Ravell Call, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — Twenty five seconds.
That was all the time that separated the Davis girls' cross country team from a Sugarhouse Park course record in the 5A cross country meet on Wednesday afternoon.
The Darts' top five finishers had a combined time of 1:34:15. The record, set by the Bingham girls' team in 1999, is 1:33:50.8.
"Those girls fought really hard, and not just today but all season long," said Davis coach Corbin Talley. "It's been a great season, a great group of girls. They worked hard together all summer, and they've really stepped up. We're pumped about where they're running right now."
The Darts cruised through their Region 1 meet a week ago, and were ready to set the course record. Doing so would have established them the fastest team ever in a year when three teams — Davis, along with Park City (1:33:52.1) and Mountain Crest (1:34:11.5) — were each vying for, but fell short of, the fastest-ever title.
"We struggled a little today. We had a couple sick girls that fought as hard as they could fight," Talley said.
The Darts did earn their third team title in a row and had three girls finish in the top 10 overall: Ellie Child, who finished third in 18:29.0, Shea Martinez (seventh, 18:45.0), and Mikell Wood (eighth, 18:52.6).
"I sure am proud of them, we're excited to get the victory," Talley said. "A couple of these girls have run on all three (state title) teams. We had five seniors out there; I am really excited for our seniors."
In the girls' individual race, Emily Rich, a senior from Bingham, won first with a time of 18:01.8 in a comeback of her own.
"A year ago I took fifth and I asked my coach if he thought I could take first this year," Rich said. "He said yeah, so the whole past year I've been preparing for it."
Rich was followed across the finish line by Tavia Dutson of Jordan, and then by a throng of Davis and American Fork runners. The former team took first in the team competition while the latter took second.
"There are some really, really good runners in Utah," Rich said. "I was thinking that if I had a chance, it would come down to right on the track. But I just felt good, so I thought, 'OK, go for it.' I wasn't really paying attention to who was behind me. It was more like go for it, give it everything, and hope I got it."
Alta junior Kramer Morton finished in first place in the boys' race.
"It was fun, I really enjoyed it," he said, after edging a group of American Fork runners with a time of 15:13.2. "I wanted to hang with (the pack) until the last 400 or 600 meters. I have really been working on my closing speed. I hung with them until the last 400, and then I took off and went after it."
Morton finished ninth in the same event a year ago, and was pleased to be competing with runners from top cross country schools in American Fork and Davis.
"At first I was really intimidated by them," he said, "but those two teams have some of the neatest groups of guys. They really include you. I was running out here and A.F. teammates were cheering me on. It's an honor to be running with them."
It was the Cavemen that took the boys' team title, finishing with six runners in the top 13 and with an overall team time of 1:18:17.6.
"I am just tickled pink," American Fork coach Timo Mostert said. "The boys came here to race and to win, that was their whole mindset all week."
Brayden McLelland crossed the finish line first for the Cavemen. He was second overall with a time of 15:18.1. Connor McMillan, Tyson Green, and Zac Jacklin followed in fourth (15:30.7), fifth (15:36.1), and seventh (15:45.1), respectively.