OGDEN --The Ogden Tigers stared down their competition at the Region 5 cross country Championships Wednesday and let them know that there's a little bit of cheetah blood coursing through their veins.
Both the boys and girls teams ran speedy races on the 3-mile course to bring home the championship trophy.
Cross country teams run seven runners in a race and score five of those runners. For the Tigers, the five scoring runners on the girls' team were under 19 minutes and on the boys team the top seven were under 16 minutes on the course.
"That means so much," said Sarah Feeny, the girls champion, when she heard how fast her teammates ran. "This is another big step for our team."
Feeny made her win look effortless. With a perfect stride and relaxed face, the Ogden High senior sprinted to the finish to claim the title with a time of 17:00.6 on the 3-mile course.
The nationally-ranked Feeny jumped to the lead and floated to a win, running 53 seconds faster on the same course she won her City/County title on just three weeks ago.
"I felt pretty confident coming into it," said Feeny, who beat her nearest competitor by 34 seconds. "My training has been really good. I got out and I took the lead and I just focused on having good form and being relaxed and strong."
Feeny said that the advice of Missy Allred, one of her coaches at Ogden, helped her to concentrate on how she was feeling good in the moment and not to worry about pain that might or might not come.
"I want to be strong through the race so I can be happy when I finish," said Feeny.
Besides Feeny, Cate Carabine (third, 18:04), Maranda Garret (fourth, 18:12), April Callister (11th, 18:46) and Hannah Allred (12th, 18:55) scored points for the Tigers in their win over Sky View. Aleisha Kellier (20th, 19:13) and Lydia Trotter (25th, 20:04) were also on the Tigers varsity team.
Other top individuals included second place Hannah Malone, from Box Elder, who also broke 18 minutes with a time of 17:34 to earn a spot at the state meet. Mountain Crest's Miranda O'Very (18:14) was fifth.
The final girls team scores--1. Ogden, 33; 2. Sky View, 66; 3. Mountain Crest, 67; 4. Logan, 114; 5. Box Elder, 122; 6. Bonneville, 123; and 7. Roy, 216.
The Ogden High boys were led by Mike Buckley, who turned in a 15:03 for second place behind Sky View's Conner Mantz. Mantz won with a time of 14:32.
"We just went out and Conner took it out. He's great. I don't know how he can be so fast," said Buckley.
Buckley and his five scoring teammates: Justin Sheets (third, 15:25), Alek Parson (fourth, 15:25), Dylan Anderson (10th, 15:43), and Pedro DeLeon (12th, 15:46) each ran faster times than they did at City-County on the same course.
Harrison Godfrey (15th, 15:51) and Garrett Barton (16th, 15:55) ran varsity as well and finished ahead of other teams to push their scores up.
"We've been goal-setting all year," said Sheets, a senior team captain. "We have a giant poster and we wrote what we wanted for each race, and this was close to our time goal. It's good knowing we can jump up to 4-A and still win."
Barton said that the boys team has been reaching their goals all season due to the leadership of Buckley and Sheets.
"They put the goals out there and won't settle for anything else."
Other top finishers included Box Elder's Tanner Blaylock (fifth, 15:30), Bonneville's Andy Penman (sixth, 15:34), Box Elder's Hunter Meredith (seventh, 15:35), and Mountain Crest's James Thorne (eighth, 15:36) and Isaac Short (ninth, 15:37).
The final Region 5 scores-- 1. Ogden, 31; 2. Sky View, 77; 3. Mountain Crest, 79; 4. Box Elder, 88; 5. Logan, 111; 6. Bonneville, 128; 7. Roy, 215.
The top four teams and top three individuals not on a qualifying team will move on to the state meet next Wednesday at Sugarhouse Park.
Region 14 championships
The Layton Christian Academy boys finished fourth at the Region 14 championships, staged on Wednesday at Scera Park in Orem.
Rowland Hall won both the boys and girls team title. LCA's Jesaiah Lingenfelter led his team with a 17th-place finish, running in 20:57.4. Teammate Ivan Kamali was 20th in 21:23.5.
The LCA girls did not field a full team, but Ida Virta ran in ninth place in 25:06.3 for the Eagles.
Region 18 championships
St. Joseph's boys cross country squad won the Region 18 championship on Monday at Eureka.
St. Joseph won with 46 points, followed by host Tintic (6) and Eskdale (71).
Individually, Oakley's Michael Priestly won in 17:45.1, followed by a pair of Jayhawks: Chris O'Brien in 18:55., and Caden Jones (18:56.2). Sean Letendre (12th), Danny Donlevy (13th) and Will Carrington (16th) rounded out St. Joseph's scoring.
In the girls race, the Jayhawks' Meghem Clare won the title in 22:22.9. Vicki Barrera was fourth with Rachel Sutherland was 15th.