SALT LAKE CITY — The Davis High School cross country trophy case is getting crowded, and Wednesday, both teams added another trophy at the UHSAA state 5-A championships. The girls topped their competition for their third state championship in a row, and the boys claimed second behind a strong American Fork effort in action at Sugarhouse Park.
Placing six girls in the top 19, Davis darted to the top of the competition, scoring 37 to beat American Fork’s 51. Davis’s Ellie Child, a senior running in her first state cross country meet, and Shea Martinez, winner of the state championship as a sophomore and a junior, led a pack of five girls through most of the 3-mile race. With 800 meters to go, Martinez made a move and put a 20-meter lead on the field. But coming up the last 200, she ran out of gas and was passed. Child held on for third place behind Bingham’s Emily Rich and Jordan’s Tavia Dutson, and Martinez gutted it out for seventh.
“We started really well,” said Child, who played soccer before converting to focus on cross country. “We were going fast. With 800 left, Shea made the move, and then we just started fading. I don’t know. The girls in front just kept pushing, but I couldn’t push with them. But as a team we took first and that was a goal too, and we got that.”
“I’m just really excited for them. They ran so hard,” said coach Corbin Talley. “I’m just thrilled with their whole summer, whole season, and how hard they’ve worked.
“My heart broke for Shea when I saw her on the track. She’s been so stressed, and worked so hard for this race. She made the move. She really wanted it. That was a rough one for her. But if she had given up we wouldn’t have won team competition, so just finishing is good. I’m really proud of the way the girls have worked hard together,” he said.
Mikell Wood, who was eighth overall and the third runner for Davis said the team might not have done it the way they wanted to, but they were pleased overall.
“It feels really good,” said Wood. “We didn’t have our best race, but I think that just proves how strong we really are and how deep our team is, and how we can all just push through to get this for our team and work together.”
In addition to Child (18:29), Martinez (18:45) and Wood (18:52.6), Davis’s Ashley Tyndall (18:58.5), Joanna Boyd (19:09.9), Chelsey Johnson (19:22.9) and Kami Dixon (20:09.7) ran on the championship team.
Northridge’s Courtney Wayment was sixth in 18:43.9, the highest freshman placing in the 5-A race.
The Davis boys had to be satisfied with their third-in-a-row second place, as American Fork placed their fifth runner at 11th, behind only two Davis runners.
Senior Alex Hedquist led Davis with a third place finish behind Alta’s Kramer Morton and American Forks’s Brayden McLelland. His time set a school record of 15:21.6. Hedquist said he was happy with his finish.
“I just wanted to put myself in a position to win it. And you know I came up short, but I’m extremely happy with how I ran. The time is really fast, so I can’t be mad about the race. I got out in the first mile with the top of the field, and I felt really relaxed. That was my plan, to be as relaxed as possible coming into the second mile and that’s what I did and that’s why I had energy to go with the leaders for next 800. Unfortunately my kick just wasn’t as strong, but I’m really happy.”
Davis assistant coach Brad Anderson, said that Davis was the underdog going into the race and that they would have had to put together a perfect race with a slip-up by American Fork to win.
“We knew we had to run extremely well to beat American Fork and put together a good race. But we’re proud. They ran hard and you can’t ask for more than that,” said Anderson.
Davis’s Brayden Cromar (15:43.2), Skylar Williams (16:08), Preston Johnson (16:12.7), Hayden Hansen (16:17.6), and Andrew Aposhian (16:20.5) were all in the top 20. Syracuse’s Landon Greenhalgh was 19th in 16:19.8.