"For all of life is like that race, with ups and downs and all.
"And all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.
"And when depression and despair shout loudly in my face,
"Another voice within me says, 'Get up and win that race!' "
-- DH Groberg
Ogden High's Mike Buckley won Wednesday's City/County Cross Country Meet by getting up and winning the race. Buckley went out strong, leading the pack for the first mile, when he fell.
After jumping back up, he had dropped to sixth, but he wasn't about to give up. Within 400 meters Buckley reclaimed his lead and then gapped the pack and won in a time of 15:23.8 on the 3-mile course.
"I didn't want it to end up as a kicker's race, so I decided to put on a surge and gapped the pack, and then I didn't look back," he said.
Buckley's teammates complemented his individual win with a team win, scoring a dominating 19 points to second place Weber High's 54.
"I'm super thrilled with the boy's performance," said Ogden coach Alydia Barton. "They raced the Bob Firman Invitational on Saturday and placed fourth, so they were tired. They packed up much better today and executed the race plan perfectly."
It was the fourth consecutive City/County title for the Tigers. Their top five scorers, Buckley, Alek Parson (second, 15:36), Harrison Godfrey (third, 15:38), Justin Sheets (sixth, 15:43), and Dylan Anderson (seventh, 15:43) ran under 16 minutes and placed in the top ten, a goal they said they have been working for this season. Garret Barton (fourteenth, 16:01) and Pedro DeLeon (sixteenth, 16:26) also ran on the varsity team.
"It's great to have all these guys out here that want to work hard," said Buckley. "We're blessed to be able to run together."
Fremont's Christian Carver (fourth, 15:39), Bonneville's Andy Penman (fifth, 15:41) and Weber's Devon Jennings (eighth, 15:44), Braedin Butler (ninth, 15:49) and Will Palmer (tenth, 15:51) rounded out the boy's top ten.
In the girls' varsity race Ogden's Sarah Feeny displayed her top-in-the-nation running skills by blasting to an early lead, gapping the field by 20 seconds within the first half mile and coming into the finish line more than half a minute ahead.
"I felt pretty strong pretty much the whole time," said Feeny.
Feeny's team also brought home the team trophy, their sixth consecutive win of City/County.
"The girls performed their best as a team this season," said Barton. "I'm proud of them and this is a great confidence builder for state. "
Feeny said she was surprised at how well she felt during the race, having raced a tough run on Saturday at the Bob Firman Invitational.
"I felt a lot better today than at Bob Firman," said Feeny. "Afterwards I was really sore, and I'm surprised today at how good I feel."
It was Feeny's second City/County individual title and she said it's a nice step to qualifying for nationals.
Feeny's scoring teammates all ran under 20 minutes on the course and were in the top 10: Cate Carabine (second, 18:29), Maranda Garrett (fourth, 19:15), April Callister (sixth, 19:22) and Aleisha Keller (ninth, 19:44). Ogden's Hannah Allred (19:47), their sixth runner, was 10th overall, and their seventh runner, Danielle Godfrey (20:14) was 14th.
Other runners who made it into the top 10 were Weber's Sam Heaton (third, 18:47), Bonneville's Sarah Layton (fifth, 19:15), and Hannah Davies (seventh, 19:31), and Weber's Jenny Tidwell (eighth, 19:31).