Hunter Simonsen, Davis (Sr.)
Was sensational in his first meet of the season last week at the Davis Super Meet.
The senior set new personal records in the long jump, high jump and 110 hurdles. Just a few weeks into the season, he’s posted the top marks in Utah in all three events.
“Hunter is full of energy. He competes with excitement and joy. It's so fun to watch him because it's obvious he's enjoying what he's doing. His energy and excitement are contagious as well. He inspires his teammates and is very good at getting others fired up. He's competitive, but also loves to see others do well, even from opposing teams,” said Davis coach Corbin Talley.
At the Super Meet he cleared 6’09 for a new PR, and Talley said his senior athlete then fearlessly went straight to 7’00 — and had two very close jumps.
“I think he’ll get there soon,” said Talley. “He'll be a huge asset for our team as we attempt a repeat for the state title. Not just in the points he scores, but in his leadership and positive energy.”
Elsja Mecham, Summit Academy (Sr.)
Had a strong opening meet of the season at the Alpha Invitational at Timpanogos High School on Saturday.
The BYU commit won the 200 meters, 400 meters and 100 hurdles. Her time in both the 400 meters and 100 hurdles are the best marks in Utah early this 2016 track season.
“Elsja is off to a great start this season. She has overcome some challenging illnesses and has a deep determination to achieve her goals this senior year. It has been a great privilege to coach her these past four years,” said Summit Academy track coach Lynne Mecham.
Mecham is the defending 2A state champ in the 100 and 300 hurdles, and she finished second in the 200.
“Elsja has been on a quest to promote track and field at Summit Academy. It is fun to see the good times she shares with her teammates and friends at school, in the weight room and on the track,” said Lynne Mecham. “She always brings her ‘be an 11’ attitude to practice and helps others see the greatness within themselves.”
Mecham is also part of the National Honor Society and Peer Leadership Training.
Ptolian Takis, Mountain Crest (Sr.)
This senior three-year starter is a calming presence on the mound whenever he takes the field.
“Every time Ptolian takes the mound the team can expect a solid performance and that Ptolian will complete every pitch,” said Mountain Crest coach Alex Hansen.
In two starts this season Takis is 2-0 with a 1.40 ERA and 12 strikeouts in 10 innings.
He’s been solid at the plate as he’s batting .333 with four doubles and seven runs scored. He was dynamite a couple weeks ago at the Snow Canyon Tournament as he went 5 for 9 with four doubles.
Carlos Vargas, Copper Hills (Sr.)
A four-year starter, this center back is a big reason the Grizzlies are off to a 2-1-1 start and one of the top contenders in Region 3 this year.
“He put time in the weight room, and has understood the importance of being both mentally and physically strong,” said Copper Hills coach Eddie Moura. “We need Carlos the full match, and he has taken on that challenge. He is taking pride in taking care of his fitness, and being a tough defender. A few knocks won’t keep him out of the game.”
Vargas is a technical central defender and is very good in 1v1 defending. His aerial game has improved as well this season.
“Carlos has also learned the importance of staying composed and not letting his emotions get the best of him. Carlos has matured tremendously as a player and a leader. We look forward to his continued leadership and positive energy he brings to our team,” said Moura.
Kacie Allman, Provo (Sr.)
Even though the Bulldogs have struggled for wins this year, Kacie Allman is still having a very strong 2016 season so far.
The USU Eastern commit is batting. 500 this season with a .929 slugging percentage and 12 RBI.
“We are very fortunate to have such an experienced ball player on our team. Kacie knows the game well, she is a great teammate, excellent leader, a coach on the field, and a fantastic player. But most of all she is a wonderful young lady,” said coach Shane Allman. “She has a bright future on and off of the field.”
Justin Stohlton, Timpanogos (Sr.)
At the Bloomington Country Club High School shootout last weekend, Stohlton dominated his No. 1 singles position.
He didn’t drop a set in wins over the top player from North Sanpete, Salem Hills, Alta and Springville. So far this season he is 7-1 as he competes at No. 1 singles for the third straight year.
“Justin excels in character, academics and performance. He looks beyond the stat sheet to encourage other teammates not only on the courts but in the classroom and in life,” said Timpanogos coach Glen Zobell. “He is a conscientious student who has been accepted to several universities. His desire to help all succeed has made him one of the best team captains we have had at Timpanogos.”
Kyla Smith, Desert Hills (Sr.)
This SUU commit has been the steady hand for Desert Hills' two meets so far this season.
In a meet at Green Springs two weeks ago she was the only golfer to shoot under par as she won medalist honors. In her other meet this season she tied for second.
“She is a very steady golfer with an incredible work ethic. She is a terrific team captain, taking the younger golfers under her wing. They look up to her and strive to be as consistent as she is,” said Desert Hills Laurie Dyer. “Kyla is not only a terrific athlete but also a great student. Kyla is a very hardworking determined individual and is sure to be a success in anything she chooses to do in life.”
Deseret News prep editor and Real Salt Lake beat writer. EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org