The Highland Invitational is one of the largest meets in the state, attracting almost 2,000 runners, with all high school regions and classifications of schools in the state represented.
“Our runners did extremely well running against some very large and competitive schools,” coach Trish Hedin said. “It was a great experience, especially for our younger runners to have to be in a large pack of runners and having to find a pace that was comfortable and competitive for them.”
The freshman and sophomore boys competed in a race that included a total of 377 runners. The Red Devil team placed 19th of out 35 teams — a “very strong showing for a 2A school,” coach Randy Martin said.
Sophomore Cameron Wakefield placed 83rd with a time of 18 minutes, 59 seconds, and freshman Ryan Lewis, in 84th place with a time of 19:00, led the Red Devils, while a strong pack of runners followed close behind them.
Sophomore Aaron Hawks placed 172nd with a time of 20:23, sophomore Ethan Clark took 176th place in 20:24 and sophomore Sydney Shumway placed 191st in 20:33. Other Red Devil runners included sophomore Mackay Wakefield, who came in 204th in 20:45, freshman Ryan Reed, who took 291st place in 22:50 and sophomore Tyrese Stash, who finished in 341st place with a time of 25:08.
Grand’s freshman and sophomore girls team ran against an extremely strong field of 254, according to Martin. Lady Devil team captain Jayelyn Knowles led the team with a time of 22:15 to take 46th place, the highest placement of all GCHS runners. Sophomore Alexa Pierce came in 146th with a time of 25:38, freshman Brooklin Hugentobler placed 167th with a time of 26:28, sophomore Ariahna Groesbeck took 194th place in 28:06 and freshman Kaylan Young finished in 207th place with a time of 28:55.
The varsity boys were pitted against some “enormously talented” runners, Martin said, noting that the lead runner in that race finished in a blistering time of 14:32. A field of 219 runners competed in the varsity boys event.
“Our varsity boys are exceptionally driven, talented and hardworking,” said coach Hedin. “The experience of competing at such a high degree will only push them to that next level.”
For the Red Devil varsity boys team, senior Mason Tranter ran a strong race with a time of 18:12 and placing 167th. Senior Andrew Hugentobler followed close behind Tranter, taking168th place with a time of 18:14.
“I believe that the runners learned a lot from this race; a lot about pacing themselves and pushing themselves when necessary. I’m looking forward to how they compete in their upcoming meet. I think they are really going to begin to shine individually,” Hedin said.
The Red Devils’ next meet will be the Red Rock Invitational in Moab on Wednesday Aug. 27. Races will begin at 3 p.m. at the Moab Golf Course.