Connor Mantz (Light Blue) is one of Utah's top hopes for glory at Footlocker Nationals in 2013- Photo by Kyle Perry
The 4A classification should be an exciting one in 2013, with some significant changes in case you hadn’t heard. Ogden, Wasatch, and Judge will make the move up to 4A, Kearns coming down from 5A, as well as the addition of the newly built Corner Canyon High School. Moving out of the classification and in to 5A will be West Lake and Herriman and Hillcrest.
Last season the story of the 4A girls was the Mountain Crest domination. This year could be more of the same as they have the depth and returning talent to place very high in the SW region. They could very well be the top team in the state this season. Even though Ogden loses their 2-3 duo of Melissa Garrett and Jessica Sams, They could step in to the 4A and right away do some big things. Orem High lost Summer Harper, but they do return the rest of their team from last years state meet. Maple Mountain has improved a lot over their few years of existence and also return their top 4 from last season including now Sophomore Britney Lund. They are our #3 pick for the preseason though there should be a mass of teams that can run up front.
Individually Sarah Feeny will be the girl to watch across all classifications. Last season she was 9th at footlocker west and 32nd at nationals. After her XC season she made huge improvements going into the track season, setting 3A state record in the 3200m and the All-Classification record in the 1600m. She capped off her Junior campaign with an 8th place finish at the Adidas Dream mile. If she can carry that momentum, her senior season will be one that you won’t want to miss.
Miranda O’very of Mountain Crest also had a great season last year and on a the grass and dirt of the Cross Country courses you can expect to see her running with Feeny. Her teammate Brooke Nelson was 6th at state last year and Kacie Labrum was 10th, and they will make for a great 1-2-3 for the Mustangs. Britney Lund of Maple Mountain had a great freshman season and ended up 5th at the state meet. She wasn’t quite up there with Feeny or O’very but again, it was only her freshman year, and one year now under her belt could prove to be the tiny bit she needs to compete for the title.
Teams to Watch
1-Mountain Crest (1st at state, 10th at NX-SW)
2-Ogden (2nd 3A at state last year, 6th at NX-SW)
3-Maple Mountan (4th at state last year)
Individuals to Watch
1- Sarah Feeny - Ogden(2nd 3A state last season, FL Finalist)
PR’S: 5k -17:46, 3200m- 10:35, 1 Mile 4:46
2- Miranda O’very Mountain Crest (2nd 4A state last season)
PR’S: 5k -17:59, 3200m- 10:56, 1600m- 5:06
3- Britney Lund- Maple Mountain (5th at State last year)
PR’S: 5k -18:44**, 3200m- 11:43, 1600m- 5:25
4- Brooke Nelson- Mountain Crest (6th at State last year)
PR’S: 5k -18:47**
5- Kacie Labrum- Mountain Crest (10th at State last year)
PR’S: 5k -18:57, 3200m- 13:08, 1600m- 5:17
If there is any classification that is up in the air, it’s the 4A boys. There is no clear favorite that we can pick out of the crowd. Last years champion Herriman headed to 5A along with West Lake. Last years state runner up Bonneville loses nearly everyone from their team with 5 of their 7 graduating. This may prove too much for Bonnevile to overcome in just one season. With teams losing seniors and changing classification it seems wide open.
Timpanogos loses state champ Jake Heslington, but still they could rise to the top. They were 4th at state last season, and have a good solid group of guys to work with. Orem has the best 1-2 punch in 4A, but had a fairly large spread last season which could prove to be their biggest hurdle. Last years 3A Champion Ogden Makes the move to 4A, and despite losing Jordan Cross, they still return Buckley and 3 others from their top 7.
In the Individual competition we have a clear cut favorite. Connor Mantz of Sky View is the man to bear. He had a fantastic season last year and was only a Sophomore. He made even more improvement through the track season and is the #2 returner from last years Foot Locker Nationals. Could he be the highest footlocker finisher in Utah History? Only time will tell.
The Orem Duo of Matt Owens and Kyle Bunker will try to work together to keep up with Mantz. They were 8th and 13th at state last year but are the 2nd and 3rd returners. Mike Buckley of Ogden will also be in the mix. Owen Gardner has a new coach at Springville and it will be interesting to see how he responds.
Teams To Watch
1-Timpanogos (4th at state last season, 21st at NX-SW)
2-Ogden (3A State champs last season, 10th at NX-SW)
3-Orem (5th at state last season)
Individuals to Watch
1-Connor Mantz- Sky View (3rd at state, 4th at FL-W, 12th FL Nationals)
PR’S: 5k -15:34, 3200m- 9:04, 1600m- 4:16
2-Mike Buckley- Ogden (10th at 3A state last season)
PR's: 5k- 15:39, 3200m- 9:32, 1600m-4:28
3-Matt Owens- Orem (8th at state last season)
PR's: 5k- 15:45, 3200m- 10:09, 1600m- 4:26
4-Kyle Bunker- Orem (13th at state last season)
PR's: 5k- 16:07, 3200m- 9:52, 1600m- 4:43
5-Owen Gardner- Springville (16th at state last season)
PR's: 5k- 16:23, 3200m- 9:43, 1600m- 4:29