I was wondering how I could possibly run because it hurt to walk, but I was trying to stay positive because I’ve been working so hard for this... —Garrett Marsing
SALT LAKE CITY — Garrett Marsing felt the pop in his ankle and then he felt the searing pain as he stumbled halfway through an easy run Tuesday night.
The Carbon High senior didn’t even finish in the top 20 last season, but he’d decided the 3A state cross-country title was within his reach in his final prep season. As he hobbled home enduring intense pain with each step, he didn't know whether he’d even be able to run in Wednesday’s state championship meet.
“I was wondering how I could possibly run because it hurt to walk, but I was trying to stay positive because I’ve been working so hard for this,” said Marsing after he earned Carbon’s first individual boys cross-country title since Desert Hills assistant John Powell won it in 1980. “Initially, we thought it might be broken.”
After an X-ray and some treatment from a friend who happens to be a physical therapist, Marsing said he prayed a lot and hoped for the best.
“When I woke up this morning, there was a tiny bit of pain in the back of my ankle but that was it,” he said smiling. “Even running wasn’t painful. Thank goodness.” Marsing didn’t care about the clock, only his place in the field.
“I wanted to win,” he said. “I didn’t care about time. I don’t like to lead. Leading a race, especially when you’re just going for place, isn’t the smartest thing. I had one or two kids in front of me the whole time until it was about 800 meters to go. Then I knew I could take it from there.”
He admitted to a smidge of doubt, but then added he thought that worked to his advantage.
“I guess it’s always good to have a little bit of doubt because that makes you run harder,” he said.
Marsing crossed the finish line in 16:02.9, just ahead of Pine View’s Byron Warby, who ran the 3-mile course in 16:08.7.
His victory is special, not just for him but for the entire Price community, which hasn’t had a lot of victories in athletics this fall. He said he hopes his success means more athletes will give cross-country a try, and predicted the Dinos will have a strong team next season behind some talented underclassmen.
“We don’t necessarily advertise the competition,” he said. “We advertise that it’s fun.”
Behind the performance of Benjamin Powell, who was third with a time of 16:23.2, Desert Hills won its first cross-country state championship with 49 points. Park City was second with 73 points and Pine View was third with 79 points.
“Our goal was to take first,” said Desert Hills head coach Logan Fielding. “We’ve been the top 3A team all year. We were trying to get as many of our boys in the top 10 as possible. We were able to get three, but we were hoping for four or five. We’re pretty happy to get three.”
He said his group has worked extremely hard for the success it's enjoyed.
“They’ve probably worked the hardest out of any group we’ve had in the six years of Desert Hills cross-country,” Fielding said. “They’re a really tight-knit group, and the top five have always run really close together.”
The team’s top runner struggled, but his teammates “stepped up.”
“We’ve been fifth, fifth and third, and this is our first state championship so we’re pretty stoked,” Fielding said as his team collected the title trophy.
In the girls race, Cedar City’s Aimee Bryson won her second-straight title with a time of 17:58.9.
“It was almost worse knowing what it would take to do it again because it was so hard last year,” Bryson said. “But it was fun, I guess.”
She said her strategy was to run with Park City’s top runners until the final 800 meters.
“I’m not very good at pacing, so I know if I go with them, they’re so fast, that I could get a good time,” she said. “I probably kicked it a little too soon because when I got to the track they were still with me. They’re amazing runners.”
She said it was probably the toughest race she’s ever had.
“It was just hard to breath today,” she said, her lips still white. “I definitely gave it all I had today, and it was just barely enough.”
Park City’s Maddie Criscione was second with a time of 18:02.7, while her teammate McKenzie Bothner was third at 18:06.
Park City’s nationally ranked girls team (No. 7) beat a 14-year-old team time record set by Bingham in 1999. The old record of 93:49 was beaten by the Miners when they ran a 93:36. But they only owned the new record for an hour as Davis, ranked No. 1 in the country, later ran the course in 92:27.8. The two teams will race against each other at regionals in Arizona in four weeks.
Park City head coach Jeff Wyant said the Miners were also focused on breaking that 14-year-old record after missing it by just two seconds last year. With the win, the Miners have earned 11 of the last 12 3A state cross-country titles.
“We didn’t really think we’d have a team like that again,” Wyant said. “But as the season progressed, it just seemed to be within reach this year."
Part of Park City's success has to do with Wyant’s ability to persuade Miner soccer star McKenzie Bothner to run cross-country this fall, in addition to competing for the school’s soccer team.
“I saw her running a soccer workout, thought she had a lot of talent, called her and her mom, asked them to come in and assured them that she could do both,” Wyant said. “She’s going to be playing, hopefully, for the state soccer championship later this week.”
INDIVIDUAL GIRLS 3A RESULTS
1. Aimee Bryson, Cedar, 17:58.9; 2. Maddie Criscione, Park City, 18:02.7; 3. McKenzie Bothner, Park City, 18:06; 4. Alyssa Snyder, Park City 18:24.7; 5. Kashley Carter, Juab 18:33.7; 6. Alison Pray, Payson 18:37.8; 7. Sophie McDonald, Park City 18:53.6; 8. Courtney Allred, Desert Hills, 19:23.5; 9. Katlyn Baker, Canyon View, 19:41; 10. Kaylee Corry, Cedar, 19:44.2; 11. Lydia Foster, Richfield, 19:50.0; 12. Madelaine Mehr, Snow Canyon, 19:52.6; 13. Julie Boekweg, N. Sanpete, 19:53.1; 14. Kamryn Watts, Hurricane, 19:56.2; 15. Maggie Beazer, Stansbury, 19:56.7; 16. Laynee Wells, Desert Hills, 20:03; 17. Mallory Hendricks, Canyon View, 10:04.9; 18. Leah Lang, Park City, 10:15.7; 19. Kylie Larkin, Bear River, 20:15.7; 20. Ellie Burton, Park City, 10:19.
TEAM GIRLS 3A RESULTS
1. Park City, 31; 2. Cedar, 76; 3. Canyon View, 148; 4. Stansbury, 159; 5. Desert Hills, 182; 6. Uintah, 196; 7. Bear River, 198; T-8. Pine View, 200; T-8. Payson, 200; 10. Juan Diego, 235.
INDIVIDUAL BOYS 3A RESULTS
1. Garrett Marsing, Carbon, 16:02.9; 2. Byron Warby, Pine View, 16:08.7; 3. Benjamin Powell, Desert Hills, 16:23.2; 4. Tanner Jensen, Stansbury, 16:24.7; 5. Nephi Eschler, Hurricane, 16:25.4; 6. Kyle Beling, Park City, 16:25.9; 7. Colby Judd, Park City,16:26.3;8. Joshua Thatcher, Desert Hills 16:26.5; 9. Joshua McPhie, Desert Hills, 16:29.8; 10. Jaden Torgerson, Stansbury, 16:31.7; 11. Kale Sharp, Desert Hills, 16:34.8; 12. Cody Robinson, Cedar, 16:39.8; 13. Guy Eroh, Park City, 16:40.9; 14. Taylor Abel, Pine View, 16:41.2; 15. Stephen Monsen, Richfield, 16:44.4; 16. Colton Bowler, Pine View, 16:46.9; 17. Wes Miller, Park City, 16:47.8; 18. John McPhie, Desert Hills, 16:48.5; 19. Dallin Reber, Desert Hills, 16:53.8; 20. Eric Lamber, Cedar, 16:56.4.
TEAM RESULTS FOR 3A BOYS
1. Desert Hills, 49; 2. Park City, 73; 3. Pine View, 79; 4. Stansbury, 95; 5. Cedar, 161; 6. Bear River, 210; 7. Hurricane, 214; 8. Uintah, 217; 9. Juab, 272; 10. Grantsville, 288.