State high school cross country championships came to the mountains Wednesday afternoon - as in Mountain Crest and Mountain View. The Lady Bruins won their seventh straight state title while the Mustangs held off a strong challenge from Judge Memorial to win the 3A crown.
Individually, Mountain View's Amy Allen won the 4A title with a nine-second victory over Olympus sophomore Debbie Love. Murray's Heather Price defeated Joanna Mitchell of Sky View for the 3A title.Mountain View was expected to win, the Bruins being ranked first nationally by Harrier Magazine. But the Bruins' team total of 39 points could have been lower.
Still, coach Dave Houle was pleased with the performance, having told his team before the meet that "today, we're running for a score. I told the girls not to worry about times, because the most important thing was the team race. Considering the fact that Juliet (Stone) has been sick all week, she still ran very well (an 18th place finish), and I'm pleased with how well we did."
Houle didn't expect the team's score to effect its national ranking, but the Bruins will have a large say in the national picture later this fall when they compete on December 1 at the national championships in Fresno.
Other top 10 4A finishers included former state champ Lynette Petersen of Bingham in eighth. Third place went to Mountain View's Kristen Nuttal, Weber runners Stacie Nichols and Nikki Prisbrey were fourth and fifth respectively, Kim Hammitt of Brighton was sixth, Anna Pett of Mountain View was seventh, Layton's Addie Stewart, another sophomore, was ninth; and Rose Gribble of Timpview was 10th. Weber beat out Timpview for second place.
Mountain Crest placed four runners in the top 15 to win the 3A crown, led by third-place finisher Naomi Nielsen. Teammate Melinda Gessel was fourth, and Murray's Emily Burton was fifth.
Judge's outstanding all-around athlete, Chelsea Deakins, led the race for a time before finishing in sixth. Bountiful High senior Misa Graff, who just took up the sport this fall after transferring from Woodbridge, Virginia, placed seventh. Rounding out the top 10 were Mandy Pixton of Box Elder in eighth, Katie McHugh of Judge Memorial in ninth, and Springville's Heather Witney in 10th.