ST. GEORGE — The Snow Canyon Invitational track meet brought together some of the best high school track teams from around Utah, and the host Warriors ran right there with them.

In team scores from the event held Friday and Saturday at Snow Canyon High School, the 4A Warriors were second only to 6A powerhouse Corner Canyon. 

Combined team scores had the Chargers first with 148.0 points. Snow Canyon finished second with 110.5 points.

“Corner Canyon is an elite program at the 6A level, so to be right behind them is huge,” Snow Canyon track coach Justin Redfearn told St. George News. “We’re really happy with where we’re starting.”

Snow Canyon seniors Matt Maclennan (center) and Semaj Thompson (right) run the boys 300 hurdles at the Snow Canyon Invitational track meet, St. George, Utah, March 9, 2024 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

There were 47 teams representing all classifications from around Utah at the invitational as Snow Canyon hosted one of the season’s first track meets.

Region 9’s Pine View finished an impressive third overall with 89 points.

“Pine View is going to be solid competition. Really all of the Region 9 teams will compete. Arguably we’re the best region in the state,” Redfearn said. “Our region can go head to head with pretty much anyone. It is no small feat to be at the top of Region 9.”

The defending 4A state champion Snow Canyon boys team returns three outstanding hurdlers in seniors Matt Maclennan, Semaj Thompson and Trevor Gough. 

“Our three hurdlers stood out,” Redfearn said. “They’ve been elite athletes for us. They’re an amazing trio, very good friends, incredibly supportive of each other.”

The coach added that sometimes the teammates razz each other from time to time in practice, but they truly celebrate each other’s success.

“They’re amazing individuals, on and off the track,” Redfearn said.

At the invitational, Redfearn also noticed the performance of Snow Canyon senior sprinter William West, who won the 100 with his time of 11.19 seconds. West finished third in the 200 at 22.58.

On the girls side, Redfearn said Snow Canyon sophomore Amelia Nadauld impressed in the 200, winning the race at 25.02.

“We had a huge surprise today with Kennedy Scott,” Redfearn said. Scott, a junior, won the shot put event with a throw of 36 feet, 6 inches. “She’s come a long way in a year and a half, two years.”

Redfearn said that early in the season he’s looking to see progress from a conditioning standpoint.

“The ultimate goal is to perform our best at region and then at state,” Redfearn said. “Everything points toward that. We hope to see some development for our younger runners and then some fine-tuning with our experienced runners.”

Out on the track Saturday, Snow Canyon’s Gough told St. George News that the defending 4A boys champion Warriors were just psyched to get out and run again.

Snow Canyon seniors Semaj Thompson (left) and Trevor Gough (right) run the boys 300 hurdles at the Snow Canyon Invitational track meet, St. George, Utah, March 9, 2024 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

“We killed it last year at state, beat the teams by over 100 points, and yeah, just trying to do the same thing at this meet,” Gough said.

Snow Canyon’s senior trio of runners almost swept the 300 hurdles event as Gough finished first (38.45), Thompson was second (38.84) and Maclennan was fourth (39.48).

Maclennan was first in the 110 hurdles at 14.24. And it was a podium sweep as Thompson finished second (14.27) and Gough was third (14.55).

Gough said that the quality of competition he sees from the other two Warriors at practice is just as fierce as the best runners on other teams at meets.

“That’s exactly how it’s been since freshman, sophomore year we’ve been training together and pushing each other in practice,” Gough said. “That’s huge, having those guys with me. Going 1-2-3 in the 110? Yeah, that’s pretty good racing.”

On the girls side of the invitational, defending 4A girls champion Desert Hills finished eighth overall at the invitational with 30 points.

Clockwise from right: Desert Hills’ Emery Simister, Adelyn Telford, Lucy Harris and Drew Schwartz won the girls 4×200 relay at the Snow Canyon Invitational track meet, St. George, Utah, March 9, 2024 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

The Thunder quartet of Drew Schwartz, Emery Simister, Adelyn Telford and Lucy Harris blazed to the top of the podium in the 4×200 relay.

Anchor Simister brought the baton home to post the winning time of 1:45.95.

“Just wanted to make it to the finish line,” Simister said, still breathless after the run.

Schwartz ran the second leg of the relay for the Thunder.

“This is our first time running with this team, so it felt good to go out and win it today,” Schwartz said. “I think we’ll be pretty good this year. We were state champs last year and we’re hoping to do it again.”

The makeup of the team will be different this year after several of last year’s state champs graduated.

“We’re going into it with a few less girls than last year, but we’re hoping to put in some work and get after it,” Schwartz said.

Pine View’s foursome (Jade Reimer, Tori Conrad, Elsie Atkinson, Ashley Leavitt) finished second in the 4×200 relay at 1:47.28.

Click here for complete results from the Snow Canyon Invitational track meet.

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