Leading the way for the Red Devil boys distance runners was junior Jackson Knowles, who completed the rugged and hilly three mile course with a time of 17:43. Knowles finished 12th out of a field of 88 runners in the race, missing all-state recognition by mere seconds, according to GCHS coach Randy Martin.
“Jackson ran an outstanding race from start to finish,” Martin said. “It was incredibly exciting as the race went on watching him gain confidence and run stronger and faster, passing many runners along the course”.
Behind Knowles were juniors Treyton Helquist with a time of 17:59; Jacob Francis with a time of 18:00; Joseph Andrew with a time of 19:07; and Adam Jenkinson with a time of 19:37.
Freshman Sammy Hansen crossed the finish line with at time of 20:20; and junior Jeremy McDougall finished with a time of 20:46.
“The team ran this course back in August,” Martin said. “Jackson and Jeremy cut over 40 seconds off their times from that race to the state championship race; while Sammy cut over one minute off his time in the August race to the state meet race.”
Leading the way for the girls cross country runners was junior Mercedes James. James crossed the finish line in a time of 21:21; finishing 14th out of a field of 72 runners.
“Mercedes was aiming for her third all-state medal by finishing in the top 10 in her race,” Martin said. “Though she came up short in this race, she had an outstanding season highlighted by a second place finish in region.”
Behind James were juniors Alena Geiser with a time of 23:51 and Miranda Shumway with a time of 24:43. Freshman Annie Heywood finished with a time of 25:17; sophomore Zhanna Rice finished in 26:02 and junior Sierra Indergard finished with a time of 26:19.
Though the season has come to an end, Martin said he believes the future for high school distance running at Grand County is very bright.
“For the second year in a row we lose only one runner to graduation,” Martin said. “With so many returning experienced runners, next year will be an exciting year for cross country.”