HURRICANE- While the boys of Hurricane High ended the Thunder dynasty, it was the Lady Thunder who stole the show.
A new chapter began in Region 9 cross country Tuesday afternoon as players, coaches and fans lined the marked course at Sand Hollow Golf Course to see who would come out on top. For the past few years, the Desert Hills boys and Pine View girls had owned the region as each school had claimed multiple victories. This year, the record books changed.
For the boys, the Tigers, though slight underdogs, managed to place four runners inside the top-10, producing a final score of 45.
For the girls, D-Hills slipped by PV – the defending champs – to hold on to the victory with a total of 43 points.
“It’s kind of unreal right now,” Thunder coach Logan Fielding said. “The girls have really bonded super well and pushed each other. It really wasn’t our best race today. It was nice to have this happen the way it did for the girls. They earned it.”
Individually, Hurricane’s Caleb Armstrong dominated the 3-mile track in the varsity boys division, finishing the race with a 14:35.1 time. Bailey Brinkerhoff, the Lady Thunder standout, snuck by Cedar’s Harley Taylor and Pine View’s Jessica Hill to take first with a 17:02.2 time.
“This was my fastest race by far,” Armstrong said. “I’m built a little bit stronger than everybody else. I knew I was pretty tough. I just decided I was going to go out and keep pushing it until the very end, until everybody dropped away from me.”
It is the first time in its 10-year history that the Lady Thunder took region, this time right out from beneath the Panthers’ noses. Brinkerhoff, with only a couple-hundred meters to go, trailed Taylor by just a few steps. As the two approached the finish line, Brinkerhoff lunged barely enough ahead to claim the less than half-second victory.
“It was really tough [and] insane,” Brinkerhoff said. “There was that point where you want to give up, but then you have to tell yourself no and you’re not going to settle.”
Impressively, the Thunder placed two others in the top-10 (juniors Lily Poulton and Trinity Schimbeck) and three more in the top-20 (Amanda Marchant, Macie Barney and Haley Roundtree). Every Desert Hills girl posted sub-20 minute times – each finishing in the top-half of the field.
On the boys side, Hurricane proved it was a team to be reckoned with now and in the coming years. For some, the Tigers didn’t have a chance. For others, they were the Cinderella team.
“This was an amazing race,” Hurricane coach Shelly Kidd-Thomas said. “I think my guys came in mentally prepared and physically prepared. We did the training that we needed to. We hit our peak right when we needed to hit the peak.”
Along with Armstrong’s first place finish, the Tigers as a whole had many impressive times. For example, freshman Joshua Armstrong (Caleb’s younger brother) took third place with a 15:09.8 time and sophomore Bryce Thomas came in fourth place with a 15:10.4 time.
“We want to win [state] now,” Kidd-Thomas said. “We’ve got that winning in our blood from today. We want to give it a shot. We feel that we have as good a shot as anybody else.”
The 4A State Cross Country Meet will take place Oct. 18 for both boys and girls at Sugar House Park in Salt Lake City.
Region 9 Cross Country Championships @ Sand Hollow Golf Course
Team Standings for Boys
1. Hurricane: 45 points
2. Desert Hills: 52 points
3. Pine View: 63
4. Canyon View: 105
5. Cedar: 122
6. Snow Canyon: 136
7. Dixie: 212
Team Standing for Girls
1. Desert Hills: 43
2. Pine View: 44
3. Cedar: 60
4. Hurricane: 130
5. Canyon View: 134
6. Snow Canyon: 141
7. Dixie: 201
Top 10 Individual Boys
1. Caleb Armstrong (Hurricane)- 14:35.1
2. Jensen Lambert (Cedar)- 14:54.0
3. Joshua Armstrong (Hurricane)- 15:09.8
4. Bryce Thomas (Hurricane)- 15:10.4
5. Carson Horspool (Pine View)- 15:14.8
6. Bryson King (Desert Hills)- 15:25.3
7. Easton Brandt (Canyon View)- 15:29.0
8. Ethan Ashby (Desert Hills)- 15:29.5
9. Tim Amodt (Hurricane)- 15:30.8
10. Nathan Beitler (Pine View)- 15:33.1
Top 10 Individual Girls
1. Bailey Brinkerhoff (Desert Hills)- 17:02.2
2. Harley Taylor (Cedar)- 17:02.5
3. Jessica Hill (Pine View)- 17:14.9
4. Mic Webster (Cedar)- 17:42.2
5. Kaysie Klemic (Cedar)- 18:02.0
6. Lily Poulton (Desert Hills)- 18:06.2
7. Trinity Schimbeck (Desert Hills)- 18:06.9
8. Jacey Finch (Pine View)- 18:08.9
9. Hailey Odekirk (Hurricane)- 18:26.0
10. Alli Baker (Pine View)- 18:29.3
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