PCHS runners tough it out
August 24, 2010
The Park City High School cross-country team finished third after choosing to compete in the mighty Class 5A division at the Premier Invite last Saturday in Tooele, but the positives were nearly outweighed by an injury to one of its top runners.
Sophomore Ben Saarel, who set a state freshman record in last year’s championships for West High School, fell and skinned his knees in rugged conditions in Tooele, causing him to drop to a finish of seventh overall.
The Miners also saw a JV girls’ runner go down on the single track, which creates tight running lanes and limits visibility for runners.
"That was upsetting," said PCHS coach Jeff Wyant. "We’ve never been to it before, and we will never be back."
Despite the conditions, sophomore Ali Walker got her season off to a great start by finishing second overall among girls and tops among Class 3A runners. Junior teammate Rebecca Cunningham was fifth overall.
"The girls look like they’re obviously the strongest team in 3A," Wyant said, adding that freshman Devon Dunmire took second in the JV ranks behind North Summit High School standout Erica Birk.
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This Saturday, the team will compete at the American Fork Grass Relays, in which the course is shortened to two miles and 30 hay-bail jumps are included.
"This is a pretty unique race, and it’s usually pretty fun," Wyant said.