Connor Mantz of Skyview has set records in his first 2 State meets, can he get #3?- Photo by Kyle Perry
The 4A Boys race came down to a tie-breaker last year, as Herriman and Bonneville both scored 68 points through 5 runners. It came down to the 6th man, and even though Bonneville’s 5th was ahead, Herriman brought home the State Championship. History will not likely repeat itself this season, as Herriman made the move to 5A, and both teams didn’t advance to State this season.
For 2013, it is a chance for a new story, while History can still repeat itself. By this I mean Mountain View has chance to add another State title to their already overstuffed trophy case. So what can beat a Bruin? A Tiger. The Orem Tigers and the Ogden Tigers are the two most likely to stop Mountain View from adding another State Championship to their resume this Wednesday. The Orem tigers are Region 7 Champions, where they beat Mountain View by 4 points. That spread will grow if they finish in the same order they did at region, because more teams will put runners between the two Utah county schools. The reason I brought up Mountain View first is because they have been getting better and better all season, so I think they are capable of doing what is natural for the Bruins, and that is win a State Title. Ogden and Orem were separated by 5 points at the Murray Invitational, the only time the two teams met this season (to my knowledge) Since then both sets of Tigers have toured the state beating up on everyone they can. They are poised for another showdown, and unless Mountain View pulls the upset, it will be an all Tiger podium. Ogden won the 3A state title last season, and now in their new classification, they are looking to add another trophy themselves. I do seem to think that they haven’t shown their full potential this season, and they still are one of two Tiger favorites. If they run like they can, it could be a shocking day for everyone else.
Orem and Mountain View are both in Orem, down in Utah County, but there is a third school also in the city of Orem that must not be forgotten. Timpanogos. They have been one of my favorite teams to do big things this season, and if they can get up front with their pack and run tough, they are not exactly an easily beaten team.
My final statement in the 4A preview is this, if Ogden fails to run to their potential, there will be a 1-3 Region 7 sweep of the podium. I just don’t see any other of the top 4A teams breaking through that mix. I have been wrong too many times in my life, but that is what I feel for Wednesday.
On a note for record performances. I did bring up the number of sub 80 minute teams all-time. All 4 of these teams can join that elite club with a good day on Wednesday. (see the records here)
In the individual race it doesn’t seem likely that anyone beats Connor Mantz. Mantz holds the freshman and sophomore records for the 4A course at the state championships. Now a Junior, Mantz will look to take down the 4A Jr. record of 15:23. He ran 15:17 last season and so he might be looking for the overall 4A record of 15:06 or even more than that, can he break the 15 minute mark? He ran 14:32 at Regionals, that is the fastest 3 mile in the state so far this year.
Sam Sorensen of Mountain View is the only other runner in the field to have broken 15 minutes so far this season, with a large group right on the doorstep. They are my picks for a 1-2 finish, followed by Mike Buckley of Ogden, Matt Owens of Orem, Owen Gardner of Springville, and Gavin Hasty of Salem Hills. Joshua Collins of Wasatch is a very strong front-runner early in races. If he can conserve a little and move after halfway instead of early, he can shake things up as well. Two more names not to sleep on are Jacob Stone of Woods Cross and Chris Rushing of East.
Meet Simulator Results
1- Orem- 74
2- Mountain View- 109
3- Timpanogos- 134
4- Ogden- 175
5- Wasatch 203
Individual Top 3 Mile times in 2013
1- Connor Mantz 14:32
2- Sam Sorensen 14:57
3- Matt Owens 15:06
4- Owen Gardner 15:07
5- Mike Buckley 15:03* (updated from his region time, he should be #3 on the list)
6- Joshua Collins 15:17
7- Jacob Stone 15:21
8- Gavin Hasty- 15:21
9- Chris Rushing- 15:24
10- Kyle Bunker- 15:25
4A Girls Preview