The Stansbury girls cross country team was just as good as their male counterparts at the Region 11 meet last Wednesday.
Prior to the boys winning a region championship, the girls raced to a region title. The boys scored 23 points to win their title, while the girls scored 26. The lower the point total the better in cross country.
In the girls race, Stansbury finished first with 26, Bear River second with 40, Tooele third with 77 and Grantsville fourth with 91. All four teams will compete at the state meet at Sugar House Park this Wednesday.
Stansbury coach Steve Allen said both the boys and girls have seen what some of the top runners have achieved in the past at Stansbury and have taken it to the team level.
“The program is set up for them to hit certain amounts of mileage while in middle school, junior varsity and varsity levels as they progress. There needs to be a balance, though, in the amount of miles and the intensity of the miles,” Allen said. “Sometimes individuals get discouraged, but then they look at the records and see how much they really have improved over the years.”
Stansbury’s seven runners all finished in the top 14 at the region meet. Kaitlin Palmer, Maggie Beazer and KaSandra Nordgren finished second through fourth, respectively. Sidney Warick placed seventh, Jessica Chipman 10th, Emma Bradfield 13th and Stephani Patten 14th.
Tooele’s Shawni Williams finished sixth, and Grantsville’s Kristen Rust placed ninth.
“Sydney is the only senior of that group and has taken the responsibility to show the younger runners what they can and need to do to succeed,” Allen said. “Those first three runners are all sophomores so we have a bright future ahead. The girls have taken the same idea as the boys to work together and take it to the team level.”
Grantsville coach Scott Mouritsen had high praise for Rust, who was also named Academic All-State in cross country.
“Kristen has been our hardest worker this year, boys or girls,” Mouritsen said. “She has done everything that we have asked her to do. She is not very vocal but she is a great quiet leader. It has been so fun to see her times go down; she ran a great race at region. She has set some personal goals and some team goals for state and she has worked hard to accomplish those goals. Kristen reminds me of what sport is all about: learning how to work hard, and seeing that hard work pay off in competition. We will miss Kristen as she is a senior this year.”
Tooele was paced once again by Shawni Williams who finished sixth. Other Tooele runners headed to state are Eva Olcott, Megan Webb, Courtney Chambers, Hannah Jensen, Breana Voigt and Hayley Adkin.
In addition to Rust, Grantsville will have Christina Gunderson, Ryleigh Estrada, Breanna Hansen, Lindsey Johnson and Elena Yadon competing on Wednesday.