Speedy girls grab region title
Earlier this week Rosie Brennan called a team meeting to prepare the Park City girls cross-country team for the Region 10 meet. No coaches, no trainers, just the girls. It seems Brennan knew just what to say, because on Wednesday the defending 3A state champion Miners took the Region 10 title and beat Judge Memorial for the first time all season. “I don’t know what to think when I pull stuff off like that,” Brennan said. “I think it helped the girls to realize that there was still a chance we could win.” The win was a team effort from top to bottom. No.1 runner Elli Reed took second overall with a time of 18 minutes and 39 seconds despite a minor injury, and the rest of the team managed to beat the runner ahead of them in the pack to close the gap over the Bulldogs. “They did exactly what they had to do,” said co-head coach Jeff Wyant. The girls were helped somewhat by the fact that Judge’s No. 2 runner Sam McMillan was injured, but Park City also had top five runner Alyssa Von Puttkammer missing, due to an injury sustained playing soccer. The win should give the Miners the mental edge they will need next week to beat Judge Memorial again at the 3A State Cross-Country Championship. “It’s a lot more intense race and your team depends on you more than ever,” said Brennan. The Miners should also get Von Puttkammer back just in time for the final meet. Unfortunately, Judge head cross-country coach Dan Quinn may also return his No. 2 runner, as well as two other varsity runners, to the lineup before the meet as well. But Brennan’s not worried. She plans to “rally the troops” as much as needed to keep them running strong. “We’ll probably try to get everyone psyched to win State again,” Brennan said. “I think this win will carry us through.” The boy’s will need to get a little faster for the state meet. No. 1 runner Prescott McCarthy turned in his usual strong performance with a second-place time of 15:59. No. 2 runner Andrew Archer struggled and finished in eleventh with a time of 17:10. He was unable to beat Judge’s No. 5 runner and Morgan and Wasatch’s No. 1 runners, whom he usually beats in Region competition, but Archer says the disappointing finish will only push him harder for State. “This is the first time they’ve beat me,” Archer said. “It will give me something to put in my mind game.” McCarthy’s focus will be on the big prize. “The thing about state is that it is the last thing. You usually give it everything you got. You’ve just got a little more,” McCarthy said. With just one runner from Judge Memorial, senior Nick Gaitan, running faster in most meets, McCarthy very well could challenge for the state title, McCarthy has been the fastest runner in his class in 3A each year, freshman, sophomore and now hopes that he has reached the level where he can challenge for first overall. McCarthy is hoping for a perfect day on the course. He said he was recovering from an illness during the Region meet and felt tired throughout the race. “If I sleep a lot more, I can battle and beat that Nick guy,” McCarthy said. Wyant and co-coach Bill Kahn plan to rest the entire team, tapering off their workouts and focusing on technique drills so that the runners will peak in time for the state meet. Even though the boys did not finish as well as they had hoped, their overall success this season should inspire them to perform well at State. “We lost five of our top seven in varsity, so this year, we didn’t think we were going to make it to State. Now it looks like we could take third, which is the highest we’ve ever finished,” said McCarthy. The Miners will run for the State crown on Wednesday, Oct. 19 at 11 a.m. at Sugarhouse Park.
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