It has been a great season! The boys wrapped it up with an incredible performance at the Nike Nationals yesterday. Our 7 guys represented the entire program well throughout the weekend--and particularly in the race. The NXN course is pretty challenging because of the soft, wet, muddy ground and quite a few hills throughout the course. We knew it would take a patient effort and we knew the boys would have to be mentally focused and physically tough over the final mile of the race. At the first mile, we established good position and came through the timing chip checkpoint in 8th place with 227 points. Our focus the 2nd mile was maintaining and preparing for the finish, and by the 2nd checkpoint (mile 2), we had actually moved up one spot to 7th with 210 points, and we were closing the gap on a few of the teams in front of us. We didn't know the official outcome for about 30 minutes after the race. We were hoping we had moved up one more spot to 6th, and thought if we were lucky we might have caught 2 teams to finish 5th. When we heard the announcement with Davis in 4th place, it was hard to contain our excitement--I think we were just as excited as the teams on the podium (top 3). The boys really closed the final mile and finished with 180 points to beat 5th place by just 1 point. Fighting all the way through the finish line got them that extra finishing spot. Had the race been a bit longer, we would have caught the third place team. We were trailing the 3rd place team by 48 points with a mile to go, and we finished just 17 points off of the podium. Our 4th place team finish is the 2nd highest finish for our boys team (3rd in 2011), and the 5th highest finish in Utah history. We were pretty proud of the fact that we finished 7th in the Utah state combined results, and came back with a 4th place finish at the Nationals.
Camren led the way for us with a 33rd place finish (11th in team scoring - without the individuals). It is the highest finish in Davis cross country history (Brad Nye finished 39th in 2011). Cam's time was 16:12 - only 11 seconds off of All-American. Jacob Vaughan had a monster race for us, and held on strong through the finish as our #2 guy. Jacob ran 16:38 and finished 72nd (36th in team scoring). Matt Ward didn't quite get out as well as he hoped, but made some great adjustments in the first half of the race and then fought with our group over the 2nd half. Matt finished with 16:40 in 76th place (40th team scoring). Devin Jaster was a total beast as well and really moved over the final 800m to pick up a few key points. Devin ran 16:42 and was 79th (43rd in team scoring). The 5th man is so key in cross country, and Brigham didn't let us down. He fought through the line as well and ended as the 3rd highest 5th man in the race. Brigham ran 16:47 and placed 89th (50th in the team scoring). Josh Peters mixed it up in our group throughout the race, helping his teammates and beating nearly every team's 5th man. Josh was only :07 back with 16:54. Good enough for 98th place (57th in team scoring). And Seth (our lone junior in the race), struggled for a bit through the first 2 miles, but came on very strong over the final stretch, never giving up. Seth finished in 134th place (90th in team scoring) with a time of 17:13.
In a race that is very difficult to find your teammates, our guys grouped very well. Our 2-5 spread was only :09, and our 1-5 spread was only :35, starting with an outstanding race from Camren. One of the coolest statistics I saw all weekend was pointed out by one of our parents. If you were to score all 7 runners on every team in the race, we would have been National Champs by 32 points over Bozeman. I know that doesn't mean much in cross country, but we had the best full 7 on the course yesterday, and I was really proud of their effort as a TEAM. When you get the chance, congratulate the boys, but also realize that they were doing their best to represent ALL OF YOU. After the race, they kept talking about how excited they hoped all of you were back home watching them. I really felt like this group was inspired by their entire TEAM - boys and girls - and they would not have run as well without your support and help all season long.
NXN Results -
33. Camren Todd - 16:12.2
72. Jacob Vaughan - 16:38.4
76. Matt Ward - 16:40.9
79. Devin Jaster - 16:42.8
89. Brigham Halverson - 16:47.2
98. Josh Peters - 16:54.4
134. Seth Stromberg - 17:13.7
1. Bozeman (MT) - 105
2. American Fork - 141
3. Brentwood (TN) - 163
4. Davis - 180
5. Naperville (IL) - 181
6. Temecula (Great Oak, CA) - 224
7. Lincroft (CBA, NJ) - 235
8. The Woodlands (TX) - 236
9. Liverpool (NY) - 275
10. Wayzata (MN) - 280
15. Springville (UT) - 348
Full Results - http://nxn.runnerspace.com/eprofile.php?do=title&title_id=187&event_id=13
Coming Up -
Indoor Track Meeting - Tuesday, 12/6 at 2:30pm in the cafeteria. We will go for a group run after the meeting. 8th and 9th graders are supposed to meet in the cafeteria at 3:15 - and try to bring some friends that might be interested in starting up with us.
2017 XC Meeting - Tuesday, May 30th at 3:00 in my classroom
2017 High Altitude Camp - July 31-August 4
This is the final updated for the 2016 XC season. I hope that you have all enjoyed your experience. I hope that you are motivated to get after it in indoor and outdoor track (and cross country next year if you aren't graduating). Go forward with renewed energy and a desire to work harder than ever before to be your best and to have fun doing it!