Grantsville junior Porter Whitworth wasted no time picking up right where he left off as a sophomore.
In Saturday morning’s Premier Invitational at the Cottonwood Complex in Millcreek, last year’s third-place finisher at the Class 3A state cross-country championships showed why he’s a contender to win the whole thing in 2018, winning the race in a blazing time of 14 minutes, 53.8 seconds — 4.5 seconds faster than Carson Wilkins of Morgan, who finished second.
“I just wanted to stay back in the pack and hopefully outkick some people,” said Whitworth, who also finished second in the 3,200-meter run and third in the 1,600 at the state track and field championships in May. “I just beat my season goal. My goal was to break 15:30, which was the school record.”
Whitworth and Wilkins were the only two runners to break the 15-minute mark in a field that included athletes from 18 schools. North Summit’s David Fine was third (15:05.4), followed by Jason Davis of Woods Cross (15:06.3) and Josh Oblad of Stansbury (15:12.9).
Grantsville finished second to Morgan in the Class 1A-3A boys race by a single point in a hard-fought race between the Region 13 rivals. Seth Beckett finished fourth for the Cowboys in 15:54.8, with Jordan Wheeler eighth (16:56.9) and Caden Williams ninth (17:15.0). Wyatt Teggins’ 16th-place finish (19:25.9) rounded out the Cowboys’ team score.
Stansbury’s boys ended up winning the Class 4A race handily, placing seven runners in the top nine 4A finishers. Talmage Ricks was second in the 4A race in 15:43.3, with Carson Belnap fourth (16:06.1), Tyler Seeley sixth (16:32.1) and Isaac Nelson (16:33.5) seventh. Trevor Jensen was eighth in 16:47.9 and Jeremy Ruebush was ninth in 16:50.1.
Stansbury’s girls were similarly dominant, placing six runners in the top nine en route to the team title. Shelby Archer won the 4A girls race in 19:25.2, followed by teammate Joelle Spilker in second (19:36.7). Eliza Beazer (20:01.8), Katelin Chipman (20:08.8) and McKenna Rogers (20:12.3) finished sixth through eighth to round out the Stallions’ team score. Brooke Call (ninth, 20:34.7) and Brynn Squires (13th, 21:59.7) also had strong races for Stansbury.
Tooele’s boys finished third in the 4A race, led by Teagun Palmer’s 11th-place finish (16:52.4). Tyler Stewart was 13th in 17:06.9 for the Buffaloes, with Jared Downard 16th (17:41.5), Joel Brown 19th (17:56.5), Christopher Day 21st (18:00.9) and Joseph Wilkins 22nd (18:13.3). Wyatt Olsen (18:16.3, 23rd) also competed for Tooele.
Makayla Komer led the Tooele girls to a third-place finish in 4A, crossing the line fifth in 19:57.8. Jessica Glaser (10th, 20:43.8), Jennifer Thomas (12th, 21:20.2), Sarah Marble (20th, 23:54.3) and Rachel Thomas (21st, 24:30.5) were the Buffs’ other scoring runners. Brooklyn Eardley finished 23rd among 4A runners in 25:47.7.
Grantsville’s girls were third in the 1A-3A race, led by Lindsey Palmer’s fifth-place finish in 21:33.5. Makayla Lear was seventh in 22:02.4, Sarah Kurtz was 13th in 22:54.1, Lindsay Riches was 15th in 23:29.7 and Acelyn Fuentes was 16th in 23:40.6.