Park City cross country teams finish with position shakeups
Girls finish eighth, boys 16th in Class 4A state finals
The Park City High School girls cross country team finished eighth overall at the class 4A state meet at Suger House Park in Salt Lake City on Wednesday.
Head coach Steve Cuttitta said the individual results were surprising. Some of the team’s top runners struggled, while others surpassed expectations.
“I would not have predicted the top five the way that it went at all,” he said. “I would have predicted different people in different places, but that’s how cross country goes sometimes.”
He said he was hoping the team would finish higher than it did, but overall the season went well.
“We had a couple girls that had tough days, but on the other hand, Sydney (Lapine), Mackenna (Doilney) and Liza (Greene) all were where they needed to be or even a little further,” he said. “Really that top three was as good as or better than we had hoped for. It’s just a matter of getting all five up into that 19:30 range.”
Cuttitta said he was most surprised by junior Camille Breiholz and freshman Samantha Herman.
“I thought this was (Breiholz’s) best race of the season by far,” he said.
Breiholz finished 84th overall and fifth for the team with a time of 21:56.6.
“That’s a huge jump for her and she was very happy,” he said.
Herman finished 79th overall with a time of 21:15.3 and was the fourth Miner to cross the finish line, which was impressive for any freshman.
“Often freshmen fade at the end of the year just from exhaustion of the season, but she ran a great race today,” Cuttitta said.
Senior Daisy Townshend had an uncharacteristic performance. Cuttitta said the race did not define her largely successful career, which, over three years on varsity, has been characterized by top finishes for the team.
Townshend and Greene are the team’s only seniors and Breiholz is the only junior, so Cuttitta expects a young and talented team to return next season.
“Obviously it’s a place to build from,” he said. “Then we have a whole pile of freshmen behind them that had good seasons and didn’t make it to varsity but ran 22, 23 minutes, and those are the ones that we will look to next year to fill in those spots.”
The girls team last won a state championship in 2014 when it capped off a seven year streak, but Cuttitta said that’s not an indicator that the team is suffering from a lack of talent.
“I think you get waves of talent,” he said. “Some of the years we won state we only averaged 20 minutes per racer, so the state has gotten faster. Also, the number of kids on our team has actually increased, so it’s just a matter of finding those diamonds in the rough. It only takes five and you have to find one or two a year that are exceptional.”
The Park City boys team finished 16th overall.
Cuttitta said the team’s goal was to make state, so in that it was successful. However the team was missing two varsity runners, including Kaleb Burnhart and the team’s No.1 runner Nick Burnz, who both played in club soccer games instead.
Underclassmen filled their positions, with sophomore Reese McGrath finishing first for the team and 67th overall with a time of 17:14. Freshman Bennett Diamond finished second for the team with a 18:21.6 finish time and 101st place overall. Jack Barker, the varsity team’s lone senior, finished with a time of 18:26.8 for 104th. Freshmen Lucas Hoeksema, Connor Campbell and sophomore Sheldon Vanover rounded out the team with finishes in 107th, 110th and 111th respectively.
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The inaugural season may have ended in a loss, but the Park City Red Wolves saw a lot of progress throughout that leads to a bright future.