For the first time ever, the state held cross country divisionals for each classification from 3A-6A. In the past, teams would advance to the championship meet based on their region championship meet performance, but the state changed the process to qualify to state this year.
Stansbury and Tooele competed in the 4A Division A and B races, respectively, while Grantsville ran in the 3A Division A competition. After all of the runners finished the races, boys’ and girls’ from all three schools qualified to advance to the Oct. 24 State Championships at the Regional Athletic Complex, in Salt Lake City.
In the 4A races, Stansbury’s boys were the highest local finishers at fourth. Coming in behind Mountain View, Desert Hills and Pine View in the B Divisional, the Stallions placed two runners in the top 20, and all of their runners finished within 58 seconds of each other. Sophomore Hayden Johnson (17:15.5) earned 13th place, closely trailed by senior Hyrum Staker (17:16.8) in 14th.
Freshman Ethan Belnap (17:58.1) scored third for Stansbury, with junior Evan Reinhart (18:02.2) and senior Chase Williams (18:14.3) finishing the scoring. Jaxon Allen and Colin Ruebush ran sixth and seventh.
The Stallions’ girls finished sixth as a team, with sophomore Leah Larsen earning a sixth-place individual finish (20:09.9) while junior Ellie Dangerfield (20:39.4) completed the race 12th. Genna Larsen, Madisyn Maez, Bre Matterson, Amelia Diamond and Alison Lovell pushed the team to sixth as the team moved forward to the finals.
Both Tooele’s boys and girls finished 10th in their 4A Division B races. Leading the boys was junior Griffen Bronder (18:29.2); juniors Lindsey Hansen (22:14.7) and Ramie Peacock (22:16.2) were the first two girls to score. Hansen’s younger brother, freshman Bridger, was the second runner for Tooele (18:32.4), with sophomore Braxton Williams right on his heels at 18:32.5.
Tooele Coach Jonathan Lundgreen commented on his team’s tenacity all season, on both the boys and girls teams.
“We worked really hard this year and were able to qualify both our teams for state,” he said. “Tooele hasn’t qualified both boys and girls teams for a long time [and] right now we are preparing for state.”
In the 3A Division A races, Grantsville’s boys placed third, and the girls garnered eighth place. Manti scored 47 in the boys’ race while Emery finished second at 72 and Grantsville at 89.
Grantsville’s boys’ team ran in the same race, with all seven runners finishing within 16 seconds of each other.
Juniors Hudson Clark and Isaac Nordgren, along with Clark’s younger brother, freshman Cooper Clark, finished in quick succession at 13th, 14th and 15th place in 18:25.3, 18:26.5 and 18:27.3. Junior Cliff Richardson was just behind them, in 20th place (18:31.7).
The second group of runners, including sophomore Evan Craner (18:41.5), junior Zach Dutson (18:44.8) and freshman Zach Nordgren (18:57.9), finished the race 24th, 25th and 26th.
In the girls race, freshman Jane Whittle earned 15th place (22:40.9) with sophomore Sophia Camargo finishing 25th (24:07.0).
The state races took place Oct. 24, which concluded after this article’s publication.