The Darts went north to the Bob Firman Invitational in Boise and captured the team title, knocking out 7th ranked North Central High of Washington. With the win, the Darts jumped from 37th in the nation to becoming the country’s 5th ranked team.
“The boys did a great job, ran in a pack and came away with a big win against very good competition,” said Coach Corbin Talley. “I’m real pleased with the win.”
Many people don’t understand the sport of cross country, but in a nutshell it’s not always having the first place finisher that leads to a team victory, although it certainly helps.
The true mettle of a great cross country team is having five-to-seven runners who can run in a strong, competitive pack. That is exactly what the Darts did in Boise.
The time between the first Davis runner Joe White and fifth runner Austin Neuner was a mere 18 seconds.
“The team really did a great job of competing closely and finishing in good positions,” Talley said.
White, a senior, completed the 3.1-mile (5,000 meter) course in 11th place overall with a time of 16:10. Sophomore Preston Johnson took 14th place overall with a time of 16:15, followed by sophomore Brayden Cromar who earned 18th place with a time of 16:22.
Right on the back of Cromar was senior overall Davis athlete standout junior Brad Nye with a time of 16:23, good enough for 19th place. Senior Neuner was 21st with an impressive time of 16:28.
“We were way excited to have such a strong showing in this meet because it is such a big meet,” Talley said. “The national ranking by ESPN is very nice. It’s nice to have the program receiving such national attention, but we have work to do and even though we are excited to be where we are we are focused on Region 1 and the state championship.”
Talley also commented that the strong finish in Boise gave his team a confidence boost, but the Darts are not taking the Region 1 championships lightly.
He expects to pull back the training slightly with Region approaching, but he knows there are very good runners in the area.
“We want to have a good showing at Region,” Talley said.
“Winning Region 1 is very important to us, and there are quality runners all over our region so we have to run our best.”
Davis will then prepare for the state 5A championships, which all season have been all but ceded to the American Fork team — which has been ranked as high as number 1 in the country.
The Cavemen are currently ranked third in the nation. The Darts also hope to qualify for the team national championships.
“American Fork has one of their top guys who has been dealing with an injury and that’s the biggest reason they dropped to third nationally,” Talley said.
“They are a very strong team and we’ll have to run our best to beat them.
“But right now we are focused on region.”