BOUNTIFUL — A region win or two under your belt is a great way to head into state.
Davis High girls’ and boys’ teams swept the Region 1 championships Monday afternoon, following last week’s Region 6 win for the Woods Cross High boys’ team. Fresh off their victories, both Davis High teams are confident as they head into state.
“We are very excited for the state meet,” said Davis High coach Corbin Talley. “The thing I am probably the most proud about is the fact that we lost so many seniors last year (boys and girls) and the runners who came back have really stepped it up and put us in a position to do well once again.”
Cross country runners are awarded points equal to the position they finish in the race, which means that the team with the lowest points wins. At the region championships, the Davis High girls’ team score was just over a third the score of their nearest competitor.
“This girls’ team is definitely something special,” said Talley. “They are running so strong — and we are led by an amazing group of senior girls who just keep getting stronger.”
Seven of the top 10 runners were from the Davis High team, with Aubrey Argyle coming in first place. All seven of those girls would qualify for all-state status when compared to the times for last year’s state 5A cross country finals. Argyle’s time of 17 minutes and 56 seconds is fast enough to beat last year’s top runner.
The Davis High boys’ team beat its nearest competitor by 27 points, with Skylar Williams coming in first with a time of 15 minutes and 43 seconds. Though that would only have put him in sixth place in last year’s state race, Talley said that the weather helped slow Williams down.
“The course was wet, muddy, and sloppy, so the times were slightly slower than the past few years,” he said. “But I’m extremely proud of the work these boys have done, and I know they have a lot of fight in them.”
The Woods Cross High boys cross country team has more modest ambitions. The team beat out the Clearfield High boys’ team by eight points, but they know they’ll face even more challenging competition in the 4A state finals.
“It will take a really big effort for us to be in the mix for state,” said Woods Cross High coach Sam Wood. “For us to be in the top 10, we’d have to get some really low points.”
Woods Cross High senior Jacob Stone was the first runner across the finish line, finishing the three-mile course with a time of 15 minutes and 33.9 seconds. Compared to last year’s times at the 4A state finals, that same time would have left Stone with a sixth-place finish.
Wood, however, feels Stone can push himself even harder.
“Jacob’s goal is to finish in the top three to five runners,” he said. “If he has the kind of race he could have, he would have no trouble being in that mix.”
The girls’ team took third at region, falling behind both the top-scoring East High team and the Clearfield High girls’ team. However, Woods Cross High junior Millika Holbrook did win the race with a time of 18 minutes and 21.5 seconds. That time is fast enough to have secured her a third-place victory at last year’s state finals.
“I would never count her out,” said Wood. “She’s a tough competitor and knows how to dig deep. She’s right on track to have the kind of race she’s hoping to have.”