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Bruce Smith
American Fork's winning girls cross-country team.

By Bruce Smith

For the Deseret News

PROVO — For most high school cross-country runners, the best game plan coming into a race is to find an American Fork or Springville runner, try to keep pace, and then hope for the best.

Aidan Troutner, Ryan Raff and Sadie Sargent have other ideas.

Troutner, a senior at Timpview, and Raff, a Lehi senior, set the pace Saturday morning and BYU’s Autumn Classic at East Bay Golf Course. Running in mid-morning in cooler conditions than what they had experienced previously this year, they ran the three-mile course together most of the time and finished 1-2.

Sargent dominated the girls' competition again, cruising through the course in 17 minutes 17.6 seconds. She finished 13 seconds ahead of Woods Cross freshman Carlee Hansen.

Not surprisingly, American Fork and Springville’s depth kept them at the top in the boys' team scores. American Fork edged Lone Peak in the girls' team competition. The race attracted 2,200 runners from throughout Utah and even included a couple of Wyoming and Idaho schools. Later, BYU dominated the college teams, which had every Utah school, except Utah and Utah Valley.

Troutner comes from a running family. He has two older sisters that ran at the high school and college level and he admitted that his competition with Raff keeps them both motivated to run faster.

“We’re really good friends,” Troutner said. “We push each other and he helped me get my PR (personal record) today.

Troutner said he led the race for the first 1 ¾ miles, then Raff caught up and they ran together – ahead of the pack.

“I kicked it in the last 400 yards,” he said.

Troutner finished the 3-mile race in 14 minutes, 19.1 seconds. Raff was four seconds behind, followed by Grant Gardner and Brandon Garnica of Springville.

Sargent has made North Summit a team to watch in the smaller school’s girls competition, but Braves coaches Dave Peck and Virginia Richins have used creative techniques to keep their athletes excited about running and they don’t grow bored because most compete in other sports this time of year, too.

“We’re all about cross-training,” Richins said. “We have athletes who run, and then join the swim team when they’re done. Running at high altitude (in Coalville) also can’t hurt.”

Part of their cross-training included a recent team bicycle ride from Park City to Coalville.

“Never a dull moment,” Peck said, “and our school is on a hill so they all know they have to run up it and be good finishers.”

Maggie Zwahlen backed up Sargent with a 10th-place finish. The team has a ways to go to keep up with the likes of American Fork, but a 2A state title isn’t out of the question.

American Fork, however, is still on top of the bigger schools and the Cavemen put five runners among the top 33 to win the girls' team title.

BYU Autumn Classic

At East Bay Golf Course

BOYS

Team scores – 1, American Fork 122. 2, Springville 125. 3, Davis 146.5. 4, Westlake 165.5. 5, Riverton 188. 6, Stansbury 218. 7, Timpview 238.5 8, Skyridge 248. 9, Bingham 261.5. 10, Olympus 312. 11, Lone Peak 317. 12, Corner Canyon 333.5. 13, Woods Cross 336.5. 14, Mountain View 373. 15, Pleasant Grove 460. 16, Hillcrest 494. 17, Rock Springs (Wyo.) 538. 18, Richfield 548. 20, Evanston (Wyo.) 556. 21, Timpanogos 566. 21, Salem Hills 567. 23, West Jordan 620. 24, Cedar 621.5. 25, Emery 637.5. 26, Orem 678.5. 27, Uintah 702. 28, Leh 720i. 29, Wasatch 724. 30, North Summit 745.5. 31, East 866. 32, Murray 916. 33, Utah Military Academy 1,113. 34, Provo. 35, Brighton. 36, West.

Individual results

1, Aidan Troutner (Timpview) 14:19.1. 2, Ryan Raff (Lehi) 14:23.7. 3, Grant Gardner (Springville) 14:5.3. 4, Brandon Garnica (Springville) 14:55.4. 5, Jima Rout (Olympus) 15:05.8. 6, Dalton Brems (American Fork) 15:12.0. 7, Logan Anderson (Westlake) 15:16.4. 8, Jackson Pratt (Bear Lake, Idaho) 15:20.0. 9, Garrett Faragher (Mountain View) 15:21.0. 10, Seth Stromberg (Davis) 15:24.6.

GIRLS

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Team scores – 1, American Fork 99. 2, Lone Peak 131. 3, Mountain View 150. 4, Cedar 184. 5, Pleasant Grove 188. 6, Maple Mountain 197. 7, Olympus 199. 8, Westlake 210. 9, Springville 213.5. 10, Davis 235. 11, Corner Canyon 307.5. 12, Stansbury 326.5. 13, Timpview 340. 14, Timpanogos 367. 15, Riverton 394. 16, Woods Cross 409. 17, Rock Springs (Wyo.) 444. 18, Bingham 453. 19, Skyridge 550. 20, Wasatch 590. 21, Salem Hills 605. 22, Jackson (Wyo.) 615. 23, Orem 638. 24, Hillcrest 701.5. 25, Bear River 716. 26, Uintah 743.5. 27, Richfield 758.5. 28, East 800. 29, Murray 802. 30, Brighton 832. 31, West Jordan. 848.

Individual results

1, Sadie Sargent (North Summit) 17:17.3. 2, Carlee Hansen (Woods Cross) 17:30.7. 3, Alissa Fielding (Mountain View) 17:31.5. 4, Katie Duckworth (Olympus) 17:34.5. 5, Karli Branch (Corner Canyon) 17:35.1. 6, Shanee Harris (Box Elder) 17:39.7. 7, Zoe Hales (Stansbury) 17:44.4. 8, Abby Jensen (Westlake) 17:45.5. 9, Helena Miyazawa (Mountain View) 17:47.6. 10, Maggie Zwahlen (North Summit) 17:50.9.

Bruce Smith grew up in Boise, Idaho, and is a longtime newspaper sports writer. He writes primarily high-school sports articles for the Deseret News.