Southern Utah runners finish strong at state cross-country championships

CEDAR CITY — Region 9 high schools dominated at the state 4A cross-country meet staged Wednesday afternoon at Cedar High School, with the Pine View girls and Desert Hills boys winning the team state championships.

Pine View Panthers, first place in 4A girls, UHSAA state cross-country championships, Cedar City, Utah, Oct. 21, 2020 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

In addition, Hurricane’s Caila Odekirk and Joshua Armstrong finished first in their respective races to win the individual 4A titles.

This year’s state meet was split in half and held at two different venues, including Cedar High School, for the first time ever, due to COVID-19 concerns that prompted the Utah High School Activities Association to move it from the usual location at Salt Lake City’s Sugarhouse Park. 

In addition to the 4A races, the state championship events for the 2A and 1A classifications were also held at Cedar City Wednesday afternoon, with Millard High winning both the girls and boys 2A titles and the Panguitch girls and Piute boys winning the respective 1A championships.

The closest finish of the day was in the 1A girls race, where Panguitch sophomore Adelaide Englestead and Milford senior Kinley Spaulding battled side-by-side almost every step of the way, with Englestead crossing the finish line in 19:29.7, just a little more than a half second ahead of Spaulding, who crossed in 19:30.3.

Desert Hills Thunder, first place in 4A boys, UHSAA state cross-country championships, Cedar City, Utah, Oct. 21, 2020 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Last year, Spaulding had finished second overall at the state meet while Englestead, then a freshman, had finished third.

“Last year she beat me, and I just wanted to make it my goal to be better this year because obviously, I’m competitive,” Englestead said after Wednesday’s race. 

Led by Englestead, Panguitch filled five of the top eight spots to score 16 points and secure the state championship, while Bryce Valley was a distant second with 49.

In the girls 4A race, Odekirk, a junior, had no close competition, as she opened up her customary large lead early on and maintained a steady pace throughout, winning the state race for the second straight year.

“I just make a gap at the start and then just try to run my own race,” she said afterward.

Odekirk’s winning time of 17:45.5 was more than 40 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher, Kate Dickson of Sky View, who finished in 18:28.4.

Hurricane assistant coach Travis Sanders said approximately 20 seconds is the closest any runner has come to Odekirk all season.

“It’s kind of hard running by yourself, but she’s run a little different this year,” Sanders said. “She’s got a little more confidence and she’s willing to go out a little quicker than in the past.”

Adelaide Englestead of Panguitch edges Milford’s Kinley Spaulding at the finish line of the 1A girls race at the UHSAA state cross-country championships, Cedar City, Utah, Oct. 21, 2020 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Although the Pine View girls had just one finisher among the top 10 (Adri Baker placed seventh with a time of 18:50.3), the Panthers had five runners finish among the top 23, giving them 72 team points to runner-up Desert Hills’ 92. It was Pine View’s second straight state title and their fourth in the past five years.

“It’s been very cool to see the team respond to all the craziness going on,” said Pine View coach David Holt. “Coming off of a canceled track season where we would have done very well, it would have been easy for kids to just give in and say, ‘What’s the point?’”

“But everyone, even throughout the whole region, dug in deep and grew a lot and showed tremendous resilience. It is very inspiring to see kids doing that,” Holt added.” For our girls, it created an atmosphere where they really relied on each other. At any given race, our top four could be interchangeable, with a strong fifth coming up right behind. This really brought them closer and helped them have each other’s backs, to be there for their teammates.”

In the 4A boys race, Hurricane senior Armstrong, who’d placed eighth at the state meet last year, made a strong start Wednesday and stayed ahead the rest of the way, eventually winning with a time of 15:24.5.

Carson Helmer of Desert Hills wasn’t far behind, his second-place time of 15:31.3 being less than seven seconds behind Armstrong’s.

UHSAA state cross-country championships, Cedar City, Utah, Oct. 21, 2020 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

The Thunder had three other runners among the top eight finishers, with Carson Wall placing third, Hunter Stucki taking sixth and Brooks Barney finishing seventh, as the Thunder scored 44 team points to runner-up Cedar’s 73. It marked the Thunder boys’ fifth-ever state title in cross-country and the first since they took state four years in a row from 2013-16.

In the 2A races, the Millard Eagles won both the girls and boys titles. It marked the third straight state championship for the Lady Eagles, who had three runners place in the top 10, led by Audrey Camp, who finished fourth with a time of 19:31.9.

Porter Schoppe of Panguitch crossed the finish line first in the 1A boys race, but it was the Piute boys who won the team title, with Water Canyon taking second and Panguitch third. Most of Piute’s runners were also members of the school’s baseball team, which recently won the state championship.

For complete meet results, click here. Additionally, please see the photo gallery below the listings of team and individual scores for all three classifications represented at Wednesday’s state meet.

4A boys top 5 team scores

  1. Desert Hills 44
  2. Cedar City 73
  3. Hurricane 106
  4. Snow Canyon 124
  5. Pine View 133

4A boys top 10 finishers

  1. Joshua Armstrong, Hurricane 15:24.5
  2. Carson Helmer, Desert Hills 15:31.3
  3. Carson Wall, Desert Hills 15:57.0
  4. Scottie Bushar, Pine View 15:58.4
  5. Peter Nielsen, Bear River 16:01.9
  6. Hunter Stucki, Desert Hills 16:06.0
  7. Brooks Barney, Desert Hills 16:08.0
  8. Logan Peel, Cedar 16:08.7
  9. Jacob Simper, Stansbury 16:12.4
  10. Spencer Adams, Ridgeline 16:13.4

4A girls top 5 team scores

  1. Pine View 72
  2. Desert Hills 92
  3. Ridgeline 103
  4. Cedar 141
  5. Bear River 162

4A girls top 10 finishers

  1. Caila Odekirk, Hurricane 17:45.5
  2. Kate Dickson, Sky View 18:28.4
  3. Brea Bulkley, Snow Canyon 18:33.5
  4. Gwen Sepp, Dixie 18:40.9
  5. Madison White, Bear River 18:45.7
  6. Madi Strasner, Desert Hills 18:50.2
  7. Adri Baker, Pine View 18:50.3
  8. Ruby Ludlow, Dixie 18:52.6
  9. Sarah Ellis, Crimson Cliffs 18:53.3
  10. Alexis Patrick, Ridgeline 19:02.5

2A boys top 5 team scores

  1. Millard 56
  2. Rowland Hall 60
  3. North Summit 73
  4. Monticello 80
  5. Beaver 144.5

2A boys top 10 finishers

  1. Carson Burian, Rowland Hall 15:37.7
  2. Christopher Korir, Wasatch Academy 15:54.1
  3. Cory Bunker, Monticello 15.54.6
  4. Nathan Bowman, Kanab 16:16.3
  5. Jack Lange, Rowland Hall 16:29.3
  6. Alan Pettit, Monticello 16:36.4
  7. Ezra Shilling Rabin, Rowland Hall 16:41.8
  8. Michael Ralphs, Millard 16:49.9
  9. Jason Cardon, Beaver 16:57.0
  10. Josh Rust, North Summit 16:57.6

2A girls top 5 team scores

  1. Millard 44
  2. North Summit 51
  3. Parowan 75
  4. Monticello 108
  5. Beaver 115

2A girls top 10 finishers

  1. Elizabeth Zwahlen, North Summit 18:29.4
  2. Brooke Reed, Parowan 19:07.6
  3. Adri Bird, Monticello 19:11.0
  4. Audrey Camp, Millard 19:31.9
  5. Katy Kelly, Millard 20:02.6
  6. Elle Williams, Beaver 20:11.9
  7. Lily Long, Monticello 20:22.8
  8. Adelyn Crockett, Parowan, 20:47.0
  9. Charly Sargent, North Summit 21:04.4
  10. Kara Camp, Millard 21:11.1

1A boys top 5 team scores

  1. Piute 26
  2. Water Canyon 64
  3. Panguitch 68
  4. Bryce Valley 94
  5. Valley 99

1A boys top 10 finishers

  1. Porter Schoppe, Panguitch 16:46.2
  2. Brock Syrett, Bryce Valley 17:24.3
  3. Kade Severe, Piute 17:28.5
  4. Donald Speas, Telos Academy 17:58.8
  5. Landen Hardy, Pinnacle 17:59.0
  6. Oakley Sylvester, Piute 18:03.8
  7. Trace Bistline, Water Canyon 18:04.0
  8. Jaxon Westwood, Piute 18:07.8
  9. Jesse James, Piute 18:18.8
  10. Tyler Bonham, Valley 18:26.7

1A girls top 5 team scores

  1. Panguitch 16
  2. Bryce Valley 49
  3. Rich 50
  4. Milford 76
  5. Intermountain Christian 114

1A girls top 10 finishers

  1. Adelaide Englestead, Panguitch 19:29.7
  2. Kinley Spaulding, Milford 19:30.3
  3. Tabetha Henrie, Panguitch 20:32.0
  4. Maliah Jolley, Rich 20:47.9
  5. Hailie Wilcox, Panguitch 21:31.4
  6. Whytney Stoddard, Milford 21:44.0
  7. Lacey Marshall, Panguitch 21:45.9
  8. Mikayla Reeder, Panguitch 22:28.6
  9. McKina Stacey, Rich 22:43.9
  10. Shandi Syrett, Bryce Valley 22:54.5

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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