boys side, Ogden's Jordon Cross won the 3,200 meters.
At Saturday's Sky View Invitational, Box Elder won the girls meet, with Sky View edging the boys for the title.
Local individual winners included Weber's Jesse Krey (100 meters), Box Elder's Michael Cruz (400), Box Elder's Adam Hendrickson (800), and Weber's Mitch Mordaunt (110 and 300 hurdles) on the boys side, and Box Elder's Lana Willard (100), Box Elder's Hannah Malone (1,600) Box Elder's Mitzi Munns (high jump), and Box Elder's Stephanie Crapse (shot put, discus and javelin) on the girls side.
At the Wasatch Invitational in Heber, Morgan's Chandler Weitzel won the 100 meters and Jeff Rowley won the javelin on the boys side, while winners on the girls side included Morgan's Britten Duerden in the high jump.
At Friday's Woods Cross Invitational, boys winners included Davis' Alex Hedquist (3,200), Syracuse's Jaxon Worthen (300 hurdles), Roy's Anthony Gregory (high jump), Syracuse's Mason Woodward (javelin) and Davis' Korbin Birrell (pole vault).
Girls winners included Northridge's Courtney Wayment (1,600), Syracuse's Suzanne Robertson (100 hurdles) and Syracuse's Brenn Flint (discus).
This Saturday's events included the Davis Invitational at Davis High, and the Pocket Change Invitational at Morgan High. Both meets are set to begin at 9 a.m.
Padding permitted for pole vault boxes
Padding for pole vault planting boxes that meets the new ASTM specification standard is now permitted for use in high school track and field competition.
The National Federation of State High School Associations track and field rules committee recommended the permissive use of the ASTM-approved padding, and the NFHS Board of Directors subsequently approved the Track and Field Rules Committee's recommendation.
Although optional for the current 2013 high school outdoor track season, padding that meets the ASTM standard can be incorporated into the design of the planting box or the padding can be added to an existing planting box. Schools may use the ASTM-approved padding immediately unless directed otherwise by the respective NFHS-member state high school association.
"With new product availability that meets the ASTM standard, the Track and Field Rules Committee recommended this potential use," said Becky Oakes, NFHS director of sports. "With the NCAA requiring the planting box padding by December 1, more and more facilities are using the padding this outdoor season. As a result, high schools that use these facilities may encounter this padding in pole vault planting boxes."
Oakes said that all other current rules requirements for padding (Rule 7-5 in the NFHS Track and Field Rules Book) remain in effect.
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