The Davis High cross country team capped its season with a dream meet. When it counted most, both the boys and girls teams ran their best races at the state championships at Sugarhouse Park.
"I am so proud of how every one of our runners performed today," said coach Corbin Talley. "They worked hard all season, and to see them almost all put in their best performance of the year on the day they needed it most is just incredible. They all ran hard and did what was expected of them."
The one runner that truly stood out on a team chock full of outstanding runners was senior Natalie Haws. She pulled off the upset of the day as she raced past defending champion and heavy favorite Shalaya Kipp of Skyline in the last 50 yards to capture the individual title in 18:27.8, just four-tenths of a second in front.
"I can't believe I actually did it," said Haws of the win. "I just tried to keep her (Kipp) in sight, and when we got to the track for that last little bit I gave it everything I had. I don't normally have a big kick to finish, but it was just my day. I had it all today, and it might be a while before it sinks in that I am the state champion."
While the win was a shock to Haws, her coach had the faith that she had that type of race in her.
"She always had that ability," said Talley. "It was nice to see her put it all together today because she has worked hard all season to get ready, and she was always right there with the others."
The others included fifth-place finisher Candace Eddy, 10th-place Emily Hansen, Loren Storey (17th) and Meghan Hedquist (22nd). The top-five finishers combined for a 55 total, well ahead of second-place Skyline's 102.
Eddy's finish was especially important to the team's result. She was a top runner all season, and fifth place may have been a little disappointing for her individually, but she pushed through a lot of adversity to help her team claim the title.
"Candace was sick all week and this wet weather didn't help her at all," added Talley. "I was so impressed with how she fought through it to finish like that. It was an incredible effort on her part."
As if winning the title wasn't enough, the good news for the Darts is that Eddy, Hansen, Hedquist and 33rd-place finisher Hollie King are all underclassmen and should be back to anchor the team next season.
The day kept getting better for the Darts as just minutes after the girls won the team title, the boys matched the feat. While the gentlemen didn't have an individual champion, the overall consistency of all the members contributed to the victory.
Seth Gutzwiller (5th), Spencer Anderson (7th), Bryce Larsen (15th), Jason Thomas (29th) and Jordan Stuart (30th) gave the boys a team total of 77 compared to second-place American Fork's 109.
"We all did our part today," said Anderson. "There is no way that I did any of this on my own. We were a team all season and it was all these guys pushing me and all of us doing it together that got us the win."
The girls were the favorites coming into the state meet, but the boys team pulled a small upset as they were not considered as the team to beat.
"I think that the boys winning it just proved what type of character they have," Talley added. "They never thought that they couldn't win it if they worked hard all year. They came together at the right time and it is a testament to their heart."Gutzwiller, Thomas, Michael King (54th) and Carston Feigleson (55th) are the youngsters of the team and will be counted on next year.