The Red Devil distance runners followed up two days later by competing at the Tiger Invitational held in Grand Junction, Colo.
“It is not ideal to have the team run two races in one week as runners are still recovering from a hard run two days earlier,” coach Randy Martin said. “But we were scheduled to attend the region meet in South Sevier and wanted to take advantage of a meet close to home in Grand Junction.”
At South Sevier, Grand’s Jackson Knowles outdistanced the competition to win the boys varsity race with a personal best time of 16 minutes, 51 seconds. The boys’ team clinched second place at the invitational with a score of 39 points, a mere seven points behind the winning team from San Juan High School.
“Jackson [Knowles] ran a very strong race from start to finish,” Martin said. “It was incredibly exciting seeing him sprinting the last quarter-mile toward the finish line with three San Juan High School runners chasing him from behind.”
The boys’ varsity race featured a slew of runners who set personal bests at the meet. For the Red Devil boys, senior Treyton Helquist finished fifth overall with a time of 17:21; junior Andrew Hugentobler finished eighth overall with a time of 17:52; senior Adam Jenkinson, with a time of 18:15, and freshman Alan Snow, with a time of 18:31, rounded out the top five for the Red Devils.
“We finally had a break in the hot weather and as a result everyone ran extremely hard and had personal bests,” Martin said.
Grand’s girls’ team featured outstanding performances from senior Mercedes James and freshman Jayelen Knowles. James finished second overall in the girls’ varsity race with a personal best time of 19:56, while her younger teammate finished fourth overall with a personal best time of 21:11. Sophomore Annie Heywood crossed the finish line in 23:10 for Grand, while freshman Alexa Pierce finished in a time of 24:55.
“I am extremely pleased with the progress our girls’ team is making,” Martin said. “They are improving week after week, which is a tribute to the hard work they are putting in every day in practice.”
On Friday Sept. 13, the Red Devil distance runners once again boarded the bus, traveling this time to Grand Junction to compete in the Tiger Invitational. Both the boys and girls teams finished fourth at the meet, running on the freshly cut grass at Canyon View Park.
Once again, GCHS seniors Jackson Knowles and Mercedes James led their respective teams. Knowles finished eighth overall from a field of 80 varsity boy runners, while James finished fourth overall from a field of 66 varsity girl runners.
Competing in the girls race for the Grand High were freshman Jayelen Knowles, who finished with a time of 22:51; Heywood, who finished with a time of 24:41; Pierce and sophomore Lauren Drake, who both finished with identical times of 25:21; and senior Miranda Shumway – competing in her first race of the year – who finished with a time of 28:43.
For Grand’s boys, Helquist finished 15th overall with a time of 18:39, while teammate Hugentobler finished in 17th place with a time of 18:47. Also competing were Snow, who finished with a time of 20:11; senior Skyler Johnson, who finished with a time of 21:36; senior Jordan Bryant, who finished with a time of 21:39; freshman Mackay Wakefield, who finished with a time of 22:11; senior Reyce Knutson, who finished with a time of 22:26; freshman Aaron Hawks, who finished with a time of 24:13, and freshman Tyrese Stash, who crossed the finish line with a time of 26:12.
The cross country team’s next meet is the Emery Invite held in Castle Dale on Wednesday, Sept. 18.
“The Red Devils would like to invite all runners in the community to the Moab Autumn Run at Swanny Park Saturday, Sept. 21 at 8:00 a.m.,” Martin said.
The Autumn Run is a 5k, 10k and kids’ race and is the annual fundraiser for the Red Devil cross country team and the Moab Charter School.