The race, held in Castle Dale at the home of Emery High School, was run on both road and grass, said GCHS coach Randy Martin. The race course featured a long downhill run near the beginning, followed by an extreme uphill run. Windy, blustery conditions made it challenging for the runners on the 5 kilometer (3.1 mile) course, Martin said.
The Red Devil boys team dominated the meet, capturing five of the top nine positions. Senior Jackson Knowles once again led the pack for the Red Devils, finishing the course in 18:47 to place second overall among 78 runners. Following Knowles to the finish line was senior Treyton Helquist, who took third place overall with a time of 19:15, while junior Andrew Hugentobler finished in fifth place with a time of 20:04. Senior Adam Jenkinson finished in eighth place with a time of 20:19, followed closely by freshman Cameron Wakefield, who took ninth place with a time of 20:23.
“Our top five runners ran outstanding races,” Martin said. “They all went out hard at the beginning of the race to get to the front and then pushed themselves hard the last mile to hold those positions and win the race. It was an outstanding effort and an equally outstanding performance.”
Also competing for the boys team were freshman Alan Snow, who finished in 20th place with a time of 21:17; senior Skyler Johnson, who finished with a time of 22:39; senior Reyce Knutson, who finished with a time of 22:49; sophomore Cody Jones, who finished with a time of 22:52; senior Jordan Bryant, who finished with a time of 23:15; junior Mason Tranter, who finished with a time of 23:37; freshman Mackay Wakefield, who finished with a time of 23:42; freshman Aaron Hawks, who finished with a time of 24:16; and freshman Tyrese Stash, who crossed the finish line with a time of 29:55.
In the girls’ race, the Lady Devils clinched second place behind the hometown Emery Lady Spartans. GCHS senior Mercedes James took second place overall among a field of 40 runners. James finished the race with a time of 21:50. Freshman Jayelen Knowles, a freshman, took fourth place with a time of 23:17. GCHS sophomore Annie Heywood finished with a time of 25:49, besting teammate Alexa Pierce by a mere one-half second. Sophomore Lauren Drake, battling a side stitch during the last two miles of the race, finished with a time of 33:24.
“Overall, the team continues to improve week by week,” Martin said. “The runners are all working hard every day in practice with a goal of running their best races in October at the regional and state meets.”
Grand’s long-distance runners were next scheduled to host the Red Rock Invitational at the Moab Golf Club on Wednesday, Sept. 25.