Runners from Stansbury, Grantsville and Tooele will get their chance to see how they stack up against the rest of 3A’s finest Wednesday afternoon at the state championship meet at Sugar House Park in Salt Lake City.
Stansbury, fresh off its Region 11 championship, has the best chance to place near the top in team standings at the meet, which will wind up the cross country season in Utah. The 3A boys race starts at 2:30 p.m., and some of the teams that will battle for a state championship will be Desert Hills, Pine View and Park City. Stansbury is prepared to challenge them Five Stallion runners placed in the top 11 last Wednesday at the Region 11 meet with the first three runners to cross the finish line all from Stansbury
“Our runners have looked at some of the top individual performances in the past here at Stansbury and have taken that effort to a team level. Both the boys and girls have dedicated a lot of time and put in a lot of miles to improve,” said Stansbury coach Steve Allen.
Jaden Torgerson placed first followed by Tanner Jensen and Piercen Maez. Hunter Hoffman finished sixth and Cameron Houston seventh.
“Hoffman is the newest kid of that group, and he just got on board this summer. He only ran a little bit last year. Jaden has been running with us since a freshman, and will be back next year as a senior. Piercen is just a sophomore, and Tanner has kind of been a spoken and unspoken leader of the group,” Allen said.
Taylor Graves and Jake Graves will also compete at state for Stansbury.
Grantsville also has a solid group with Colin Arave leading the way. Arave placed fourth at the Region 11 meet, and the Cowboys finished third as a team.
“Colin was our boys team captain—he has been a leader to the entire team. Not only is he a leader by how hard he races, but also by what he says and how he acts. He has a wonderful attitude,” said Grantsville coach Scott Mouritsen. “ We have tried a few different things this year and he has jumped into the philosophy with both feet. We needed that out of our captain. He is a great student, he excels in the classroom, and he has learned to push himself to the limits while running. He is so fun to watch race. We will miss Colin as he is a senior this year.”
Also competing at state for the Cowboys will be Wesley Allen, Paul Blackhurst, Brandon Passey, Zachary Gregory, Jonathan Riches and Landon Whitworth.
Allen finished 13th at the region meet.
“We are so glad that Wesley decided to run again this year. He is an extremely hard worker and he has been able to see his times go down consistently all season long,” the coach said. “There were times at the beginning of the season that he would get frustrated that he wasn’t where he wanted to be, but he was able to be patient and let the training catch up with him. He will be a great runner for us for the next two years as he is a sophomore.”
Blackhurst, another sophomore, placed 17th at the region meet.
“Paul worked hard over the summer, he put in a lot of time and just as the season was about to start he started dealing with an injury. It held him back a little at the beginning of the season, but he always had the determination to be up with the leaders of our team,” the coach said. “He worked hard and was able to be patient and he was where we needed him to be by the end of the season.”
Passey is a senior first-year runner and his coach said he should be in better condition to race at state than he was at the region meet. “A couple of weeks ago, Brandon had a little accident that set him back a little, but we should see him at his full capacity this Wednesday at State,” Mouritsen said.
Zachary Gregory, Jonathan Riches and Landon Whitworth will also compete for the Cowboys at the state meet.
Tooele finished fifth as a team, but their top three individuals earned a right to compete at state. They include Zach Marble, Isael Lomeli and Nick Gamble.