* Skyridge's Creed Thompson (left) and Lone Peak's Eliza Arrington were involved in two epic Utah State XC Championship races on Thursday
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It speaks to the sheer depth of the Lone Peak (UT) High School girls cross country team that, through a wild and crazy last few moments on Thursday at the Utah State Class 6A Cross Country Championships at Soldier Hollow Park in Midway, Utah, the Knights still managed to seal up their second straight state title.
Consider what happened in the final few moments:
According to Utah MileSplit editor Joshua Ornelas -- who was on scene at the state championships -- Lone Peak's No. 1 runner, Eliza Arrington, fell in the final stages of the race, only to be carried off the course.
Upon seeing this, Lone Peak's No. 2 runner, Reagan Gardner, came to Arrington's aid, eventually persuading her teammate to finish the race.
At first, both Arrington and Gardner were disqualified by virtue of being aided or veering off the course.
But soon thereafter, Gardner was reinstated, giving Lone Peak a healthy win over American Fork with 29 points.
The reversal was another crazy moment in a race that produced the unexpected, even though the Knights had managed to win the race even without their top two runners -- even without Arrington or Gardner, Lone Peak had still managed to win (originally with 59 points).
The Cavewomen finished second with 74 points.
On an incredibly difficult course -- which featured just one girl's runner, Carlee Hansen, breaking 20 minutes in the Class 5A race -- the Knights found depth on their bench.
Junior Eliza Mason was second overall at 20:25.30, while Gardner's reinstatement gave her a third-place finish in 20:31.9. Juniors Taylor Rohatinsky and Katie Bybee were seventh and eighth, respectively, while senior Anna Scholes was ninth.
Junior Mara Holmes, typically the team's seventh runner, was 36th overall in 22:03.3. The Knights were fortunate that they had their first four runners into the finish by the time American Fork had its first.
Layton High School was third with 101 points, while Corner Canyon finished fourth with 178.
Skyridge Nudges Past American Fork:
To say that the Utah State Championships were unpredictable is an understatement. No one could have expected the Lone Peak girls to have such a dramatic finish.
Heading into the state championships, though, the most compelling matchup of the day was in the boys Class 6A race, where two nationally-ranked squads were vying for a state title.
No. 2 American Fork was going head-to-head with No. 3 Skyridge.
And this race did not disappoint.
In a minor surprise, American Fork's top runner, junior Nathan Jaster, took the overall Class 6A individual title with a time of 16:09.8, beating defending champion Creed Thompson, who was second overall in 16:20.4.
But Thompson and his teammates ultimately won the bigger prize, securing the Class 6A team title with 57 points, outscoring the Cavemen by five as they gained redemption after a Divisional Championship loss the week prior.
American Fork ultimately was a little more spread out, finishing first, seventh, 13th, 20th, and 24th. Senior Brayden Packard, coming back from injury after missing the divisional championships, was the team's fifth runner -- obviously showing determination in wanting to compete for the team in its most pivotal race.
Finishing third overall as a team was Corner Canyon with 105 points, while Davis scored 107.
Class 5A Girls Race:
The time wasn't what Carlee Hansen likely expected, but the Woods Cross senior locked up another win, taking the Class 5A race at 19:55.00.
She would finish the day as the only girl's runner under 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, the Springville girls absolutely dominated the day, scoring 38 points. Timpanogos was second with 169 points, while Mountain View was third with 176.
Class 5A Boys Race:
Bountiful's Dalton Mortensen surged ahead to win his second straight Class 5A title, finishing with a time of 16:41.50.
But the team race was an entirely different story, filled with intrigue.
In the end, Farmington's boys claimed a somewhat surprising title over Timpanogos, which had been the favorite entering.
The Farmington boys scored 44 points to Timpanogos' 50, while Orem was third with 123.
Farmington saw three runners inside the top 10, led by fourth-place Simon Mitchell.
Class 3A Races:
Grand County's Kylah Ricks won the girls Class 3A race in 20:00.5, while Morgan High School claimed the team title with 49 points. In the boy's race, Morgan's Gabe Sargent pocketed the Class 3A win with a time of 17:34.1, while Emery won by 1-point over Richfield, with a final scoreline of 66-67.