MURRAY Hurricane senior Karl Wilcock didn't want to miss out on the chance to compete against some of the big boys.
Though the rest of his teammates headed south to Las Vegas for a smaller meet, Wilcock opted to instead head north to the 37-team Murray Invitational in hopes of seeing how he stacked up against a talented and deep field.
Turns out, he stacked up pretty darn well.
That much was certain after he crossed the finish line at Murray Park Friday afternoon in first place with a time of 16:04.0. Locked in a three-man battle with Lone Peak's Steven Morrin and Orem's Benjamin Johnson near the end, Wilcock's powerful kick down the final stretch was too much for either of his opponents to handle.
"I wanted to come up here (because of) the competition," said Wilcock, who finished fourth in 3A last year. "That was mainly my goal to get the competition. And then I wanted to win the race."
Done and done.
Wilcock's super kick at the finish provided the exclamation point on an extremely interesting day of racing at Murray Park. The 31st annual Murray Invite produced a dominant team performance on the boys side and girls side, with Alta's boys team cruising to a 61 points to 145 win over Davis, while Mountain Crest's girls team looked extremely solid in posting a 59-81 win over Davis.
Even though Alta's No. 3 runner pulled out midway through the race after rolling his ankle, the Hawks still scored a convincing boys win. Seniors Jack Webster and Kyle Moffet finished fifth and sixth, respectively, and the rest of Alta's varsity team finished 10-21-34-35 to easily outdistance defending champ Davis.
"They're good, as good as advertised, (and) they're probably better than I thought they'd be," Davis coach Corbin Talley said.
The Darts raced well in their own right on the boys side but didn't have nearly enough firepower to contain Alta.
"Yeah, we're tough," admitted Alta coach Rob Murphy. "We've got just lots of depth."
On the girls side, Mountain Crest bested nationally-ranked Davis for the second week in a row.
The Mustangs beat Davis at the BYU Invite a week ago, and they followed it up on Friday with another team win. To be fair, Davis didn't have star senior Candace Eddy for either race, and fellow star Julianne Wirthlin was out Friday with an injury.
Still, it was another hugely encouraging performance for Mountain Crest. And as Mountain Crest coach Mary Kirby pointed out, the Mustangs aren't at 100 percent either, as their top finisher last season, Talina Nelson, has been dealing with an injury.
She's getting healthier but finished last among her varsity teammates at the Murray Invite. However, there were six solid Mountain Crest finishes ahead of her to boost the Mustangs to the win, as multi-sport star Macinze O'Very and Laura Hatch finished 2-3 overall, and all seven of Mountain Crest's runners finished in the top 25.
"Our top seven's stronger than their top seven," said Kirby, comparing her group to Davis High's. "Their top five is pushing our top five. I don't know who's stronger there, but we're seven deep."Individually, senior Kendy Christensen of Orem fended off O'Very and Hatch en route to the girls win.