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High school cross country: Darts sweep Murray Invitational

Published: Friday, Sept. 7 2012 8:29 p.m. MDT

Emily Sundquist crosses the finish line during the 35th annual Murray Cross Country Invitational at Murray Park in Murray on Friday, Sept. 7, 2012.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

MURRAY — Murray Park transformed into a runner's paradise Friday afternoon with 485 varsity runners (259 boys) from across the state of Utah jam-packed into one of the most prestigious high school events of the year, the Murray Invitational.

At the end of the day, however, it was a clean sweep for Davis High.

With an overall girls score of 53 and a boys total of 86 — the Darts were awarded first place honors in both 5K events.

Unlike the girls, who flew past second place American Fork by 46 points with four runners finishing in the top 20, the boys finish came down to the wire.

With the top six runners taken into account, Davis squeezed past Bonneville by one place. The two programs finished with 86 points, but the Darts' sixth place runner claimed the 25th position, compared to Bonneville's crossing the line one spot back.

Summer Harper, a senior standout at Orem, dominated the girls 5K — posting a time of 18:10.7. Davis' Ellie Child and Shea Martinez followed suit with times of 18:24.3 and 18:28.6, respectively.

"I've been trying to do this since my freshman year," Harper said. "I'm really happy that I finally accomplished it. I definitely feels so good."

Murray Park offers a treacherous landscape filled with numerous hills, something that Harper was able to use to her advantage.

"It's a really tough course — just all the hills. You have to process lactic acid really good to even be able to make it through it," Harper said. "The competition is really tough, too. So, you have to be ready for any moves anybody makes."

Similar to Summer, Park City's Ben Saarel easily separated from the rest of the field — finishing with a time of 15:28.4.

"I tried take advantage as we came down the hill as we started breaking away, but then we turned and I fell — I was kind of bummed," Saarel explained. "I was hoping to make a break and it took me a bit longer than expected.

"It feels great. Anytime I can do anything — it feels awesome. It's been an awesome progression since my freshman year — I'm just happy to be doing it."

Logan's Jerrell Mock (15:37.4), Sky View's Conner Mantz (15:38.2), Mountain View's Jaydn Asay (15:46.2) and Alta's Kramer Morton (15:51.9) rounded out the top five.

"It's nice to see Ben at any race. He's a 3A school and we're 4A, so I don't get to see him that often," Mock, who improved by more than two minutes after battling a knee injury at Murray last season, said of Saarel. "It's always a great experience running with Ben."

Email: tphibbs@desnews.com Twitter: tphibbsami

Murray Invitational results

Boys team scores

1. Davis, 86; 2. Bonneville, 86; 3. Mountain View, 136; 4. Riverton, 216; 5. Sky View, 239; 6. Desert Hills, 260; 7. Pine View, 298; 8. Alta, 309; 9. Orem, 333; 10. Park City, 379.

Boys individual results

1. Ben Saarel, Park City, 15:28.4

2. Jerrell Mock, Logan, 15.37.4

3. Conner Mantz, Sky View, 15:38.2

4. Jaydn Asay, Mountain View, 15:46.2

5. Kramer Morton, Alta, 15:51.9

6. Michael Finch, Pine View, 15:54.5

7. Cade Perry, Bonneville, 16:00.2

8. Adam Hendrickson, Box Elder, 16:00.5

9. Brayden Cromar, Davis, 16:01.5

10. Alex Hedquist, Davis, 16:08.1

Girls team scores

1. Davis, 53; 2. American Fork, 98; 3. Orem, 118; 4. Skyline, 119; 5. Mountain Crest, 124; 6. Park City, 177; 7. Cedar, 253; 8. Woods Cross, 306; 9. Timpview, 311; 10. Pine View, 358

Girls individual results

1. Summer Harper, Orem, 18:10.7

2. Ellie Child, Davis, 18:24.3

3. Shea Martinez, Davis, 18:28.6

4. Tori Parkinson, Mountain Crest, 18:33.5

5. Miranda OVery, Mountain Crest, 18:56.1

6. Aimee Bryson, Cedar, 19:02.4

7. Emily Orton, American Fork, 19:03.6

8. Hannah Malone, Box Elder, 19:05.1

9. Caroline Weiler, Skyline, 19:05.7

10. Alisse Walker, Park City, 19:06.3

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