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Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
The Class 2A Cross Country State Championships at Sugarhouse Park in Salt Lake City, on Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017.

SALT LAKE CITY — When North Summit senior Cody White ran onto the track at Highland High School’s football stadium Wednesday afternoon, he was all alone. When he crossed the finish line, after running three miles through Sugarhouse Park, he was still alone. And yet, as far as he was concerned, he was never alone.

“My aunt, Kerri Iverson, died of breast cancer one week from now last year,” said White. “I ran this race for her. I am not sure if she ever got to watch me run (before she died), but she watched this race for sure.”

What a race it was. White finished with the fastest time in 2A at 16:18:7, more than 30 seconds faster than the closest competitor (Carson Burian of Rowland Hall finished second with a time of 16:49:5 and Millard’s Jarren Camp came in third at 17:07:1). It was the culmination of years of hard work.

“I have worked for this my entire high school career,” said White. “I didn’t think it was possible until I changed high schools. Now I have a state title.”

He previously attended Union High School, before moving to North Summit this past year.

“The kids here pushed me,” White said of his Brave teammates. “I didn’t think (winning a state title) was possible but they helped me work hard. They helped me give more effort.”

His strategy for the race was really quite simple, run.

“I just wanted to get out there and run,” White said. “That was my strategy. I pushed myself as hard as I could (for Kerri). I wore socks for her and ran this race to honor her. (This title) means everything.”

While his teammates may have had their own motivations for running, they all performed admirably and lifted the Braves to a team state championship.

Tayte Staples (17:28:5), Gideon Gren (17:30:1) and Seth Brown (17:41:2) each finished in the top 10 in the classification, while teammates Boston Sargent (17:58:0), Keyan Staples (18:11:3) and Eli Richins (18:18:2) finished among the top 20. It was an entire team effort, one that lifted the Braves to yet another state title.

As great as White was for the boys, Sadie Sargent was even better, unsurprisingly, on the girls side.

Sargent, the defending champion, crushed the competition, finishing with a time of 17:31:1. Teammate Maggie Zwahlen finished second, at 18:34:9. Tate Beasley finished third with a time of 18:36:4.

It was business as usual for Sargent, who has yet to lose to a runner from Utah this season.

“It feels good,” the North Summit senior said of the title. “I knew I would do this. I knew I would have to go out and do it by myself.”

What really brought out the emotion for Sargent wasn’t her individual title, but rather the efforts of her teammates.

Along with Maggie Zwahlen, Elizabeth Zwahlen finished in the top 10, with a time of 19:35:0. Braves runners Alicia Smith (21:43:3) and Sarah Winters (22:20:9) each finished in the top 25, helping guide the North Summit to a team championship.

“I am so proud of them, every single one of my teammates,” said Sargent. “Every one of them has trained so hard.”

Top 10 girl finishers: 1. Sadie Sargent, North Summit, 17:31:1; 2. Maggie Zwahlen, North Summit, 18:34:9; 3. Tate Beasley, Rowland Hall, 18:36:4; 4. Audrey Camp, Millard, 19:06:6; 5. Katy Kelly, Millard, 19:18:8; 6. Elizabeth Zwahlen, North Summit, 19:35:0; 7. Ashley Lagat, Wasatch Academy, 19:44:9; 8. Mayci Torgerson, North Sevier, 19:55:2; 9. Ashlin Goble, North Sevier, 20:10:0; 10. Maria Josse, Millard, 20:25:8.

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Top 10 boy finishers: 1. Cody White, North Summit, 16:18:7; 2. Carson Burian, Rowland Hall, 16:49:5; 3. Jarren Camp, Millard, 17:07:1; 4. Shade Woodard, Millard, 17:16:6; 5. Carson Belnap, Altamont, 17:17:1; 6. Caysen Crum, Beaver, 17:27:6; 7. Tayte Staples, North Summit, 17:28:5; 8. Gideon Gren, North Summit, 17:30:1; 9. Hunter Lorenz, Parowan, 17:31:9; 10. Seth Brown, North Summit, 17:41:2.

Boys team results

1. North Summit 36; 2. Millard 64; 3. Rowland Hall 100; 4. Duchesne 127; 5. Kanab 134; 6. Parowan 135; 7. Altamont 163; 8. Enterprise 184; 9. Waterford 226.

Girls team results

1. North Summit 36; 2. Millard 48; 3. North Sevier 64; 4. Rowland Hall 97; 5. Kanab 109; 6. Duchesne 155.

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