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West Valley City Journal

Lancer track athlete comes from ‘out of nowhere’ to win

Jun 30, 2021 12:56PM ● By Greg James

Granger senior Andrew Fleischel ran track for the first year this year, he won region in the 400 meters. (Photo courtesy of Granger track)

By Greg James | [email protected] 

Track athletes at Granger High School accomplished several goals and learned a lot in a difficult season.

“This season was good,” Lancer head track coach Anthony Jefferies said. “My first season at Granger we had 23 kids and about seven years ago it grew to more than 120, but with Covid last year and some difficult times we have been down in numbers.”

The Lancers had about 30 athletes that participated in track this season.

“They were all hard working and came to practice every day. It can be hard at Granger, sometimes they come from single parent families and this year some of our kids had to stay home to help take care of their siblings while Mom and Dad worked. The kids that put in the work got better,” Jefferies said.

Senior Andrew Fleischel decided to be on the team for the first time this year. He had to learn how to run a race, eat properly and still be fast.

“I didn't even know who the kid was,” Jefferies said. “He has played basketball and tennis in the spring so he had never been on the team. He was a big surprise. He is a good kid. In the first couple of races he ran times that were top in the state. His times just kept dropping and dropping. He came out every day and worked hard,” Jefferies said.

At the Region 2 championships Fleischel took third in the 100 meters, second in the 200 and won the 400.

“He came from out of nowhere. It is his senior year and I asked him how he wanted to go out,” Jefferies said. “Andrew has several things that could have held him back, but he has risen above. Andrew is a phenomenal kid.”

Fleischel’s times and improvement drew the attention of college track coaches, but his 4.0 grade point average earned him academic opportunities at BYU and Utah that he may pursue.

Junior Jacob Turcsanski took third in the region 400. He shaved nearly three seconds off his best time this season in that meet.

“He (Turcsanski) came out of nowhere too,” Jeffries said. “This year was a really fast year at the state meet. There were records broken all over the place.”

The team got better as the season progressed. The girls 4x100 relay had troubles at the beginning of the season, but improved. Arleth Antonio, Julieta Cuelluar, Demetra Harpe, and Jalila Ouedraogo had their season best time in a fourth place finish at region.

“As a whole the team got better. We have a young team with plenty of athletes that will come back next year. It was one of the funnest years to coach. We had to wait to begin early season training because of COVID. It just hit us hard,” Jefferies said.

Granger finished sixth in both boys and girls at the Region 2 finals. The boys team finished only eight points behind Hunter.