The Grand County High School cross country teams each had three runners place in the top five at the John Thornton Invitational in Blanding on Wednesday, Sept. 27, including the winner in each race as senior Ryan Lewis led the boys to a first-place team finish and freshman Kylah Ricks led the girls to a second-place showing.
Lewis narrowly missed out on a milestone, finishing the race at 16:00.44. He was followed by a pair of sophomores with sub-17 races as Evan Ellison finished in second at 16:13.30 and Malachi Ricks finished in fourth at 16:48.14. Another sophomore, Soren Indergard, placed 14th at 17:40.03.
“This is the most talented team I’ve ever coached,” Grand cross country coach Randy Martin said. “To have three team members run in under 17 minutes is phenomenal.”
Kylah Ricks’ finishing time of 19:18.56 was good for her fourth event won this season, one shy of Lewis’ five, Martin said. The freshman was trailed by senior Hannah Stripeika in fourth at 20:38.49, freshman Anika Scherer in fifth at 20:44.56 and sophomore Jessie Anderson in ninth at 21:45.00.
Martin said Kylah Ricks and older broth Malachi are both “phenomenal runners.”
“She’s run seven races in her high school career and she’s won four,” Martin said. “She’s extremely talented and the sky’s the limit for her. She’s only going to get faster.”
Junior Nolan Ramirez finished in 20th place at 18:09.90 and senior Braxten Pierce finished in 22nd at 18:30.65 for the boys, while freshman Mona Taylor (13th, 22:38.75), junior Sadie Farnsworth (19th, 23:48.02) and freshman Elly Bauer (second place in JV race, 23:23.01) also competed for the girls.
The Red Devils next compete at the Region 15 Championship on Tuesday, Oct. 10, at 4 p.m. The region meet is on the same course as the John Thornton Invitational, which Martin said will give the Red Devils an advantage, having already run the course and learned its nuances.
“I expect both our teams to do well at region,” Martin said. “We’ve run against these teams all year. We know them and we’ve competed well.”
Ryan Lewis, Kylah Ricks, each bring home gold medals
“This is the most talented team I’ve ever coached. To have three team members run in under 17 minutes is phenomenal.”
When: Tuesday, Oct. 10, 4 p.m.
Where: Pacheco Trail, Blanding