The Grand County High School cross-country teams competed at the Lloyd’s Lake Invitational in Monticello on Friday, Aug. 25. The Red Devil boys placed first overall out of six high schools at the meet, while the Lady Devils placed second out of five schools. Grand also had the top individual finishers in both the boys and girls categories.
GCHS freshman Kylah Ricks placed first overall among varsity girls at the meet with a time of 20:11. Sophomore teammate Ali Hirt took third with a time of 21:54, and GCHS senior Hannah Stripeika placed fifth with a time of 22:40.
The Lady Devils’ fourth-highest scoring runner was freshman Mona Taylor, who took 14th overall with a time of 24:57. Grand finished second as a team to San Juan, which had runners finish in the second, fourth, sixth, and 10th slots, giving them a team score of 22 to Grand’s 23.
“Our girls’ team ran great; to finish 1-3-5 is outstanding,” said GCHS head coach Randy Martin. “The work they put in over the summer has really paid off.”
Ricks, in only her second high school cross-country race, easily outpaced second-place finisher Jessica Walker of San Juan by 1:25.
“Kylah showed today that she is not only one of the top runners in our region, but she is also one of the top runners in the state,” Martin said.
Martin also had high praise for Hirt.
“Ali picked right up where she left off last season when she earned all-state honors in both cross-country and track,” Martin said.
Stripeika’s finish marked a personal-best time for her, Martin added, saying, “I am extremely pleased with the race that Hannah ran. She ran hard from start to finish and earned that fifth-place medal.”
Rounding out the rest of the Lady Devils who competed were junior Sadie Farnsworth (19th place with a time of 26:20), sophomore Jessie Anderson (20th place in 26:21), junior Mercedes Zunich (24th place in 27:14), and freshman Elly Bauer (26th place in 27:18). Bauer placed second among junior varsity girls.
Lewis finishes first for boys
Leading the way for the Red Devil boys was senior Ryan Lewis, who finished first overall with a time of 16:41. Sophomore teammate Evan Ellison took second with a time of 17:20. Grand scored 25 total team points, while runner-up Monticello scored 31. A total of 66 runners from six schools competed in the varsity boys’ race.
“Ryan led this race from start to finish and looked so strong and in command the entire race,” Martin said. “It is truly a pleasure to watch him run and compete. Evan ran a great race; he finished just ahead of Adam Bunker of Monticello, who is an outstanding runner. We beat a very talented Monticello team to win this meet.”
Also finishing in under 20 minutes for the Red Devil boys were sophomore Malachi Ricks (taking 7th place in 18:19), junior Braxten Pierce (15th in 19:09), junior Nolan Ramirez (16th in 19:13), and sophomore Soren Indergard (17th in 19:16).
Four other runners also finished the race for Grand, namely Jameson Hawks, Jonathan Martineau, Michael Johnson, and Chris Couey. All are sophomores except for Johnson, who is a freshman.
Also, at Monticello, several runners from Grand County Middle School competed in the 1.5-mile race staged for athletes in grades 6 through 8. Moab’s Arthur Hawks placed first in the boys division with a time of 9:31, and Zane Maher-Young placed 10th with a time of 10:58.
This week, Grand County will host an invitational meet on Wednesday, Aug. 30 at the Moab Golf Club, starting at 3 p.m.
“We will have our hands full at our home meet,” Martin said. “We have some outstanding teams and runners from 3A who will be competing in our races; it will be a great test for our runners.”