[Courtesy photo]

Grand County High School senior Ryan Lewis and freshman Kylah Ricks placed first in their respective divisions at the Region 15 Cross Country Championship meet on Tuesday, Oct. 10, in Blanding, leading both the boys team and the girls team to third-place finishes.

Lewis ran the race at 17:18 to pace the boys, while Ricks’ finishing time was 20:52. Grand cross country coach Randy Martin said he was proud of the work ethic put forth by both runners.

“It is an incredible achievement to have both the boys and girls region champions from the same school,” he said. “It is a tribute to Ryan and Kylah and the hard work they have put in over the past 12 months to achieve this level of success. They both ran strong, smart races from start to finish.”

Joining Lewis on the podium was sophomore Evan Ellison in second place at 17:35. Martin said Ellison had a chip on his shoulder in the latter part of the season after finishing fifth at home in late August.

“Evan has come on strong the last month of our season,” he said. “He was not satisfied at all with that fifth-place finish and worked extremely hard in practice to atone for that finish, pushing himself every day to compete with Ryan.”

Richfield emerged victorious in the boys team score with 36 points, followed by Emery with 43 and Grand with 56. Host San Juan paced the girls with 37 points, while Richfield was in second at 48 and Grand was third at 68. Both teams met one of their primary goals by qualifying for the state championship meet, which was scheduled to take place on Wednesday, Oct. 18, at Sugar House Park and Highland High School in the Salt Lake City area.

“Our goal back in the summer was to get both teams to the state championship race. We achieved that goal,” Martin said. “Our final goal of the season was to have both teams finish top five in the state. This is possible, but we will be competing against some great runners and some incredibly talented teams. All our team members will have to run their best, but week after week this team has stepped up and got it done, so they can do it.”

Sophomore Malicki Ricks was the third Grand boy to cross the finish line, placing 13th at 18:31. Soren Indergard finished 17th at 19:16. Nolan Ramirez (24th, 19:52); Braxten Pierce (27th, 20:04); Jameson Hawks (60th, 21:30); Jonathan Martineau (65th, 21:48); Michael Johnson (114th, 25:39); and Chris Couey (128th, 30:18) also ran for the Red Devils,

For the girls, Kylah Ricks was followed by Anika Scherer in sixth place at 22:22. Hannah Stripeika placed 13th at 23:38 and Jessie Anderson placed 21st at 24:32. Mona Taylor (26th, 25:03); Sadie Farnsworth (41st, 27:04); Elly Bauer (44th, 27:13) and Mercedes Zunich (56th, 28:34) also ran for the Grand girls.

Red Devil boys, girls, both place third overall