When it comes to training during the COVID-19 crisis, Skyridge’s Monica Kauffman is luckier than most.

She has gym in her house so she can lift weights and exercise when the mood strikes.

“My dad is super into working out, and we basically have everything,” Kauffman said. “We have weighted dumbbells, a half rack to bench press, cable machines, a treadmill and a stationary bike.”

Kauffman comes from an athletic family. He father played college football, her mom ran track in college and she has a brother who also competed collegiately in track. She said her family was really into soccer and basketball as well.

Kauffman’s discipline is the throws — shot put, discus and javelin — and she was hoping to improve on her junior year finish at the state track meet. Last season, Kauffman finished eighth in the discus and third in the javelin at the Class 5A meet.

She would have been competing in the Class 6A meet in May since Skyridge moved up a classification this year. In her first meet of the season, Kauffman had just been cleared four days earlier coming off an Achilles injury. She threw the javelin 120 feet 2 inches, which was not only a personal best by five feet but a school record as well.

The Utah High School Activities Association later postponed the season and this week canceled spring sports throughout the state.

“We would have done well this season,” Kauffman said. “We’d improved a ton and I know we could have made it to state and had enough points to place pretty high.”

Skyridge track coach Cody Fonnesbeck said he appreciated Kauffman’s performance both on and off the track.

“This is our fourth year as a track program so Monica has been on the team since she was a freshman,” he said. “The athletes on our team look up to her and know how good of an athlete she is. They follow her example. She takes the bull by the horns and is a leader. She’s always the first one to practice and one of the last to leave.

“Last season she was a very vocal team captain that our athletes could rely on. We have a big team and our captains help us coaches so much. Monica has always been willing to step in and show other athletes the correct technique and just help them get better.”

Kauffman said her teammates are “super chill” and appreciates their diverse relationships and personalities.

“Everyone realizes that everybody is different,” she said. “We get along well and it’s a great environment. Everyone works hard and is super supportive.”

She has a special bond with her teammates that are throwers like her. In fact, she said they are so sarcastic that other people who aren’t familiar with their sense of humor worry they are being mean to each other.

“We all understand each other’s sarcasm and we know it could be taken as rude, but no one takes it that way. When we’re talking to each other we’re never offended.”

Kauffman said her plans are to attend Utah Valley University or Southern Utah, walk-on to the track team and study something in the medical field.

The memories she and her teammates have shared help her get through the disappointment of missing her final high school track season.

“I remember being at the state meet and just how everyone supported each other,” Kauffman said. “I remember the fun things like team activities and banquets. It’s been good to be able to just vent with my teammates, sharing our frustrations. I’ve been working hard setting small goals for myself since I don’t have a season to compete. That helps me keep motivated and working toward something.”

Follow Darnell Dickson on Twitter @darnellwrites or e-mail him at ddickson@heraldextra.com.

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