KAYSVILLE — The margins could be slimmer, but only barely.
Weber High senior Jessica Reddish enters this weekend’s state track and field championships with a chance to win first place in the 6A classification’s 100 meter hurdles.
Reddish currently owns the second-fastest time in the event at 15.14 seconds. First place is owned by Herriman’s Kayla Butterfield at 15.12 seconds.
Those two times came in the same race when Reddish and Butterfield ran up against each other. Reddish led the entire race. Butterfield leaned at the finish line for the win after Reddish had been ahead of her, time-wise, all year.
The hurdles can be especially slim, where it’s perhaps too easy to screw up your rhythm and timing. That could, for example, result in the tip of your foot clipping a hurdle and knocking off, say, 0.2 seconds from your time.
“It takes a lot of technique and form to get it down and I’m just so used to that in gymnastics — there’s so much more to focus on than just running over hurdles,” Reddish said at the Region 1 track and field championships at Davis High School.
Last week’s 100-meter hurdles final in the Region 1 championships featured multiple lead changes in the middle of the race, which is atypical.
Hurdlers make it look so easy, especially when their timing is perfect. Run, hurdle, take three steps, hurdle, repeat.
“I don’t really think about a whole lot (in the race) because in practice, it’s kind of just habit,” Reddish said.
Reddish said others in her family run distance races and she’s the only sprinter. She participated in gymnastics as a kid and for an exercise one day, coaches had the kids run hurdles. Her coach said she should try out the hurdles and it was natural for her, she said.
“You obviously have to be fast, but you have to not have a habit of running the same speed in between each hurdle. You have to get faster and faster, because a lot of people fall into the habit of the same speed,” Reddish said.
Increasing speed between hurdles can be a difficult thing, given the fact that the hurdles are the same distance apart.
“Especially in a race where you’re not focused on that and you’re focused on winning, it’s kind of hard,” she said.
Again, that just narrows the margins in a race where any slip-up can be the difference between first place or not even making the podium.
Reddish knows that feeling, but for a different reason.
She came in to last year’s state meet with a good time but her warmup wasn’t good and she psyched herself out after learning her hurdles coach, Kurt Trane, couldn’t be there after his car broke down that morning.
“I kind of freaked out a little bit,” Reddish said.
She took eighth in 2018. Reddish is more prepared this year.
GIRLS STATE TRACK & FIELD PREVIEW
Dozens of area girls, along with Reddish, have a chance to take first place at this weekend’s state meet. Here’s a look at some of them.
100 meters: Syracuse’s Brittany Cardall ran 12.30 seconds, which is fourth-best in 6A and just 0.15 seconds behind the top time. Davis’ Lindsey Bouwhuis ranks fifth (12.38).
200: In 6A, Syracuse’s Brittany Cardall ranks first at 25.03.
400: Clearfield’s Elizabeth Butler ranks second in 6A at 56.61, 0.52 seconds behind the top time.
800: In 6A, Davis’ Sydney Hedquist (2:16.03) and Hope Preston (2:16.79) rank first and third, respectively. In 5A, Woods Cross’ Carlee Hansen owns the top time (2:12.55) by nearly five seconds.
1600: Davis’ Ellie Lundgreen ranks second in 6A with a time of 4:59.51. Woods Cross’ Carlee Hansen (4:46.65) and Bountiful’s Laurie Murphy (4:57.66) have the only 5A times under five minutes.
3200: Davis’ Ellie Lundgreen ran 10:36.32, which ranks first in 6A by more than 10 seconds. Bountiful’s Laurie Murphy (10:45.03) and Woods Cross’ Carlee Hansen (10:50.14) have the top 5A times.
100 hurdles: Morgan’s Abbie Cox has the best 3A time (15.51) by 0.21 seconds.
300 hurdles: Layton’s Kaitlyn Richins has the second-best 6A time at 44.47.
4x100 relay: Bear River is less than one second behind the top 4A time, but the Bears’ 50.01 is still the fifth-best time. Morgan has the second-best 3A time (50.54).
4x400 relay: In 5A, Woods Cross has the second-best time that’s just 0.41 seconds behind the state’s top time.
Sprint medley relay: Bear River has the best 4A time at 4:14.09.
Shot put: St. Joseph’s Virginia Tomon leads 2A at 36-10.25. In 4A, Ben Lomond’s LaDeitra Hobson has the sixth-best mark at 34-05. In 5A, Box Elder’s Maezzi Mund threw 38-00, which ranks second in the classification. In 6A, Fremont’s Hoku Sagapolu has had the best 6A mark (127-03) since late March, but hasn’t competed since due to injury. Layton’s Pele Fa has the second-best mark in 6A at 121-00.75.
Discus: In 2A, St. Joseph’s Virginia Tomon well outpaces the 2A field at 119-03. Tashena Ashby from Bountiful ranks second in 5A at 120-05, just 7 inches behind the top mark.
Javelin: Box Elder’s Morgan Reeder (116-09) and Kailee Talbot (113-06) rank first and second in 5A. Weber’s Alyssa Hansen, coming off a good performance at the Region 1 meet, ranks third in 6A at 119-05.
High jump: In 3A, Morgan’s Emery Wheeler co-owns the best high jump mark at 5-04. Layton’s Kaitlyn Richins co-owns the top mark in 6A at 5-04.
Pole vault: Box Elder’s Shaylee Bradbury is tied for second (9-00) in 5A. Davis’ Mariah Jenkins jumped 11-00, which is third in 6A.
Long jump: Roy’s Bridgette Howell (17-0.75) ranks third in 5A. Syracuse’s Kelsey Steed jumped 17-09 in a headwind, which ranks second in 6A.