High school sports: State's best cross-country runners are ready to vie for titles
"They kind of tired of being in the shadow of the girls," said Hall. "Jordan Cross is one of the top three or four boy distance runners in the state. Unfortunately, he's living in the shadow of (Park City's) Ben Saarel (who's won every meet he's run this season), who is the top runner in the state across all classifications."
Hall said his boys don't just want to best the state's other 3A teams on Wednesday, they're looking to send an unequivocal message.
"They're out to prove something," Hall said. "They have a goal to, even though we're not racing Herriman and Davis head-to-head, try and run faster times on the same course, the same day."
The boys race should be interesting as Parowan lost two of its top three runners to graduation last spring. Richfield is favored as the Wildcats return all of last year's scoring runners this season.
Grand's Jacob Francis, Rowland Hall's Ryan Westermann, Caleb and Hudson Zwhalen, North Summit, and Richfield's Caleb and Steven Monsen could all contend for an individual championship, as well as lead their team to a trophy.
The Rowland Hall girls are heavy favorites as the defending state champs graduated just one of their top five runners. The Winged Lions are led by Emily Sundquist.
San Juan, North Summit and Enterprise could compete for team honors, while Olivia Moyle, Enterprise, Grace Shultz, S. Summit, Marissa Smith, Beaver, Katie Judd, North Summit, Natasha Moore, Beaver and Hope Reitz, Richfield, will all be in the mix for individual honors.
Panguitch will be looking to repeat on the girls side, thanks to some talented multi-sport athletes. St. Joseph, Rich and Wayne could also challenge the Bobcats.
Last year's runner-up, Catania Holman, returns as a sophomore to try and earn that top spot. St. Joseph's Lyna Garcia, Rich's Emma Peart and Wayne's Lauren Jackson could all vye for top honors.
Monticello is the defending 1A champion on the boys' side, but they'll have to run well to repeat. Bryce Valley and St. Joseph's have strong teams and will make the race one of the day's best.