Park City cross-country teams log best times of season on home soil
The Park City Miners cross-country season is nearing its conclusion, and coach Steve Cuttitta says the team is starting to peak at the right time.
On Friday, the Miners hosted a home meet at Quinn’s Junction where the Miners competed alongside 21 teams, many of them from larger schools.
‘Trial by fire’
Though the Miners took ninth of 15 teams in the girls race and fifth of 18 in the boys, Cuttitta described his runners’ performances as “better than stellar.”
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For one thing, Cuttitta said every runner on the girls team set either a season or all-time personal record.
“It was great to see them coming around at the right time,” he said.
Out of 120 competitors, Park City sophomore Samantha Herman finished 16th with a time of 19:53.8. Freshman Elena Grissom was the second Miners finisher, taking 21st with a time of 20:15.3.
They were followed by sophomores Ellie Anderson in 62nd (22:00.6), Josie Marshall in 65th (22:02.4), Shelby Oraskovich in 75th (22:16.6), Lainie Childers in 92nd (23:03.5) and freshman Madison Westover in 97th (23:14.9).
“The entire team was (underclassmen), so there’s a lot of promise going forward for this year and the next couple years,” Cuttitta said.
Seniors Sydney LaPine and Camille Brieholz’ absence due to injuries left the freshmen and sophomores to step up over the season.
“So it’s trial by fire for girls like Herman to step up and take that leadership role,” Cuttitta said. “I think it will pay dividends in years to come.”
The Miner boys also had a successful meet, Cuttitta said.
“It’s the best the boys team has run as a unit in the past three years,” he said.
Junior Reese McGrath led the way for the Miners, finishing in 25th place out of 170 runners with a time of 16:47.2. Junior Kaleb Barnhart finished second for the Miners and 35th overall with a time of 16:57.5, followed by senior Scott McMullin in 40th (17:05), freshman Wes Campbell in 62nd (17:34.1), sophomore Bennett Diamond in 65th (17:39.3) and junior Sheldon Bannover in 66th (17:40.2).
“It’s nice looking over the results and seeing your whole team on the front page,” Cuttitta said. “It’s a pretty good sign that you’ve had a good day.”
Last year, the Miners finished 16th at state. This year, Cuttitta said the team could jump halfway up the boards.
“Top eight in the state is a reasonable shot,” he said, adding that the team will probably finish in the top three in Region 11.
“We haven’t really added any pieces, we’ve just improved,” he said of his roster. “It’s more or less the same crew, the guys have just stepped it up in terms of dedication. Nobody is slacking; nobody is taking a day off. They are reaping the rewards and having a lot of fun with it, which makes it fun to coach, too.”
High school cross-country Region 11 championships take place Wednesday, Oct. 10, at the Larry H. Miller Softball Complex in Salt Lake City. Races start at 11 a.m.
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It’s going to be at least another month before Summit County’s high school athletes have any chance of getting onto the field again.