Stansbury’s Tanner Jensen held back and then kicked it into high gear the final 200 meters of the race to zip past five other runners and finish fourth at the 3A Boys State Cross Country Championships Wednesday.
Jensen’s performance lifted the Stallions to a fourth-place team finish at the annual meet held at Sugar House Park in Salt Lake City.
“After the first mile I was in 25th place, and then I moved up to 11th after two miles,” Jensen said. “During the last 200 meters I passed five runners.”
It is the best finish for Jensen this year in a race featuring such a large field of runners. Jensen almost moved up one more place with his great kick at the finish. He clocked 16:24.7 compared to Desert Hill’s Benjamin Powell’s time of 16:23.2 in third place. Garrett Marsing of Carbon finished first at 16:02.9, and Pine View’s Byron Warby placed second at 16:08.7.
Desert Hills won the state championship with runners placing third, eighth, ninth, 11th and 18th for 49 points. Park City placed second with 73, and Pine View third with 79. Stansbury scored 95 points with Cedar a distant fifth at 161 points.
Stansbury’s top five runners all finished in the top 36 out of 123 runners.
Jaden Torgerson placed 10th with a time of 16:31.7; Piercen Maez finished 21st with a time of 16:56.7; Hunter Hoffman was 24th with a time of 17:02.5; and Cameron Houston finished 27th with a time of 17:16.5
Grantsville placed 10th at the meet with Colin Arave 49th, Wesley Allen 52nd, Paul Blackhurst 62, Landon Whitworth 74th and Zach Gregory 83rd. Stansbury’s Taylor Graves and Jake Graves finished 44th and 60th respectively.
“Tanner ran a great race today,” said coach Randy Quarez. “I think he knew it was his last hurrah as a senior.” Jensen matched the performance of Stansbury’s Austin Slade from last year, who also placed fourth. In 2011, Tyson Lambert placed 10th.
Quarez said some of the runners were disappointed with their performances.
“That’s the way it is with running; you have some good days and some not-so-good days. There is the pressure of the state meet and running in front of a lot of people. After we looked at the results we felt really good about how we performed in both the boys and girls races. Our scores were fairly close to the top three teams in each race. We faced a little adversity with cramping, sore muscles and dehydration, but we’re really proud of how the kids performed overall.
“The future looks bright at Stansbury. A lot of our former runners and graduates came and supported our current team. We want to continue to build upon the foundation laid by these former runners and continue to improve as a team,” Quarez said.
Tooele’s Nick Gamble and Zach Marble placed 73rd and 82nd respectively. Grantsville’s Jonathan Riches and Bradon Passey were 89th and 93rd respectively.