North Canyon Rattler Invitational first test for Marauders
It's early, and the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle that make up a high school track and field team are still all over the board for fourth-year Mingus Union Coach Yancey DeVore.
But some of the pieces of that puzzle are already falling into place.
With senior Jordan Bramblett and junior Joseph Sandoval leading the way, DeVore is confident that Mingus will again be dominant in the 1600- and 3200-meter events.
And even with the loss of multi state champion Ryan Talbot, DeVore once again expects the Marauders to be strong at 100, 200 and 400 meters as well as both sprint relays.
"It will hurt with Talbot gone," DeVore said of last year's state champion at 200 and 400 meters. "But we still have a strong core in the sprint events, and some of the younger guys from last season are showing they are ready to step up."
Crucial to last season's success in both the 400- and 1600-meter relay events was senior Javin Helsel.
"He can be competitive at everything from the 100 to the 400," DeVore said of Helsel.
Mingus sophomore Trevor Galloway finished his frosh season by proving himself a varsity-level threat at 200 meters and as a relay specialist. DeVore also said Isaac Romero, Juan Ruiz, Jordan Prouty and Levi Collins give Mingus strong depth in the sprint events.
Of Galloway, DeVore said the toughest challenge with the sophomore is deciding on which events he should compete. He can sprint. He has to be considered for one if not both relays. He qualified for state as a freshman in the discus. He was one of the Marauders' best high jumpers last year, and hurdle coaches have always salivated over his potential in that discipline.
"We will try a lot of different things with him because he has been successful in so many different things," DeVore said of Galloway. "This year, he is bigger, faster and stronger."
Collins, a senior, is also an interesting multi-event case study. As a junior, he qualified for the Division III state meet in the shot put and sprint relay, and came home with a silver medal in the relay. DeVore said Collins is a legitimate threat in both throwing events, the 100 meters and the short relay.
With Bramblett and Sandoval leading the way, DeVore expects Mingus to be strong at everything from the 800 to 3,200 meters. Bramblett was a 4:33 miler as a junior and toured the 3200 in 9:47. Last fall, he finished 4th in the state cross country meet with a 5K PR of 15:24.
After beginning his sophomore season as an 800-meter specialist, Sandoval found his legs at the longer distances and earned a trip to the state meet in the 3200-meter run and followed that up with an exceptionally strong fall cross country season.
Senior Keenan DeVore is also back in the 800 after earning a trip to state last year in the 4X800 relay. Other top distance threats for Mingus include seniors Joseph Cook and Traygon Ullery.
Junior Alec Phyfer is the Marauders' top returner in both hurdle events while Chance Gribauskas returns in the pole vault after qualifying for state last year with an 11-foot jump.
Joining Galloway in the high jump is senior Cameron Bloniaz and junior Evan Snyder, and DeVore expects Snyder to also be competitive in the triple jump.
Also, Mike Gilboy and Kyle Maloney return in both horizontal jumps, and DeVore expects both seniors to contribute in the longer relay events. He calls Gilboy the team's "iron man" because he is competitive in so many different field and running events.
Mingus opens its 2015 track and field season March 7 at the Rattler Booster Invite at North Canyon High School.