By Brad Foster
Wasatch High School’s Head Cross Country Coach
Saturday marked the halfway point of the year for cross-country team competitions, and it was no surprise that the team welcomed that hump with the most difficult race of the year—the Soldier Hollow Invitational. 16 teams met at the WHS home course of Soldier Hollow Saturday morning to compete on the most difficult course in the entire state. The 3.1 mile course covers varied terrain from grass to dirt, hills to flats, and steep ups to steep downs; however, the home team welcomed the challenge.
The day was divided in to 6 total races—one boys and girls race each for Fr/So, Jr/Sr, and varsity teams, and our squad performed well. For instance, our freshman/sophomore girls squad, led by Becca Mathis (25:00 total time on the 3.1 mile course) placed 3rd out of all the teams in that particular race. Other scorers include Megan Woodward, Grace Neal, Julia Light, and Suzanne Quinn. Our boys squad also performed well in their race with Josh Williams leading the team (19:44 overall), and other scorers for the team including Dan Bennion, Brayden Guymon, Caleb West, and Cayden Jarvis.
Our Junior and Senior girls race had only one participant, Natalie Light, who medaled for the team, placing 10th overall with a time of 25:10 on the 3.1 mile course. On the boys side, the squad placed 6th overall in what turned out to be the biggest race of the day with over 200 participants racing. Connor Baird led the team with a stellar time of 20:00 on the course, and other team scorers include Ben McCullugh, Ethan Hardy, Tad Webb, and Braeden Patterson.
In the final two races of the day, our varsity squads represented well on the difficult 5k course with the girls placing 2nd overall, and the boys finishing in 5th place overall. Highlights include a 4th place finish from senior team captain, Abby West, who ran the race in a blistering time of 20:47, and boys team captain, Jake Ellis, who led the boys squad with a stellar 17:25 overall time which garnered 5th place overall. Other scoring positions for the girls include senior team captain, Amy Richardson, who placed 14th overall, and freshman runner Abbie Randall, who placed 15th overall for the girls. Sophomores Anna Baird and Madalyn King rounded out the girls scores for the team’s 2nd place finish on the day—an amazing feat for such a young squad. As for the boys finish, Junior Mason Heimburger finished in the second place spot, followed closely by team captain Andrei Hinkley and sophomore Josh Horner. 4th and 5th place spots were run down by Matthias Dunn and Mack Hinkley to give the boys their 5th place team spot overall.
With only 3 more meets before the Region championship, both the boy’s and girl’s teams look to be in the top four for Region—which would qualify the entire team for the State meet on October 18th. With meets at BYU, Salem Hills, and Park City on the horizon, both teams should be ready for their true test at the Region Championships on Friday, October 6th.