Miners’ runners are up to the challenge | ParkRecord.com

Miners’ runners are up to the challenge

by Christopher Kamrani, of The Record staff

Out of 40 competing schools at Saturday’s cross country meet in American Fork, the scene was set for the best 4A/5A schools in the state to put on a showcase.

But 3A Park City made its voice heard.

One of Utah’s best 3A schools distinguished itself in extreme winds to place third overall in the girls’ race, while the boys’ took home fifth place. The girls’ team missed second place by a mere six seconds. Park City cross country head coach Jeff Wyant was thoroughly pleased with his team’s performance against some of the best teams in the state.

"We know we’re at the top of 3A," Wyant said.

The host school, American Fork, was ranked as the preseason No. 1 squad in the nation by ESPN RISE, a high school sports magazine. The Cavemen also finished No. 8 overall nationally at the end of last season.

"They’re high caliber over there," Wyant said of American Fork. "They’re just incredible."

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A couple Miners placed in the boys’ top 15 as Ben Saarel and Ray Smith finished 10th and 11th overall, respectively. Two girls also placed in the top-15 as Park City’s Rebecca Cunningham finished eighth overall, while Ali Walker finished 11th.

"(The race) went pretty well," Wyant. "It was probably our best meet of the year."

American Fork took first in the boys’ division, while Davis High School took first in the girls’.

The Miners will head back to Utah County on Friday for a meet at Timpanogos High School where once again, there will be a plethora of 4A/5A schools for Park City to match up against yet one more time.

"Our philosophy is we just don’t want to beat the 3As, but we also want to beat the 4A and 5A schools," Wyant said.

Park City finished up far better than any other competing 3A schools at the Grass Relays. In the girls’ race, Uintah finished 13th overall, while Judge Memorial finished 29th and Morgan finished 31st. In the boys’ race, the finishing 3A schools placed: Judge (30th), Uintah (32nd), Morgan (33rd) and American Leadership Academy (37th).

Friday’s meet at Timpanogos will get started at 3 p.m.