The Grand County High School cross-country teams competed in the Richfield Invitational regional meet on Wednesday, Sept. 6.
Red Devil athletes occupied the No. 1 overall spots in both the boys’ and girls’ races, with senior Ryan Lewis winning in a time of 16:32 and freshman Kylah Ricks winning in a time of 19:18.
The Red Devil boys placed third overall out of seven teams competing at the meet, with host team Richfield winning with a score of 30 and Emery taking second with a score of 42. Grand scored 65 to secure third place. The remaining four teams were South Sevier in fourth with 126, Manti in fifth with 131, San Juan in sixth with 143 and North Sevier in seventh with 210.
In the girls’ race, the Lady Devils placed fourth out of six teams. Richfield was the girls’ winner with 42 points, North Sevier was second with 64, San Juan was third with 70, Grand was fourth with 83, Manti was fifth with 124 and South Sevier was sixth with 146.
“We struggled a bit at this meet,” said GCHS head coach Randy Martin. “We had several runners who were sick, and one on vacation. We have a lot of talent on this team, but not a lot of depth, so if several runners are not at their best, we tend to struggle as a team, and that is what happened at Richfield.”
Martin called Lewis a “true champion” for turning in a winning performance, despite being ill. The race marked Lewis’ third straight overall victory.
“Ryan missed practice because he was sick the day before the race, and on the bus, to the meet, he felt very sick,” Martin said. “But as Ryan has done now for four years, when that gun went off he dug deep and found a way to win the race. He had a race plan going into the race, but as the race evolved, he came up with a new strategy that won him the race.”
After Lewis, the other top-five placers for Grand County in the boys’ race were sophomore Evan Ellison, who was fifth overall in 17:17; sophomore Malachi Ricks, who was 15th with a time of 18:25; junior Braxten Pierce, who was 21st in 18:53; and junior Nolan Ramirez, who was 23rd in a time of 19:07.
“Nolan ran a sound race. He sprinted past four runners in the last 300 yards to help us secure the third place team finish,” Martin said.
In the girls’ race, Kylah Ricks won by more than one full minute, as runner-up Seonna Southwick of Richfield finished in 20:26.
“Kylah ran a great race and beat some very good competition from Richfield, North Sevier, and Manti. She looked very strong at the finish,” Martin said.
Rounding out the rest of the Lady Devils’ top five were sophomore Ali Hirt, who was sixth in 21:38; senior Hannaj Stripeika, who was 14th in 23:10; sophomore Jessica Anderson, who was 29th in 25:43, and junior Mercedes Zunich, who was 36th in a time of 26:38.