We wrapped up another very successful cross country season by bringing home two state championship trophies. The girls finished 1st and the boys finished 2nd - both races showed what DXC is all about. Both races took every runner giving their all for their TEAM.
The girls had to fight a little harder for this one than we expected. It was definitely not our easiest race of the season, but we stayed tough and finished with everything we had to earn our 3rd straight state championship (and our 5th in the past 6 years). And we looked cool doing it in our bright yellow uniforms. We really wanted to get the team time record (93:50), and we came up just short (94:15) - but I truly believe we could have achieved it on nearly any other day. It is still the Davis team time record - beating our 2011 time of 95:10. It is also #4 on the Utah all-time list. We also still won the overall team competition (with all divisions 1A - 5A). It was a very tight race. We scored 106.5, Mountain Crest was 2nd with 111, Park City was 3rd with 113, and American Fork was 4th with 139. We kept our undefeated streak alive, but it was not easy. The thing that impressed me most about our girls yesterday was that we didn't have our best day, but we still dug deep enough and still had enough desire, determination, and teamwork to finish the race with a lot of guts. Ellie Child capped off an incredible first season of cross country with her 3rd place finish in 18:29. She has added so much speed and strength to our team. Yesterday may not have been her best race, but she showed a lot of toughness in getting to the finish line. She went out with the leaders, covered their moves, and then had to really dig deep over the final 800m of the race. It may not have been what she expected, but she still gave her all. We could not have won it without her. Shea Martinez made a courageous move with about 1200m to go - she gapped the field and really went for it. She was on pace to run under 18 minutes until the final 500m. It was definitely a gutsy performance, but she ran out of gas and struggled to the finish line. I couldn't be more proud of her. Despite any fear or doubt, she went for it. She pushed her body as hard as it would go yesterday. She maybe could have settled in and raced cautiously and finished with a 2nd or 3rd place - but she made the risk - she went for it. It reminds me of the Steve Prefontaine quote: "A lot of people run the race to see who is the fastest. I run to see who has the most guts, who can punish himself to exhausting pace." Shea ended up finishing in 7th place with 18:45. Ironically it is the same time that she won with as a sophomore. Shea has really raised the bar for girls racing at our school and in the state of Utah. She has had a phenomenal high school cross country career - and her effort yesterday showed her passion for racing and her determination to do her best. It was Shea's 3rd state championship TEAM. We could not have done all that we have without her. Mikell Wood came through big for us again yesterday as she has all season long. She ran the race plan perfectly, and it was awesome to watch her fight off the top American Fork girl in the final 100m of the race. Mikell's time of 18:52 was good enough for 8th place and good enough to earn her all-state. Mikell has come a long way from her sophomore year, and it really shows what hard work and determination can accomplish. We could not have won it without her. Ashley Tyndall also came through big for us. She ran patiently, and she showed a ton of fight over the 2nd half of the race. Ashley has also worked extremely hard for her improvements. It was awesome to see her finish under 19 minutes. Her time of 18:58 was good enough for 11th place. We could not have won it without her. Joanna Boyd came down sick with strep on Sunday. Not the best timing - but somehow she stayed as positive as possible and still made it to the starting line. Of course she was worried, she didn't know how she would feel, but she knew her TEAM needed her, and she was going to go out and do her best. Every time Joanna races, she gives her very best for her TEAM. She was so mentally tough yesterday, and she had to be. As a few of her teammates began to struggle in front of her, somehow Joanna found the guts to keep moving up through the group. Her time of 19:09 is absolutely incredible considering the circumstances. It was good enough for 16th place, and good enough to finish as our 5th runner and wrap up the victory for us. It is also Joanna's 3rd state championship TEAM. She has really left her mark on Davis Cross Country. We are so lucky that she moved to Kaysville before her sophomore year. We could not have done it without her. Chelsey Johnson is definitely a fighter. She started to struggle a little earlier in the race. But she did not give in. Just has she has so many times before, Chelsey showed her toughness and ran for her TEAM. She has made some sacrifices to be part of this TEAM, and we are grateful to have her. This was her 2nd state championship team - and we could not have done it without her. Kami Dixon did what we needed her to as well. She helped lead our pack through the important early miles of the race. I think she really helped to keep her teammates calm and confident. And she helped us make the moves we needed in the first 2 miles. After that, Kami really struggled to the finish line. She said she kept telling her legs to go, but it just wasn't there. It was evident that she was giving her all for her TEAM. She still played a vital role in our success - not just in yesterday's race, but in our entire season. We could not have done it without her. Every girl on the TEAM was crucial to our victory. Each girl on the TEAM (both those who raced yesterday and those who did not) has had to face struggles and doubts. Each girl on the TEAM has had to make sacrifices. Our sacrifices and our challenges have made us stronger and more unified - and because of that, we are champions (literally and figuratively).
3. Ellie Child 18:29
7. Shea Martinez 18:45
8. Mikell Wood 18:52
11. Ashley Tyndall 18:58
16. Joanna Boyd 19:09
19. Chelsey Johnson 19:22
31. Kami Dixon 20:09
1. Davis 37
2. American Fork 51
3. Bingham 102
4. Lehi 104
5. Jordan 141
Full Results at www.runnercard.com
The boys' season has not necessarily gone as we would have expected. We have faced more challenges on our road to the state championships than we thought we would, and we were not in the position we thought we would be in at this point. Still, we prepared the best we could, and we showed up ready for a fight. We came away with a trophy and a 2nd place finish to another strong American Fork team. We also finished 2nd in the combined (1A-5A) team scoring in a close battle: American Fork (79.5), Davis (150), Herriman (157.5), Bonneville (160). No doubt this was the deepest TEAM year in Utah cross country history. Our team time of 79:43 is #7 on the Utah all-time list, and our 2nd fastest ever (79:01 in 2011). And it is 1:24 faster than our 2010 TEAM that went on to finish 11th at NXN. Just like our girls, each of our boys showed a lot of guts in running for their TEAM. Alex Hedquist led the way with a new Davis school record on the course. His time of 15:21 would have won so many other years - and was good enough for 3rd this year. Alex stayed with the lead group and kept himself in position even when the race got tough. Alex has worked and worked for the past 4 years of cross country to put himself in this position. It was definitely rewarding to see him have this type of a race at the state championships. Brayden Cromar competed on his 3rd state championship team (finishing top 12 all three years). He has been such a solid runner and leader for us all three years. Just like he always does, he put his heart and soul into the race. I don't think it was his best day, but he ran with emotion and went for it by going with the leaders. He will be as strong as ever a month from now at NXN. His time of 15:43 was his pr on the course and was good enough for 6th place, his 2nd all-state award. Skylar Williams really went for it. I didn't realize he was right with the leaders coming up the big hill until I saw the pictures on desnews.com and sltrib.com this morning (sweet pictures of our top 3 by the way). It showed a lot of guts and it was a risk - but it was the kind of risk necessary for us to have a shot yesterday. It also shows me that once we get his back injury figured out, Skylar is going to completely tear it up. He always races so tough. His finish was phenomenal as he ran down about 5 guys in the final 200m to finish 12th with 16:08.Preston Johnson has only been running for 2 1/2 weeks. His shin stress fracture did not come at a very convenient time for Presto. He had high hopes for this season and for this state championship race. Preston's 8 weeks without running were not easy on him or the TEAM. I know he fought hard through discouragement and doubt. And I know he had plenty of fears going into yesterday's race. But Preston is strong. He adjusted his goals and his original hopes, and he went into the race ready to do his best for his TEAM. When we started to struggle over the 2nd half of the race, Preston ran as hard as he ever has to move up into our #4 position. He really helped the TEAM out with his 15th place finish (16:12). It is also Preston's 3rd time running at state. He has had a great career - and he is not through by any means. I couldn't be more proud of his quick comeback. With 4 more weeks, I can't wait to see what Presto can do at the Nike Regionals. He is really going to add to our TEAM strength as we prepare for that race. Hayden Hansen has been strong for us all season long. He has shown consistency and has worked harder than ever. He also went after it yesterday - keeping himself in a position to make a difference for our TEAM and really giving his all to run the race plan. He finished in our top 5 and was 18th overall in his first state championship race with a time of 16:17. Andrew Aposhian went out like we needed him to as well. Andrew is such a hard worker and such a good kid. He truly is a great example to everyone on the TEAM. His race yesterday was not his best, but he never gave up. He did what he needed to for our team - pulling our guys through the 2 mile mark in a solid position. Watching Andrew race that final mile really captured what I think DXC is all about - giving your best for your teammates. He finished in 20th with 16:20 - and I know he is determined to be a lot faster a month from now. Stokton Smith was in his first major championship race - but I think he is going to have a lot more opportunities like this in the future. He has shown all year that he races with "no fear" and that he is an extremely gutsy, tough runner. He is still learning and still gaining a lot from every experience. In his first state championships, he finished as the #2 sophomore in the race with a 16:37 (28th place). He was also the 6th fastest sophomore from all divisions. He also didn't have his best day and is trying to figure out some challenges with asthma, but once he figures that out, watch out. Each of these boys has put a lot into this season. Our entire TEAM has put a lot into the success we have had this season. It has had its ups and downs, but we have stuck together and we will continue to fight through our final cross country races of the year.
3. Alex Hedquist 15:21
6. Brayden Cromar 15:43
12. Skylar Williams 16:08
15. Preston Johnson 16:12
18. Hayden Hansen 16:17
20. Andrew Aposhian 16:20
28. Stokton Smith 16:37
1. American Fork 29
2. Davis 54
3. Riverton 74
4. Bingham 125
5. Alta 142
Full Results: www.runnercard.com
For both the boys and the girls race, we had the strongest "8th man" at the meet. Our athletes, fans, and parents who were not racing provided so much energy and excitement for our TEAM. I truly believe we could not have raced that well yesterday if it was not for those who were cheering and encouraging our runners. Thanks for all the support and thanks for helping to make this a successful state championships.
Also, a special congratulations to our "state record" setting 5 boys who earned academic all-state: Seth Thompson, Alex Hedquist, Jackson Sagers, Andrew Aposhian, and Phillip Baker. You boys done real good. It is amazing how much you have accomplished in every area of your lives. Great runners, great students, and great examples.
I quickly would like to thank our coaches. They have done so much for us this season. Be aware that each of them make sacrifices and have selflessly shown love and support for each of you. They have offered expertise, advice, and encouragement, and we are lucky to have them. Thanks, Brad Anderson, Paul Timothy, Kat Pendleton, Brian Garlock, and Devin Lang (we really miss you Devin - but we are proud of what you are doing). Once again - we could not have done it without them.
With 5 senior boys and 5 senior girls on our state teams, it is really time for our juniors, sophomores, and freshmen to increase the intensity of their training. We cannot afford to wait until the seniors are gone next summer to step up our level of training. Learn from how these seniors work. Learn from their leadership and their toughness. Be willing to risk. Be willing to push yourselves beyond what you think you can do - in races and in training. Train like them now while they are still here and we can still learn from them. I can't wait to see who steps up and who does the work to be the surprise runner we are going to need over the next 12 months. It may not look like it on paper, but I want to come back as a TEAM next year to once again be in a position to win 2 state titles. It will take a lot of hard work and a ton of passion to get there, but we can do it as a TEAM. This is a good time to evaluate the effort you are giving and to look for ways that you can give a little more (or a lot more). You never know what you can do until you really give full effort to try to accomplish something.
We will now be working toward the NXN Regional race in Arizona on November 17th. We are definitely in a position to qualify both the girls and the boys for the Nike Nationals (in Portland on December 1st). The next 4 weeks are extremely important weeks. Our attitude these next 4 weeks is just as important as what we do for our workouts. It is important that we continue to stay hungry and focused. It is important that we continue to put the TEAM first and continue to be unified and make sacrifices for one another. I have attached the workout schedule for the next 4 weeks. If you are hoping to go to Arizona with the TEAM, please review the workout schedule and commit to make it to all of the workouts. Those workouts actually start today (Thursday) - it is important that you get in some good mileage on your own during this break. We will be having a TEAM meeting on Monday to discuss the NXN details. We will be able to take 48 athletes with us to Arizona.
TEAM Pictures will be on Tuesday, October 23rd. Bring your uniforms. Last week I said they would be on Wednesday - that has been changed to Tuesday.
The TEAM Banquet will be on Thursday, November 8th at 6:00pm. Most likely this will take place at the school.
Thanks again, let me know if you have any questions.