Miners XC runs well at home
The Park City High School cross-country team has a big advantage training at the altitude in Park City, on the miles of trails the town offers, makes the Miners a force to be reckoned with almost every year.
This year has been no different for the boys’ and girls’ squads. Despite losing several key members to graduation last year, the Miners are hitting their stride just in time for the end-of-the-year meets.
On Friday, Oct. 3, the Miners hosted the Park City Invitational at Round Valley. In a meet that featured teams of all classifications from all around the state, the Miners ran well, defending their home course with fourth-place overall finishes for both the boys and the girls. Both teams finished first among 3A squads.
Park City coach Steve Cuttitta said it was the best performance he’s seen from the boys’ team so far this season.
"For the first time since we’ve hosted the meet, which has been five years now, we ran five boys under 17 minutes," he said. "They were all within 27 seconds of each other."
Travan Thomas led the way, finishing in 16 minutes, 30.9 seconds. Gunnar Stray-Gundersen was second for the Miners with a time of 16:38.0. Wes Miller (16:49.0), Jesse Case (16:50.1) and Sam Edmunds (16:58.3) rounded out the top five for Park City. Alex Jackson (17:30.2) finished sixth for the Miners.
Cuttitta said that Friday’s performance was stellar, but he thinks the boys’ team can run even better.
"We’ve been beaten by some 3A teams earlier this season, but after Friday, I think we’re in position to be back among those top two or three teams [at the state meet]," he said. "Friday we were, as a team, really good. I don’t think we ran our best Friday, but it was our best so far."
On the girls’ side, Alyssa Snyder again led the way for Park City. She finished second overall on Friday with a time of 18:07.8. Lucy Biles of Herriman finished first in 17:50.3.
Cuttitta said Snyder’s supporting cast had a great showing at the Park City Invitational.
"Haley Hunt had a huge day," he said. "She ran 19:16, which was a massive personal best for her. Liza Greene finished in 20:07, which was about a 30-second personal best for her."
Lauren Haynes finished fourth for the Miners in 20:16.1 and Leah Lange (20:37.6) rounded out the top five. Maddie Carr (20:41.7) and Sydney Oraskovich (21:16.6) finished sixth and seventh for Park City, respectively.
With the 3A state cross-country meet coming up on Wednesday, Oct. 22, at Sugarhouse Park in Salt Lake City, Cuttitta said he’s happy with where the team stands currently. But, he added, there’s still work to be done in order to come out ahead of Pine View, the Miners’ toughest 3A competition.
"I think, with two weeks left to go, we’re where we need to be," he said. "If we could drop a little more time per runner, we could be right there at state. If we stay healthy, we’ll be a force to be reckoned with."
Though the Miners will get plenty of rest before state, Cuttitta said this week won’t be a rest week.
"This week will be maybe our toughest week of the year in terms of workouts," he said. "And the Region 10 championships are Tuesday at Morgan. After that, though, it’s all about rest."
For the girls’ team to win state, Cuttitta said it’s going to take a strong effort from the first runner to the sixth.
"It’s going to take a big effort for our 3-6 runners," he said. "Alyssa and Haley are going to be fine they should both be in the top 10. It’ll really be a team effort to see how we do from there. I’m excited to see how we perform at the end of the season."
For the boys’ team, Cuttitta said his runners are going to have to dig deep if they want to win.
"They need to have their best race, which I don’t think we’ve had yet," he said. "The talent is there and the fitness is there. It’s whether or not they can take that championship step stepping up when it counts."
The 3A state meet will begin at 1:30 p.m. for the girls and 3 p.m. for the boys at Sugarhouse Park in Salt Lake City.
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