Basketball for boys

McCaden Adams, Pleasant Grove (Sr.)

In the middle of the regular season, McCaden Adams has established himself as the top scorer in the 6A premiere, which has helped the Vikings’s safe straight ahead of the contenders group.

The senior averaged 22.3 points and was instrumental in leading the Vikings to four wins at the Tarkanian Invitational in Las Vegas before the holiday break.

Adams has scored double-digit figures in every game this season, including a 37-point lead against Timpanogo at the start of the season. The 6-foot-3 guard has dexterity in his game, and he averages 5.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 2.2 steals.

“McCaden is a coach’s dream. He has loved and been passionate about playing basketball since I first met him. He has made significant improvements every year as a high school player and we count on him to be a leader in every aspect of our program, on and off the field, “said Pleasant Grove coach Randy McAllister.” McCaden has a GPA 4.0 throughout high school and has earned his place as one of the best players in the state this year. “

Basketball for girls

Nicole Willardson, Richfield (Jr.)

Richfield is in the middle of a nine-game winning streak and Nicole Willardson’s steady play is a big reason why.

Willardson has averaged 17.2 points and 6.3 rebounds in 13 games this season, which includes leaving 31 points in a 56-43 win at Snow Canyon during the break. She has scored double digits in every game except one this season.

“Nicole’s excellent work ethic and natural athletics have helped her raise her game to a higher level. “We look forward to seeing him continue to do the things that make him special as we enter the regional game,” said Richfield coach Marc Peterson.

Willardson was an all-state runner-up as a second-year student last year as she averaged 12.0 points. In the fall, she was named to Deseret News’s first all-state volleyball team.

Boys swimming

Jeshua Day, American Fork (Jr.)

A year ago Jeshua Day played a key role in leading American Fork to a 6A state title, and this year he will play an even bigger role as Cavemen looks to be repeated.

Day has emerged as one of the strongest swimmers in the 6A this winter as he owns the best time in both the 500 freestyle (4: 46.68) and the 200 individual medley (1: 58.95). He finished fifth in both races in the state last year.

“He is an extremely hard worker, he is reliable, trustworthy and responsible for his decisions. He understands his role as a team leader. “As he has grown and developed, Jes has become a very versatile and valued member of our team,” said American Fork coach Kathy King.

His time 100 butterflies of 54.02 ranks second at 6A.

Overall, his 200 IM time ranks third across the state and his 500 free time is fourth across the state.

Girls swimming

Jade Garstang, Skyline (Fr.)

Just a first student, Jade Garstang has exploded on the high school swimming scene this winter and will be one of the elite swimmers to watch in Utah for the next four years.

Her specialty is butterflies, and she has already made a big impression as she owns the best time of 100 butterflies across the state with almost two seconds while swimming 57.08 before the break. Time is just out of a top 10 time in state history.

This strong butterfly kick makes her an excellent mixed swimmer, and her time of 2: 08.27 in the 200 individual medley ranks second in Utah this season.

“Jade is the kind of athlete he hates to lose. Whether in practice or at a swimming meeting, she will do everything she can to prevent this from happening. The race does not have to be for first place either. “She will win every race she runs,” said Skyline coach Charles Cullom.

Boys Wrestling

Marcus Espinoza-Owens, Viewmont (Jr.)

One of the most exciting opportunities in the state, Marcus Espinoza-Owens is enjoying a perfect start to the season that goes into the new year.

Espinoza-Owens, a state runner-up last year, is 16-0 so far this season, including being named as the Outstanding Opportunity at Viewmont Invitational earlier this season.

“Part of what ‘s great about Marcus is that he’ s really fun to watch. “Most people know who he is and enjoy seeing him because he has such a dynamic style,” said Viewmont coach Mike Lee.

Espinoza-Owens is a wrestler who likes to score points and does not like to fight conservatively and sit at the top.

Girls wrestling

Elleni Johnson, Murray (Jr.)

Ranked ninth nationally in her weight category, junior Elleni Johnson from Murray has had a great start to the girls ’high school season so far.

At Christmas Clash Invite before the break at the Legacy Events Center in Farmington, Johnson went 5-0 to take the 145-tit title. She won four of her five games until the fall, including a win over Westlake Emmy Finlinson in the championship game.

“What makes Eleni such a strong wrestler is that she is the hardest worker in the room. It pushes everyone to work harder and be a better wrestler. “Ellen is pushed,” said Murray coach Theros Johnson.

On the national stage, Johnson is three times an American.