The best prep runners in the state are focused on October as the time to put their best foot forward.
Three of Utah’s region cross country meets are set for Wednesday, but perrenial state 1-A power St. Joseph jumped ahead of the pack on Monday, sweeping the Region 17 championships in finals action at Oakley.
The Jayhawks swept the top five places for a perfect score in the girls chase, while the St. Joseph boys were nearly as dominant with a score of 19.
“We feel really happy, pleased with the results today,” St. Joseph coach Javier Chavez said. “I think girls have a good chance to win it in a couple of weeks at state, with the boys team running well enough to be the top two or three.”
Lyna Garcia paced the St. Joseph girls with the individual win. Zach Johnston paced the St. Joseph boys with a top overall finish.
The Region 11 championships will be staged at Cottonwood Park in Holladay, with the varsity girls running at noon, followed by the varsity boys at 12:30 p.m.
The Region 5 championships will be staged at the American West Heritage Center in Wellsville, with the girls race starting at 3 p.m., followed by the boys competition.
The Region 1 championships will be staged at Layton Commons Park, with the girls race set to start at 4 p.m, and the boys race scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
The Jayhawks’ sweep wasn’t a surprise, and at least in Region 1 and 11, you also might expect to get out the brooms again.
But that’s why they run the races.
In Region 1, Davis boasts another deep and talented team that could overwhelm the rest of the league.
The girls team is paced by the dynamic duo of Ellie Child and Shea Martinez, who have taken turns leading the way.
On the boys side, Brayden Cromar, Alex Hedquist and Skylar Williams will use their experience to guide the Darts’ ship.
Weber, Northridge, Fremont, Syracuse and Layton also boast individuals who will try to break the Davis stranglehold.
The Region 5 boys chase will feature some of the best runners in the state, including Sky View’s Conner Mantz, Logan’s Jerrell Mock and Box Elder’s Adam Hendrickson.
The Bonneville boys team will look to use its team depth to bring home the team title. Seniors Cade Perry and Andy Penman lead the Lakers.
Mountain Crest might be the cream of the Region 5 girls race, but every school has a runner or two with their sights set on the podium.
Simply put, the Ogden Tigers will likely overwhelm the rest of the league.
Bear River, Ben Lomond and Morgan each boast talented individuals competitors, but the Ogden juggernaut runs well as a group.
And while the girls team has grabbed the headlines the past couple of years, look out for the Ogden boys.
In a recent open region meet, Tigers runners went 1 through 7 on both sides.
In the race, Jordon Cross broke the old course record. Teammates Mike Buckley and Carson Garner will be among the leaders, along with Ben Lomond’s Sterling Brandley.
In the girls chase, Sarah Feeny will direct her squad to another win, followed by teammates Jessica Sams, Melissa Garrett and Maranda Garrett.
The Region 6 championships were held on Oct. 4 at the Cottonwood Complex in Holladay, with Woods Cross sweeping the team titles.
On the boys side, the Wildcats tallied 34 points, with Clearfield second with 48. East’s Tomy Gutierrez won the individual race, with Woods Cross’ Jacob Stone and Taylor Dillon at 2-3.
Clearfield’s Cody Dangerfield was fourth, with teammate Garet Fox sixth and Kevin Shelley 10th.
On the girls side, Woods Cross tallied 23 points, with Bountiful second and Clearfield fourth. The Wildcats’ Millika Holbrook won the race, with teammates at 3-4-5. Clearfield’s Nicole Bogue (13th) and Abby Bowcutt (16th) paced the Falcons.
The state finals are Oct. 17