If ever there was a cross country program that deserved a mark of perfection, it would seem to be the runners of Mountain View High. On Saturday, a portion of the Bruins' program finally got one.
During the 6th annual Wahsatch Rendevous held at the Cottonwood Complex, the Bruins achieved the lowest score possible in this modified format meet - a seven, indicative of having a winner in each of the seven girls' races. And the Mountain View boys' were just one race away from achieving the same mark, settling for a team score of nine en route to the boys' title."It's unbelievable how well these girls have been running this year," said a proud Bruin coach Dave Houle, who admitted he was surprised at the perfect score. "They just seem to push themselves for all they're worth each week."
Under the format of the Rendevous, each division runs races according to the "seeded" placements of their runners, meaning all No. 1 seeds run together, all No. 2s, etc. That makes for 14 different races, and allows runners of equal talents and abilities a chance to compete with their peers.
Entering the final two races of the day, those involving the top seeds, Mountain View had already won every other race. The question was could they sweep the final two.
In the boys' race, the Bruins' Brett Andrus stayed close to but couldn't catch the leaders, Riley Cook of Ogden and Brighton's Nick McCombs. In somewhat of an upset, Cook sprinted past McCombs in the final 10 yards and edged him by one second, winning in a time of 15:12. Andrus placed third at 15:33, giving the Bruins' nine team points. As good as that performance was, Mountain View's boys had actually scored just eight points in this race two years ago.
The girls' final was expected to be a battle between East's Phebe Ko and Mountain View's Ilene Dixon, and it was. With about 300 meters to go, Dixon passed Ko as the runners came down a hill and headed for the final straightaway. Dixon, the talented multi-sport athlete who helped the Bruins upset top-ranked Alta in a soccer match on Tuesday (she had two assists), sprinted the final 150 meters to easily defeat Ko, who was running despite a bout with the flu. Dixon's time was 18:17 over the three-mile plus course.
"I didn't really think I could catch her, but I guess my legs did it for me," a fatigued Dixon said. "I decided just to run and I had a little kick left at the end." In fact, Dixon mistook the location of the finish line and began her sprint earlier than she wanted to but won the race going away as it turned out.
In the boys' team race, Mountain View was followed by Davis in second with 34 points, with East and Layton tied for third at 36. The Lady Bruins were followed by Copper Hills with 22 points and Davis with 28.
Three of the top programs in Utah were not at the rendevous, including Orem and Provo, both competing in Colorado, and Bingham, which traditionally skips this meet. Next up for the state's harriers are two meets next Saturday, the annual Kiwanis Invitational to be held at Thanksgiving Point, and the Davis District Invitational in Layton.