Quick Takes: As I write all the meet recaps, and load all the photo galleries, I wanted to update everyone on a few quick highlights from the meet before all the full breakdowns.
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 pack.
Last season Davis and American Fork girls were poised for a battle to the wire, with both teams Nationally ranked. In the end, the Darts Claimed the victory with only 37 points. This marked the 3th straight State Championship the Darts had brought home, in a very dominant streak for Coach Talley’s team. That same team would go on to finish 12th in the Nation at Nike Cross Nationals Entering this 2013 season we weren’t sure how complete the team would be, having lost their top 2 nationally ranked individuals in Shea Martinez and Ellie Child. So could the Darts possibly bounce back from losing 3 of their top 4 from last season?
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.
This years 4A Girls competition seems to be a mess of epic proportions. One team after another has shown why they should be considered the team to beat, and in the end it looks just as open as it did at the beginning of the season, if not more. There are 5 teams I can honestly say I would not be surprised if they won it all on Wednesday. Orem, Skyline, Timpanogos, Ogden, and Mountain Crest.
The 3A Girls Team competition was the highlight of the meet last season. The Park City and Ogden girls came in to the meet both ranked high enough they were looking for spots at the Nike Team Nationals. The battle was hyped up to be the battle of the day, and it did not disappoint, as the Miners of Park City held off the Ogden Tigers by just 8 points to earn the State Championship. The win marked the Miners 5th straight State Title.
The 3A classification might get the stigma of a “Smaller Classification”, but those who know Utah XC history know that the 3A Boys State title often the most difficult title to win. With runners like Ben Saarel, Luke Puskedra, Jordan Cross, Patrick Smyth, and more, the 3A Boys have proven that the only number that matters is the time on the clock. 3A runners have the fastest 2 times ever run on the current state course.
This week is the most exciting of all for Cross Country competition within the state of Utah. Aside from any post season championships meets, this is the end of the road for many in terms of the XC season. On Wednesday at Sugarhouse Park, runners from across the state will converge for the State Championship. the 1A girls go first, and then right after they finish the 2A girls will toe the line. The 2A boys will get their chance about 30 minutes after the girls finish.
The Cross Country Season comes to it’s peak this week, with the 2013 Utah State XC Championships. Everyone has worked all season long to be their best on this single day in late October. When the gun goes off at 11 AM Wednesday morning, the 1A girls will begin their quest to etch their names in coveted archive of state champions. Only one individual and one team per classification can ever earn the title of 2013 state XC champion. Winning a state championship is truly the pinnacle of the sport within the state. In fact, more people will summit Everest this year than will be crowned a Utah State Champion. Being a state champion is rarified air. I do have a tendency to ramble, but the point I am trying to make is, this is it!
The 2013 State Cross Country Championships will be held at Sugar House Park on Wednesday afternoon. Since the course was moved to the current Sugarhouse course, there have been 150 state champions crowned over 5 classifications. 3 Champions who earned their state title on this same course went on to win an NCAA Championship, with more looking to add their name to that list.
The 2012 Utah State Cross Country Championships were the fastest ever. For the boys, 8 of the 15 fastest individual times ever run on the Sugarhouse course were run in 2012. The 5A Junior and Senior Records fell as well as the 4A Sophomore, Junior and Senior Records. As for team times, the 3A and 4A records fell, and teams from all divisions combined for 6 of the 14 fastest team total times ever. For the girls, 4 of the 15 fastest individual times ever were run last season, and three of those four girls are returning this season. 5 of the 8 all time fastest team totals were run in 2012.
Region Recap for Region 1: The Darts sweep the Region individual titles and team titles
The final spots at the 2013 State Cross Country Championships will be earned on Wednesday at the remaining Regional Meets around the state. Going off what I've seen, the average times of each team, and a little help from a few coaches, I have compiled a little preview of what can be expected from Region 5, 7, 8, 11, and 19.
Region 4 will be hosted at Westlake High on Wednesday afternoon in Saratoga Springs, and this has to be the most stacked region in the state. On both the girls and boys side of things, the battle for the 4th and final team spot will be just as epic as the battle for the win.
Tuesday will be one of the busiest days of the year for runners in the state of Utah. With 7 different Region Championships happening across the state, there will be an excess of action. In all regions 3A-5A, the top 4 teams qualify for the state championship. The 1A and 2A teams qualify a little differently, it is the top ½ of all complete teams will advance to the state championship..
Region 2 and 3 Recap: The first 8 teams for that will appear in the state championship meet for both Boys and Girls are now officially in the books. The Region 2 and Region 3 Championships were held Thursday afternoon. It was a very rainy day in the Salt Lake Valley, with rain pouring seemingly all day long. This didn’t seem to slow anyone down as records still fell as runners competed for a spot at the state championship.
The 2013 Region 6 XC Championships are being held at the Cottonwood Complex on Friday, the 11th, just one day after Region 3 will host their Championship on the same course. The next 7 days will be a very important week of racing, with everyone trying to secure their place at the State Championships. The top 4 teams from the Region, as well as the top 3 individuals advance on to the state championship, which is only 2 weeks away.
The 2013 Region 3 XC Championships are being held at the Cottonwood Complex in Cottonwood Heights on Thursday, Oct 10. This is one of the biggest weekends of the season. To get to the state championships you have to bring your “A game” at the region meets. Region 3 includes contenders for both the individual title, as well as the team title. The top 4 teams from the Region, as well as the top 3 individuals advance on to the state championship, which is only 2 weeks away.
Park City hosted their annual invitational on Friday night. The times were impressive on both the Boy’s and Girl’s side of things. With times and performances as good as they were we wanted to take a second and break down the performances.
In case you missed it, there was a BIG meet at Westlake High School on Friday afternoon. Nationally ranked #18 Bingham went to challenge #13 Lone Peak for the team title, while their top individuals, Andrew Brewer and Clayson Shumway, duked it out for the individual win. Watch the race here!
Westlake High School hosted their annual Cross-Country Classic on Friday night in Saratoga Springs. With snow falling in the morning, the sun came out and warmed things up enough to make conditions nearly perfect. Temperatures were cold, and the large crowd of fans that came to the meet to cheer on their teams had to bundle in their winter coats. Though it was cold, it was a perfect temperature for a race. It was just cold enough to allow the athletes to race without over heating, while not being so cold that they had to add layers to their XC uniforms.
Well it’s October, and that means championship XC season. Tomorrow kicks off the last weekend for big meets before the Regional and State meets which are just a few weeks ahead. Three Big meets fill the schedule this weekend, one at Cedar, one at Park City, and the biggest of the weekend at West Lake. Here is a little taste of what is to come tomorrow evening.
This weekend, the meet of the week will be the Nebo XC Invite at Maple Mountain. A snow storm moved through the higher elevations in the early afternoon in Utah County, leaving white-capped hills for this evenings meet. The races aren’t until later this evening, but expect this to be the first meet of the season where runners may be wearing gloves and long sleeves instead of the standard short shorts and jersey.
Athlete of the week, Sept 16-23, 2013- Lucy Biles of Herriman and Connor McMillan of American Fork. Every week, Milesplit Utah honors one male athlete and one female athlete of the week, based on high performance. The award is given to an athlete based on time, exceptional performance, a big win, a breakout performance, or whatever else merits the honor. When you feel someone deserves the award, send us your nomination by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Nearly every team in the state competed somewhere this weekend, with 3 pretty big in state meets, and one in Idaho that drew big Utah crowds. Lucy Biles led a very strong Utah showing at the Bob Firman Invitational, While Connor McMillan pulled away from Clayson Shumway for an impressive win at the Wasatch Invitational. Sam Sorensen ran the fastest of any leg at the Wahsatch Rendezvous, and Hannah Malone had a big win at the Royal Run. Here is a breakdown of how the Locals fared at the Firman Invitational.
Runners in the state will be spread across three meets this weekend, as well as some heading out of state to race in Idaho. The Wasatch Invitational will be held at Soldier Summit, the Wasatch Rendezvous will be held at Big Cottonwood Park, and the Royal Run will be hosted by Roy HS
If there is one thing to be said about the Bob Firman Invitational this weekend, it would be that most people have overlooked the Utah talent. With meet previews highlighting everyone except the Utah competitors, no one seems to think our local athletes can run with the best. If there is one thing I have learned, it would be to watch out for Utah, because we boast some of the strongest distance running talent in the country, especially for the size of the state. The meet does bring some very good talent from Washington, Idaho, and California, but there are plenty of runners from Utah that can steal the show. So who is most likely to surprise the competition in Idaho this weekend?
While running for BYU, Josh Rohatinsky won the 2006 NCAA Cross-Country championship, on one of the muddier days in the recent history of the meet. I was in the race on that muddy day in Indiana. I remember going from aspirations of a top 40 finish, to just hoping to be able to get my feet out of the mud with every step. There were runners getting their shoes ripped off in the mud, and finishing barefoot, but Josh didn’t let the conditions slow him down much. Instead he remained focused, ran his race, and ended up just the 2nd Cougar to ever win the NCAA XC title.
BYU hosted their annual Autumn Classic on Saturday morning in Provo. Despite soggy and muddy grass, the weather was great for a Cross Country meet. Besides, what is Cross Country without a little mud?
BYU hosted the annual Autumn Classic on Saturday morning in Provo, Utah. Rainy conditions all week long left the grass very soft, but the sun came out for a very nice morning for a Cross Country meet. With 175 girls in the Varsity race alone, there was plenty of speculation of who would emerge victorious at the end of the day.