SALT LAKE CITY – Jaiden Melendrez and Spencer Ford finished first and second to lead the Desert Hills boys cross country team to its fourth straight 3A team title Wednesday at Sugarhouse Park.
Bailey Brinkerhoff won the individual title on the girls side, but it was Pine View that took the team title, led by sophomore Rylee Holt and freshman Jessica Hill.
For the boys, Melendrez finished with a time of 15:27.1, shaving off more than 30 seconds from his third-place time from last year. And he needed almost every one of those seconds to edge teammate Ford, who recorded a 15:30.4.
Normally a one-two finish would just about guarantee a team title, too. But the Thunder had to sweat it out as Pine View placed three runners in the top 10 to make things interesting.
Desert Hills also got a ninth place finish from Bryson King (16:12.6), a 14th from Joshua Gibb (16:25.9) and a 20th from Matt Allred (16:37.8) to come in with a 3A low score of 46 points.
The Pine View trio of Carson Horspool (15:51.3), Dallen Gillespie (16:00.6) and Mitchell Price (16:05.6) finished fifth, sixth and seventh as Pine View ended up four points behind Desert Hills with 50 points. Julien Canales (13th, 16:20.8) and Alex Hill (19th, 16:34.7) were also counters for the Panthers.
Stansbury was a distant third with 94 points, with senior Hawk Call placing third individually (15:33.8), six seconds behind Melendrez. Canyon View, led by Justin Hunt’s 12th place showing, was fourth with 111 points and Hurricane brothers Caleb (15:45.5) and Caden (16:10.9) Armstrong took fourth and eighth to help the Tigers boys place fifth.
Caleb Armstrong and Horspool are the only underclassmen among the top eight finishers.
For the girls, Brinkerhoff ran away with things, pulling away from a fellow sophomore, Tooele’s Makayla Komer, by more than 13 seconds. Brinkerhoff’s time, 18:22.6, was 36 seconds faster than last year’s champion and 38 seconds faster than her own third-place time from a year ago.
But after enduring a heartbreaking, and controversial, loss last year, the Pine View girls team was not to be denied this time around. The Lady Panthers placed all five counters in the top 15, led by the sophomore Holt and the freshman Hill. Holt finished in 18:47.5, good enough for fifth place, while Hill came in at 18:52.5, right behind Holt in sixth.
Also counting for the Lady Panthers were Caroline Clements (eighth, 19:01.8), Josie Bushar (11th, 19:09.2) and Jacey Finch (19:25.1).
Pine View ended up with 45 points, well ahead of Brinkerhoff’s Lady Thunder, who had 65. Cedar finished third with 84 points, led by Mic Webster, who was fourth overall with a time of 18:37.5. Park City was fourth and Stansbury fifth for the girls.
Every single one of the top eight individual finishers is an underclassman, meaning the 2017 cross country race should be a good one.
3A Boys Cross Country Academic All State (Combined GPA: 4.000)
Micah Dean, Bear River
Hunter Hulet, Canyon View
Larsen Hulet, Canyon View
Paul Bryner, Carbon
Zachary Wiener, Cedar
Matthew Jensen, Dixie
Kody Watts, Hurricane
Cody Robinson, Juab
Caleb Dredge, , Morgan
Verl Johansen, Morgan
Colin Smith, Morgan
Mitchell Price, Pine View
Wesley Allred, Ridgeline
Joshua Larsen, Stansbury
Gabe Snow, Union
Nickolas Squire, Union
3A Girls Cross Country Academic All State (Combined GPA: 4.000)
Chelsea Cutler, Bear River
Sadie Crompton, Carbon
Sarah Ohlwiler, Carbon
Kara Bachman, Cedar
Grace Killian, Dixie
Megan Carter, Morgan
Natalie Nielson, Morgan
Josie Bushar, Pine View
Veronnica Rollins, Richfield
Jessica Merkley, Ridgeline
Mikelle Rogers, Stansbury
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