Beyond the Lanes

The winter season is coming to a close. The snow is thawing and the flowers are just beginning to bloom. Spring is here and it’s time for track and field. After having a short season in 2020 and dealing with severe COVID restrictions in 2021, this year is looking bright. Some of Copper Hills’ star seniors look forward to a promising season, with the hopes of leaving lasting memories and records behind.

Josh Hodgkin, Senior, is excited to break records this season. During previous years, he was solely a hurdler. However, last season he added pole vaulting to his agenda. Now, he’s flying high as one of the team’s best pole vaulters. “My goals for the season [are] to qualify for state in the 110 hurdles and pole vault and break the pole vault school record,” said Hodgkin. The school record in pole vaulting is a whopping 13 feet, 6 inches. In order to perform at his best, Hodgkin remembered one of the most important lessons he learned from his past experience. He explained, “What I have learned from participating in track is anyone can find something they enjoy in track and field and through hard work and grit, you can improve and become better than you ever thought you were capable.”

Hodgkin isn’t the only hurdler and pole vaulter who is looking to improve in the 2022 season. Brielle Davis, state record holder, is also looking to take her shot at 13’6 this year. She said, “My goals for this coming season are to jump 13’6 and to qualify for state in hurdles before region.”

Davis flew to “record-breaker” status her freshman year of high school. Then, during her junior year, she broke the pole vaulting state record, vaulting 12’9. For Davis, getting the record was surreal. She recounted, “I didn’t think I was going to break the record that early in the season. When I did I was in shock and very very excited. The best feeling in the world.” 

Her talent and dedication helped her land a spot on the Idaho State track and field team. Davis ultimately decided to continue with track and field because she loves it. She said, “I decided to do track and field in college because I love the sport and want to keep doing what I love.” Although exciting, choosing Idaho State was no easy decision. “Being recruited was a long process and was a hard decision,” she explained. “I talked to many coaches and visited a few of the colleges in person. There were goods and bads to all the schools.” In the end, Idaho State seemed to fit Davis best. She will be attending there in the fall.

On the sprinting side, there is some fierce competition. Carson Mathis, a sprinter and long jumper, wants to be the top runner this year. “This season my goal is to make top varsity and to run at all the varsity meets. And I want to be one of the top sprinters and long jumpers.” The young blood of Tyler Oldroyd, Sophomore, and Kenyon Williams, Junior, will prove difficult to defeat, but Mathis has the grit to match them.

Mathis has been running well beyond the lanes of the track. His biggest running accomplishment doesn’t even have to do with track or XC. After doing his first 5K around the age of five or six, Mathis ran the Ragnar relay with his family when he was nine. In a Ragnar race, teams run 200 miles from Park City to Logan in about two days. If that doesn’t sound impressive already, try being the youngest person to ever accomplish the feat. “I was the youngest person to ever run the Ragnar relay. My grandma talked me into running it when I was nine,” he said. “It was a really cool opportunity; it was exhausting though.” Ever since, Mathis has continued to improve his running. He’s even planning to further his running journey after high school by running half and full marathons.

From personal records to region titles and varsity wins, previous track and field seasons have provided these athletes with many opportunities, physically and mentally. This upcoming season is no different. It is filled with resilient athletes who are ready to conquer their goals, showing their competition the determination that Copper Hills is made of