Shumway and Brewer will be fighting for a position on the podium tomorrow - Photo by Kyle Perry
The 5A Boys race last season was a great battle with two familiar faces in American Fork and Davis. American Fork had a very tight group at the front of the race and went on to win 29 to Davis’ 54. Also in the mix was Riverton, not far back with 74 points. American Fork went on to the highest finisher by a Utah School at the NXN meet, placing 2nd. Their team time of 1:18:18 was the second fastest team time ever, second only to the AF team of 2010 that ran 1:18.01. The Individual battle was also intense, and it took a 5A record run to win the race. Kramer Morton of Alta ran 15:13 to pull away from the AF and Davis packs.
This season the state meet will bear some distinct similarities to last year, with some new contenders climbing their way into the mix.
American Fork lost 2 of their scorers from last season’s team, but they have come back with a fury. They are ranked #3 again this season, and Connor McMillan up front for the Cavemen has looked very impressive as of late. They don’t look like they have many weaknesses. In fact they would probably be able to win state if their 1-2 didn’t finish, they 3-7 is just that strong.
Along with American Fork, there are quite a few very good teams who are all hoping to pull the upset.
Bingham is looking very good through this point in the season. They are a pretty serious contender, and will be hoping to take advantage of any weakness AF shows. They are led by a strong 1-2 punch from Andrew Brewer and Caleb Walker.
Lone Peak is a team that can do some damage as well. They didn’t run particularly well at the Region meet, but that is just a qualifier so they could very well refocus and run very well at state. They are led by Clayson Shumway who is their Individual contender for the meet as well.
Lone Peak, Bingham, and Westlake all could do battle for the last two podium spots. Westlake ran amazing at their region meet to beat Lone Peak. Even though on paper they might not have been ranked ahead, they ran very well. They are a team with momentum and as such are very dangerous. Look for Westlake to run bold.
Also, don’t sleep on Davis. They aren’t ranked as high as they have been in years past, but they have a tradition of winning and they won’t care much about who is ranked first. They are led by Skylar Williams who will make sure he is in the lead pack. On paper they are only separated by 7 points with Lone Peak and Westlake, so a podium finish is within reach.
Two more teams to watch will be Riverton and Alta. Riverton was 3rd last year and actually has most of that team back. Brady Early has run well this season and will be looking for another podium finish. Alta challenged Bingham nicely at the Region 3 Championships and they are led by a very talented Kramer Morton. They will be looking to upset for a podium place themselves.
Individually, each runner has a win against the next. Mcmillan has beat Morton, Morton has beat Mcmillan, Mcmillan has beat Shumway, Shumway has beat Early, Brewer has beat Shumway, and Morton has beat Brewer. Oh, and just because he is #2 on his team, Zac Jacklin is not out of the race himself. The lead pack will stay close through 2 miles and then it will be a free-for-all.
Morton is the 5A record holder so I am going to give him my vote for the win. He is also the defending champion, and an Alta Hawk, and so am I. I think it will be either him or McMillan. They are both hungry and very strong. The key for McMillan will be to lose Morton before they hit the final 400. The closer to the finish they get the more confidence Morton will have in his finish. Brewer is my next pick for the way he won at the Westlake Classic. I like Shumway because of the way he won from the front at the BYU Autumn Classic. Linkletter, Jacklin, and Early should also contend for a top 5 finish.
Virtual meet team scores
American Fork- 46
Westlake and Lone Peak -114
Individual top 3 mile times this season
- Connor Mcmillan 14:32
- Zac Jacklin 14:42
- Andrew Brewer 14:42
- Clayson Shumway 14:44
- Kramer Morton 14:45
- Brady Early 14:46
- Caleb Walker 14:55
- Christian Allen 14:59
- Clay Lambourne 15:03
- Casey Clinger 15:04