SALT LAKE CITY -- St. Joseph High School placed third overall in the girls race on Wednesday at the state 1-A cross country championships at Sugarhouse Park. Senior Lyna Garcia (20:02.3) was second behind Panguitch's Whittni Orton (19:18.9). Panguitch won the girls 1-A team title as well.
"Lyna put a lot of pressure on herself," said St. Joseph coach Brett Hales. "I know she'll say she wasn't pleased, but it was a good showing. She overcame a lot of adversity to take second."
Garcia dealt with debilitating back pain all season that slowed her down, but didn't stop her running.
"It's been a good run for high school," said a visibly disappointed Garcia. "I wanted to win, but I can't fix that now. I'm proud that I kept running through all of it."
St. Joseph's Katie Weil (21:21.2) was fifth, with teammates Aleksa Hogan (21:54.8) and Christie Behnken coming in in the top 20.
The boys race was won by Valley High School's Colby Spencer. St. Joseph's Zach Johnstun was fourth in 17:14.9, leading the Jayhawks to a fourth-place finish in the team standings.
"That was my goal," said Johnstun. "I wanted top five. It was a great race for me. And as a team we did well."
His teammates Charles Joseph (18:21.7) and Connor Letendre (18:21.9) came in the top 20 as well.