The Grand County High School (GCHS) cross country team competed head-to-head with the Emery Spartans in Castle Dale on Wednesday, Sept. 19, defeating Emery in girls competition, but falling to the Spartans in the boys race.
In the girls race, sophomore Kylah Ricks ran to first place at 19:27. A pair of her teammates, fellow sophomore Anika Scherer and junior Ali Hirt, each ran 21:21 for second and third. For Hirt, whose primary fall sport is soccer, Wednesday was her first cross country meet of the season.
“Ali is an amazing soccer player so we don’t get her that much,” GCHS cross country coach Randy Martin said. “She ran an amazing race.”
Junior Jessie Anderson, who has been the second or third Red Devil girl across the line throughout most of the season, was scratched from the Emery meet because of illness, Martin said.
Freshman Bella Welch placed sixth at 23:53 and senior Mercedes Zunich placed seventh at 24:10. Senior Sadie Farnsworth placed ninth at 25:47. Rachel Thompson (26:57) and Lorena Johnson (27:26) also ran for the Red Devils.
For the boys, junior Evan Ellison ran in first place at 16:33, a season-best time. He was followed by junior Malachi Ricks in third at 17:17, and freshman Arthur Hawks in seventh at 17:33. Junior Jameson Hawks also had a season-best time, running 18:24.
“Evan ran an amazing race,” Martin said. “He’s rounding into form just in time for championship season.”
Rounding out the Grand runners, Soren Indergard ran at 19:25; Stan Johnson ran a season-best at 19:35; Jonathan Martineau ran at 20:29; Cameron Stotz ran a season-best at 20:49; Patrick Johnson ran a season-best with 22:59; and Daniel Thayer ran at 25:02.
The Red Devils were scheduled to run at the John Thornton Invitational in Blanding on Wednesday, Sept. 26, before heading to Park City two days later for an invitational. Martin said it’s atypical of Grand to run meets so close together.
“Some teams like doing that, running a lot of meets close together,” he said. “We prefer to do more training as opposed to running more meets. We try and peak our performance during championship season,” which is about the next two-to-three weeks.
The Park City meet will be Grand’s final competition before the Red Devils host the Region 15 Championship at the Moab Golf Club on Tuesday, Oct. 9. After the meet, Martin said he plans to scale back the quantity of practice, but not its intensity, in order to keep the runners’ legs fresh.
“We run fewer miles, we train less, but we train just as hard,” he said.
Grand has first-place runners in both boys, girls races
“Some teams like doing that, running a lot of meets close together. We prefer to do more training as opposed to running more meets. We try and peak our performance during championship season.”
When: Tuesday, Oct. 9, 4 p.m.
Where: Moab Golf Club, 2705 East Bench Rd.