PCHS cross-country: Miners are boss in Boise
"Better than expected."
That’s what coach Jeff Wyant said when he was asked about his Park City High School cross-country team’s performance at the 2012 Bob Firman Invitational over the weekend in Boise, Idaho.
"Maybe too good," he continued.
The Park City High School girls’ cross-country team took second among 94 teams from nine different states and, according to Wyant, is expected to join the national rankings sometime this week with that performance.
While he was more than pleased with his team’s results at the invitational, Wyant said the chances of sneaking up on nationally-ranked Ogden, the same team that Park City shocked at the 3A state championship meet in 2011, are pretty much out the window.
"We finally had everybody together and healthy," he said. "We’ve had a lot of girls sick here and there and they’re all finally healthy and really going well."
Always a fan of the underdog role, Wyant said he wasn’t too pleased to see Ogden girls finish sixth overall at the Bob Firman Invitational.
"Now we’re the favorite, which is not where we wanted to be," he said, laughing. "We were kind of hoping to sneak up on them without them knowing it."
Senior Ali Walker led a strong Park City front four, finishing 10th overall, while junior Sophie McDonald finished 15th and senior Annie Orr (21st) and sophomore Alyssa Snyder (25th) rounded out the Miners’ top 25 finishers.
"They all ran great," Wyant said. "It definitely was a team effort to get to that score. Our front four had a really big finish. Ali was in the top 10, so that was a huge jump for her."
Summer Dvorak finished 40th, while Emily Schmitt was 63rd and Leah Lange 70th.
Wyant said if this weekend’s performance in Boise proved anything, it’s that this year’s 3A state cross-country meet at Sugar House Park on Oct. 19 will be another platform for Park City and Ogden to continue their evolving rivalry.
"We definitely know that Ogden is not going to go away," he said. "Traditionally, they’re nationally ranked. I think all we did was just alert them to our presence."
On the boys’ side, Park City senior star Ben Saarel finished third overall, and according to Wyant, the race was air-tight. The Miner senior finished two seconds out of second place and five seconds out of first place behind two nationally-ranked runners.
Wyant said he expects Saarel’s national ranking to jump when the rankings are released by MileSplit.com later this week.
"We just focus on a few things we can do even better," Wyant said of continuing to improve. "I still don’t think we had our greatest races there. We have to look at that and stay focused over the next three weeks."
On Friday, Park City is slated to host the annual Park City Invitational at Round Valley. Wyant said he expects this race to be the biggest yet. As of Monday afternoon, 700 racers had signed up and he anticipated by Thursday the field could reach 1,000 participants from 30 to 40 different schools.
Wyant said moving the race from Saturday morning to Friday afternoon encouraged a plethora of teams to make the trek to Summit County.
Asked if Ogden would be one of the teams partaking in the event, Wyant laughed.
"I don’t think Ogden would come onto our home course and our home turf," he said. "I don’t think they want to see us again (until state)."
There will be a public race scheduled for 4 p.m. Friday at Round Valley. The high school races are slated to begin at 4:45 p.m.
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