PCHS cross-country title run comes up short
October 23, 2015
Wednesday afternoon was a roller coaster for Park City High School junior cross-country runner Maddie Carr.
After she crossed the finish line of the five-kilometer course in fourth place with a time of 19:01, Carr and a runner from Stansbury High School were disqualified when judges said the duo went off the marked course for a few steps. A lengthy discussion followed and the Park City coaching staff appealed the judges’ decision. After nearly two hours of waiting and deliberations, it was ruled that a pack of runners forced Carr and the Stansbury runner off-course and their disqualified results were reinstated.
Behind Carr’s strong performance, the Miner girls’ squad finished third overall, behind champion Stansbury and runner-up Pine View. Though they came up short in their bid for an eighth straight 3A title, Coach Steve Cuttitta said the girls ran well on Wednesday.
"Losing the streak doesn’t mean we ran poorly," he said. "I thought we ran great today. Pine View just ran better and Stansbury ran better."
Cuttitta said he wasn’t surprised by Carr’s strong performance.
"She asked me if I thought she could finish in the top 10 and I said, ‘I think you can finish in the top five on a good day,’" he said. "Where she came from last year, when she was over 20 minutes, to finish fourth is just phenomenal, and she’s got another year to come back and hopefully improve some more."
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Union sophomore Kennedy Powell won the 3A girls’ title, finishing in 18:58.4, one second ahead of Zoe Hales, a Stansbury sophomore. Bailey Brinkerhoff, a freshman from Desert Hills, finished third in 19:00.5, a half-second better than Carr.
PCHS junior Haley Hunt finished second for the Miners (17th overall) with a time of 19:45. Senior Aspen Neville finished 19th in 19:53.7, sophomore Liza Greene crossed the line 25th overall with a time of 20:12.7 and sophomore Daisy Townsend (27th overall) rounded out Park City’s top five, crossing the line in 20:20.7.
"I thought Haley ran very courageously today," Cuttitta said. "She’s had a very up-and-down season and she went for it and finished 17th. She won’t be happy with that, but it really was a great race."
The Park City boys’ squad finished 12th overall, with sophomore Nate Hall leading the way. Hall crossed the finish line in 17:37.7, good for 48th overall. Freshman Anton Hibl finished 53rd in 17:48.1. Rounding out the Miners’ top five were sophomore Jackson Parker (78th, 18:30), junior Jacob Freeman (92nd, 18:54) and sophomore Karsten Beling (99th, 19:12.3).
Nick Hill, a Pine View senior, won the race with a time of 15:43.5, more than seven seconds faster than second-place finisher McKade Steffensen, a senior from Canyon View. Desert Hills had four runners finish in the top 10 to claim the team title.
Cuttitta said the Miner boys were focusing on getting state experience this year, not on winning.
"I told them, ‘Let’s just get experience so that, when we come back next year, we’ll know what it’s going to be like,’" he said. "I thought Nate ran terrific — he passed a ton of people in the second mile and finished in the top 50. Anton was right there behind him and Jack Parker was up there in the mix, too."
With another year under their belts, Cuttitta believes anything is possible for the Miner boys the next two years. However, he added, it’ll take a dedicated offseason to come back stronger next season.
"It’s up to them what happens in the next 365 days," he said. "It’s a yearlong training process. I told them the other day that, if they want to commit to it, the sky’s the limit."
North Summit girls win 2A title
For the third year in a row, the North Summit High School girls’ cross-country team finished first at the 2A state meet. The Braves were led by sophomore Sadie Sargent, who finished second overall with a time of 18:48.2, just behind Millard senior Anna Camp’s winning time of 18:48.0.
Sophomore Maggie Zwahlen finished third overall in 19:24.6 and senior Abbi Zwahlen crossed the finish line in eighth place with a time of 21:00.7. Junior Madeline Birk finished 12th in 21:22.7 and junior Kate Schroeder finished fifth for the Braves (38th overall) in 23:20.4.
On the boys’ side, the Braves had a runner finish first overall for the second year in a row. Following Jonathan Rothschild’s victory last year, junior Jace Richins won this year with a time of 16:21.9, beating his personal-best time by nearly 20 seconds.
Richins, a first-year cross-country runner, played football at North Summit before this season. The rookie runner thought he had a shot at second, but ended up winning the race by nearly 15 seconds over senior Devin Mesquite of Wasatch Academy.
"[The course] had a lot of uphill and downhill, which is good and bad," Richins said. "Downhill is kind of my cup of tea, though, so that helped me a lot."
Richins laughed when asked about what the title means for his young cross-country career.
"I guess I’ve got to do it next year, then," he said. "I’m definitely going to have to run a lot this winter."
The North Summit boys’ team finished third overall, behind first-place Millard and second-place Emery.
3A Girls’ Team Results
Stansbury — 60
Pine View — 61
Park City — 83
Desert Hills — 88
Cedar — 123
3A Boys’ Team Results
Desert Hills — 32
Pine View — 59
Stansbury — 76
Canyon View — 93
Cedar — 129
Park City — 346
2A Girls’ Team Results
North Summit — 55
Millard — 62
North Sevier — 104
Manti — 114
Enterprise — 120
2A Boys’ Team results
Millard — 87
Emery — 105
North Summit — 107
Delta, Manti — 110
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