High school cross country: State meets feature supreme talent
Six teams from the Beehive State are ranked in the national top 50; three of them are 4A girls squads
The boys run together year-round, which also helps them understand how to race together. Mostert said the runners don't feel a lot of pressure because the team lost five varsity runners to graduation.
"We still feel like the underdogs," said Mostert. "We haven't proven anything to anybody yet."
Davis' only loss was to American Fork, while the Cavemen won all of their invitational meets.
"We'll just run the best we can, but I think it will be a close, exciting race," he said.
On the girls' side, Davis is the favorite, led by Shae Davis. The girls, however, only return two runners from last year's team.
"We're a very young team," Talley said. He said Lehi will likely be the toughest competition for a team title.
"They are really young, but they won their region meet," said Talley. "And earlier in the year, we barely beat them."
He points out there are a number of talented individuals in the 5A race, including Alta freshman Whitney Paskins.
In 3A, the Ogden girls are heavy favorites to repeat — and could probably beat most teams in the state. Skyline and Ogden split in their two meetings, but luckily they won't have to fight each other for state title honors.
The Tigers return Avery Calton, Jamie Stokes and Sarah Feeny. Feeny, a sophmore, won the Murray Invitational just a few weeks ago.
Park City's Ben Saarel is having another great season as he beat Davis' Nye for the individual win at the Murray Invitational. He is defending his 3A title and should be a favorite on Wednesday.
Bear River won the boys title last year and the Bears return three of the state's top 12 runners — Spencer Stamps, Brackon Rawlinson and Tanner Anderson.
In 2A, Rowland Hall is again favored as the Winged Lions return four members of last year's state championship team — John and Andy Gilbert, Ryan Westermann and Chris Sundquist.
On the 2A girls side, it will be South Summit as the favorite, thanks to runners like Grace Shultz.
Individually, North Summit's Erica Birk will try to notch her third state titles She is a senior this season and running as well as ever. On the boys side, Ammon Blauer, of Parowan, will attempt to defend his title.
And in 1A, the heavy favorite again is St. Joseph. The Jayhawks won both the boys and girls titles last year and return four of their best boys this year.
The girls team only returns two of its top runners, Lynn Garcia and Emily Brandt.