Newcomer Garrett Cartner is one of several Pioneers who performs well at Sandy's season opener
by: Michael Cade, Pioneer Jacob Cuniff in the boys 1,500 run.

Experience means everything in varsity sports.


Not necessarily.

Track newcomer Garrett Cartner - known primarily for his considerable wrestling abilities - exploded onto the track and field scene with a stellar performance Thursday, Mar. 22.

Cartner won the 200-meter sprint, took second to Damascus Christian star Sean Lewis in the 100 dash and was part of Sandy's triumphant 400 relay team in the four-team meet.

'I think I was doing the wrong sport,' Cartner said half-jokingly of wrestling. 'I think I should have been doing track this whole time.'

To put Cartner's performance in perspective, consider that he and his 400 teammates - Ryan Ball, Jake Seidel and Christopher Wagner - had never ran together as a unit before.

In fact, Cartner practiced his first hand-off the day prior to the meet.

'It's all pretty new to me,' he admitted.

That didn't stop the senior from putting on a scintillating performance, one that was highlighted by a 200 time of 23.75 seconds.

'The 200 was awesome,' Cartner said. 'I'm in love with that race now. I can't wait to go next time. I had a huge, huge lead. It was pretty cool.'

Pioneer sophomore Sarah Kathrein put on quite a show, too, winning the 100 - with a time of 13.07 seconds - as well as the 200 (26.77).

Kathrein and teammates Siara Leininger, Malia Ingrao and Brenna Hoffman also registered a win in the 400 relay.

'I think Sarah Kathrein ran really well for the girls,' Sandy coach Anouxa Vixathep said. 'She won the 100 and 200 pretty easily.'

Vixathep also praised senior Kayla Hendershot, who toughed out a cold virus to secure the winning shot put throw, a hefty lob of 34-feet-9 inches.

The next best throw - by Kimberly Stephens of Damascus Christian - traveled 27-feet-6 inches.

'She's been sick,' Vixathep said of Hendershot. 'And I think she still is a little sick. But to come out and perform like that in the first meet - I think that is going to give her some confidence.'

Other Pioneers who performed well were junior Malia Ingrao, who beat Portland Christian's Lindsay Reinhardt to win first place in the 400; junior Tressa Hoffman, whose time of 5 minutes, 33.09 seconds put her atop the list of 1,500 runners; junior Ashley Moss, who tossed a throw of 108-feet-10 inches to claim top honors in the javelin; junior Ashlee Neal, whose pole vault distance of 8 feet edged out teammate Shelbie Carmony's mark of 7 feet; junior Blake Bithell, who hurled the javelin 153-feet-2 inches to claim top honors there; and senior Ryan Ball, who helped his teams to victory in both the 400 and 1,600 relays.

'I think - for the most part - we're right where I thought we were going to be,' Vixathep said. 'We're obviously a little rusty - that's why we have this meet. Our next meet's not for another two weeks, and I think we're going to be a lot better off than we were tonight.'

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