For the fourth consecutive year, Utah's best will compete with the country's fastest in the Deseret News invitational junior 10K, sponsored by Salt Lake Running Co. on July 24.
The invitational junior 10K is a parallel race with the 10K, which means the elite runners will be running alongside everyone else but will be in the front of the pack to start.
In addition to the Utah and U.S. all-star teams, several of the state's high schools will field teams for the annual Pioneer Day race. Among them are Davis, Alta, Bingham, Syracuse, Timpanogos and Woods Cross.
Slated to compete for the Utah boys all-star team are several of the state's finest runners in all classifications. They include Mountain View's Travis Fuller, 4A state champ in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200. He is also the Great Southwest 1,500 champion. Riverton's Trevor Sharp, who will attend BYU this fall, is the 5A state champ in the 800 and 1,600. Weber's George Barlow was the 5A state runner-up in the 3,200. Hurricane's Karl Wilcock was 3A state runner-up in three events, second to Judge's Luke Puskedra in two of them.
Upcoming seniors Chloe Carlton of Ogden, 3A 800 and 1,600 meter champion, Taylor Thornley of Logan, 3A 3,200 meter champion and Shalaya Kipp of Skyline, 2006 5A cross country champion and 2007 runner-up, headline a girls Utah all-star team that does not include any of the 5A state champion Davis Darts, who have chosen to run for their high school.
"It (running for one's own team) promotes team unity," Davis coach Corbin Talley said. "It is who they are going to be running with the rest of the year. It gives them some pride in our program. It is a nice accomplishment to beat the Utah and U.S. all-star teams with girls that all come from the same team."
The Dart team comes in especially impressive. Ranked ninth at nationals last year, the defending Deseret News 10K champs are led by Natalie Haws, who won the 2007 5A cross-country championship, placed top 20 at nationals, and set a new state record of 10:43 in the 3,200 meters to win state a few months ago. Teammate Candace Eddy, defending junior 10K champion, will not compete because she is recovering from an injury.
"It will be interesting to see how they can match up against the all-star teams," assistant race director Sam Wood said. "Last year, their victory kick-started their nationally ranked season."
The boys USA all-star team includes a bevy of state champions and the top two returning runners from Foot Locker nationals, Bobby Nicolls, from Regis Jesuit (Colo.) and Evan Appel, from Dakota Ridge (Colo.). Nicolls also won the Midwest Distance classic 3,200-meter event in 9:03, and Appel is Colorado 5A state champion in cross-country, the 1,600 and 3,200. Also on the team are Bryan Tibaduzza from Galena (Nev.), who was fourth at Footlocker regionals in addition to his state cross-country title, and Hayden Hohnholt from Saratoga (Wyo.), state champ in the 1,600 and 3,200.
"We have had future high school national champions in this race," assistant race director Sam Wood said. "But to have the top two returning cross country runners in the nation coming in to our race to line up against the best in our state should be very fun to watch."
The girls USA team will include teammates Nicole Petersen and Jenna Allais from Rock Springs (Wyo.) and Kaylee Campbell from Preston, Idaho. The 10K will start at 6 a.m. at Research Park on the University of Utah campus.
The race will start this year on Chipeta Way. The marathon will begin at 5:30 a.m., at the top of Emigration Canyon. The 5K walk will start at 7 a.m. at EnergySolutions Arena.Registration can be done online at www.desnews.com/run, on the fourth floor of the Deseret News building (30 E. 100 South) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or at any Salt Lake Running Co. location. Registrations can also be mailed to the Deseret News no later than July 15 for out-of-state residents and July 17 for Utah residents.