Park City sweeps region championships
Miners led by 8 top-10 finishes
Both Park City cross-country teams captured a region title at the Cottonwood Complex Friday evening.
The two squads combined for eight top-10 finishes, and the Miners cruised to two region championships. Senior Chris Henry was Park City’s top finisher in the boys race in second place, and junior Kaylee Hale was the runner-up in the girls race. With divisionals and the state championship race coming up this month, it was a confidence booster for Park City’s teams.
“I think trophies are always fun,” Park City coach Steve Cuttitta said. “I really think they’re aiming higher for a high finish at state. But anything you can get along the way, you know, we’re going to celebrate it.”
Park City’s girls team finished with 30 points, 13 ahead of Brighton. Freshman Paige Wagner came in third to give the Miners a second finisher in the top three, along with Hale. Freshman Sonja Preston and sophomore Madeline McHenry finished in sixth and seventh, respectively. Seniors Ava Coccaro and Lilly Hunt came in 12th and 21st to round out the team.
Cuttitta had his team run together for the first mile, and the Miners have some solid depth this year.
“I’ve ever had a team with five (runners) that close,” Cuttitta said. “If one girl has bad day, it’s not going to sink us. She’s just going to go from first to second or third, and everybody else steps up. We’re a deadly team because of that, just because of that ability to have anybody be our No. 1.”
Preston said she didn’t plan on running cross-country this year until August. Two months later, she had a top-10 finish at the region meet to help the Miners take home a first-place trophy.
“It was really cool,” she said. “It was nice to see my teammates in front of me and next to me and being able to use that to push myself and knowing it was a team effort.”
McHenry is in her first year running for the team as well. She wasn’t satisfied with her race on Friday, but she has enjoyed the team’s energy this year.
“Everybody on this team just has such good energy and so much support for each other,” she said. “So, it’s so fun every day just to hang out with all the people and go on runs.”
Henry was neck and neck with Olympus’ JoJo Jourdon, but Jourdon pulled away down the stretch to come away with the win. Still, Henry is feeling optimistic and ready to prove himself at state.
“I think I’ve outworked everyone I know I’m going to be racing against,” he said. “I know I’ve outworked them, so I want to prove that, I will prove that coming up.”
Behind him were senior Will Shuflit and senior Calvin Crossland in third and fourth place, respectively. Shuflit’s goal coming into the race was to come in third, and that’s exactly what he did.
“It was definitely an interesting race because right before the race, my coach told me (to) go out hard with (Henry) and JoJo because they’re the two fastest guys in our region and see if you can hang on,” Shuflit said. “When he said that, I was like, ‘I don’t if that’s going to happen, but we’ll try it.’ And it worked out alright.”
Senior Will Fleming came in seventh to give Park City four top-10 finishers. Senior Nicholas Johnstone came in 20th, and senior Truman Hansen was in 26th. The Miners finished with 36 points, 20 ahead of second-place Olympus.
“I actually thought Cal Crossland and Will Fleming, who were our third and fourth boys today, they’ve been right there knocking on the door, and I thought today was a big breakthrough for both of them,” Cuttitta said. “Just the closer they can get to Will (Shuflit) and Chris, the better we get. Hopefully, we find a fifth out of that next group of guys.”
The International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation held their World Cup event at Park City this week. Using the track at the Utah Olympic Park. | David Jackson/Park Record
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