To say Stansbury High School cross-country dominated the Premier Invitational in Settlement Canyon on Saturday would be an understatement.
All seven of Stansbury’s boys cross-country runners finished in the top 11 in the 1A-3A race, and six of the girls finished in the top seven.
“It’s always a good start to see where we’re at,” Allen said. “We have high goals and we’re aiming high. It’s just a start and that’s about it. We don’t like to compare too much.”
Stansbury senior Cameron Houston won the boys race in a time of 15 minutes, 56.1 seconds. Teammate and fellow senior Jaden Torgerson finished a little under 10 seconds later at 16:04.0.
Grantsville junior Paul Blackhurst was the top Cowboy in the race, taking seventh place with a time of 17:01.1. Tooele’s Zach Marble and Thomas Wright were the top Buffaloes, taking eighth and ninth places with times of 17:06.5 and 17:22.1, respectively.
Stansbury won the team race with 18 points. Tooele scored 74 to edge out North Summit and Grantsville, which both scored 79. West Ridge scored 114 points in the five-team competition.
“We knew the competition wasn’t super huge because we had a lot of teams that had canceled,” Allen said, “so we challenged the kids to really push themselves time wise and it worked out pretty well for most of them.”
On the girls side, Stansbury junior Maggie Beazer won in 19:01.6, and seniors Emma Bradfield and Stephanie Patten finished second and third to help Stansbury finish one, two, three.
North Summit’s Abbi Zwahlen spoiled the SHS run for a sweep by placing fourth: She was the only non-Stansbury runner in the top seven. Tooele freshman Jamie Johansen was the only Tooele racer in the varsity race, and she finished 10th with a time of 22:14.0.
“I know physically that there’s been a lot of improvement.” Allen said. “Mentally the hardest part for these kids who’ve done well and come back, is they know exactly what’s going to happen and how they’re going to feel and it worries them. We’re trying to really help them become mentally stronger.”
Beazer took 15th at the state meet last year and was the top Region 11 competitor in that race with a 19:56.7, and Bradfield’s time was more than three minutes better Friday than at state last year. While it is difficult — if not nearly impossible — to compare times form two different courses, Allen said it shows a valuable improvement from his No. 2 runner.
Allen said many of his runners did not run well from injury or illness, or did not run at all: Houston was sick last week with strep, Torgerson has been injured all summer and has been on a bike instead of running, junior Jake Graves had a sinus infection and usually is the No. 4 runner but placed seventh on the team; and on the girls side, senior Jessica Chipman was on vacation and Kasandra Nordgren, Region 11’s 1600-meter winner during track season, is hurt with a back injury and didn’t race.
“It’s going to be an exciting year,” Allen said. “We’re excited about what the girls and boys teams can do.”
Stansbury won the two-team race 17-42 over North Summit, but Allen is encouraged by the results and is confident in his team’s ability to do well within region.