“Overall our team members ran very well at the Highland Invitational,” Martin said. “Eight runners competed at this meet last season and of those eight, six showed substantial improvement from last season to this season, which is a testament to the hard work these runners put in over the summer to prepare for this season.”
The Highland Invitational is one of the biggest meets in the state, attracting 49 teams and more than 1,400 runners.
“I think our younger runners were a little shocked to see that in their race they were racing against over 200 other runners,” Martin said. “But once the starting gun went off and they started running, they all settled into their running pace and ran very competitively.”
The Red Devils competed in four races at the invitational – the freshmen/sophomore girl’s race, the freshman/sophomore boy’s race, the varsity girl’s race and the varsity boy’s race.
The freshman/sophomore girl’s race included three Red Devils. Freshman Jayelen Knowles finished in 11th place overall out of a field of 203 runners. Knowles’ final time was 22:17. Sophomore Annie Heywood cut almost three minutes off of her time from the 2012 race and finished with a time of 24:33 and freshman Alexa Pierce, running her first race finished with a time of 26:28.
“I was very pleased with the race that Jayelen ran,” Martin said. “She ran strong and with confidence from start to finish.”
In the freshman/sophomore boys race, freshman Cameron Wakefield led the five competing Red Devils with a time of 20:26 to finish 135th out of 318 runners. Freshman Alan Snow finished a mere second behind Wakefield with a time of 20:27. Freshman Mackay Wakefield finished with a time of 21:49, while freshman Aaron Hawks finished in 22:10 and sophomore Cody Jones crossed the finish line with a time of 24:46.
“I was very impressed with the way that all of our freshman ran today,” Martin said. “Their times for their first races were all very good.”
In the varsity girls’ race, the Red Devils had just one runner. Senior Mercedes James finished the event with a time of 21:18.
The varsity boy’s race had seven Red Devil runners. Leading the way was senior Jackson Knowles, who finished with a time of 17:20. Junior Andrew Hugentobler finished in 17:59; senior Treyton Helquist finished with a time of 18:32; senior Adam Jenkinson finished with a time of 18:56; senior Jordan Bryant finished in 21:20; junior Mason Tranter finished in 21:50 and senior Reyce Knutson finished with a time of 23:26.
“For the most part I think our runners were pleased with their performances,” Martin said. “I think a few may have runners may have been slowed by the heat and a few others may have learned that to achieve their goals they need to continue working in practice on improving their stamina to survive the rigors of a three mile race.”
The Red Devil cross country team will next compete at the Delta Invitational held in Delta, Colo., on Friday, Aug. 30.