Red Devil distance runners qualify for state championship
Oct 18, 2012 | 642 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
42 cross country
GCHS freshman Sammy Hansen sprints to the finish ahead of two competitors during last week’s Region 15 meet. Photos by John Knowles
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The Grand County High School girls and boy’s cross country team finished in second and third place, respectively, during competition at the Region 15 cross country meet held at Richfield High School on Tuesday Oct. 9. Both the girl’s team and the boy’s team qualified to run in the state cross country championships in Salt Lake City. Only the top three teams from the region qualify for the state championship.

“I am very proud of our team,” coach Randy Martin said. “Each member of this team has trained extremely hard since July to prepare for this meet as this meet determines who goes on to compete at the state championships and who goes home for the season.”

“Our runners really wanted this and their results proved that,” Martin added.

For the girl’s team, junior Mercedes James earned all-region honors by finishing in second place with a personal best time of 20:41. Junior Alena Geiser, who earned all-region honors her freshman year, again earned all-region honors, this time with a fifth place finish with a personal best time of 21:54.

“Mercedes has run strong all season long, but this was her best race of the season,” Martin said. “And Alena passed several runners in the last two hundred yards of the race which really helped secure our second place finish.”

In addition to James and Geiser, the Red Devils qualified five other girls who will have the opportunity to compete at the state championships – junior Jessica Stucki finished in 14th place with a time of 23:15; junior Miranda Shumway finished 16th with a time of 23:30; freshman Annie Heywood who finished 28th with a time of 24:52; junior Sierra Indergard who finished 33rd with a time of 25:25 and sophomore Zhanna Rice who finished 42nd with a time of 26:47.

Coming in behind the state qualifiers and running her last race as a four-year team member was senior captain Mary Rice, who finished with a time of 27:26.

The boy’s team also qualified seven runners to race in the state championships. Juniors Jacob Francis and Treyton Helquist each earned all-region honors by placing eighth and ninth, respectively, in the race. Francis had a final time of 17:18 and Helquist finished in 17:21.

The other five state qualifiers were junior Jackson Knowles with at time of 18:30; junior Joseph Andrew with a time of 18:20; junior Adam Jenkinson with a personal best time of 18:43; freshman Sammy Hansen with a time of 20:12; and junior Jeremy McDougall with a personal best time of 20:27.

Finishing just behind the state qualifiers were junior Skyler Johnson with a time of 20:50; freshman Neil Stucki with at time of 21:45; freshman Cody Jones with a time of 21:55 and junior Reyce Knutson with a personal best time of 23:09.

“Our goal all season has been to qualify both the girl’s and boy’s teams for the state championships and then not only run in the championship race but to compete for the state championship,” Martin said. “We have accomplished the first goal, now we need to prepare both mentally and physically to achieve the second goal.”

The cross country teams were scheduled to end their season at the state championships meet held at Sugarhouse Park in Salt Lake City on Wednesday Oct. 19.

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