Prep notes: Utah cross country runners dominate Nike regionals

Thursday , March 06, 2014 - 2:41 PM

Standard-Examiner Staff

The Utah teams did their best to dominate the Nike Cross Southwest Regionals on Saturday morning in Phoenix.

American Fork won the race despite a less than stellar performance, Davis did its usual strong kick and finished a strong second and Ogden tied for third place in the Nike Southwest Regional cross country competition on Saturday in the rain.

The two Utah teams will represent the region at the Nike Nationals on Dec. 7 in Portland, Ore., while Ogden will play the waiting game on a wild-card berth.

In fact, six of the top runners were from Utah, including Sky View’s Conner Mantz and Mike Buckley, Ogden’s super senior.

Davis’ patience paid off Saturday. Led by senior Skylar Williams and juniors Stockton Smith and Josh Ward, Davis scored 169 to claim the second automatic berth to Nike Cross Nationals. This isn’t the first time American Fork and Davis have paired up for early-December trips to Portland. In fact, it’s becoming more the exception than the rule.

Ogden tied with Mountain Vista, Colo., but lost the tiebreaker. Cerake Geberkidane won the individual title, edging Mantz. American Fork’s Zac Jacklin, Andrew Brewer and Ogden’s Buckley were right behind.

On the girls side, Fort Collins topped Davis for the team title, beating the Darts by a single point, and Monarch by 13.

Led by Aubrey Argyle and Taylor Cox, Davis also had four runners under 19-flat on a day when breaking 19 was no simple task. On most days, and against most teams, Davis’s effort was more than enough to win.

Individually, Elise Cranny made it a point to take the mystery out of the eventual outcome. After trading strides for most of the first half-mile with Herriman’s Lucy Biles, Ogden’s Feeny also earned a trip to Portland, But has chosen to run Footlocker Nationals in San Diego, also in December.

Coaches reminder

Varsity coaches for winter are encouraged to report the results of their races after each game by calling 801-625-4261 or 801-625-4264 or sending information to

NIAAA awards

Nine individuals who have made outstanding contributions to interscholastic athletics have been named recipients of the 2013 Distinguished Service Awards given by the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association.

These individuals will be honored Dec. 17 in Anaheim, California, during the banquet at the 44th annual National Athletic Directors Conference conducted jointly by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and the NIAAA.

The Distinguished Service Award is presented annually to individuals from within the NIAAA membership in recognition of their length of service, special accomplishments and contributions to interscholastic athletics at the local, state and national levels. Nominations are submitted by state athletic directors associations, screened by the NIAAA Awards Committee and selected by the NIAAA Board of Directors.

This year’s winners include Roger Brown, CMAA, retired athletic director, Unatego Central School, Otego, N.Y.; Bill Bruno, CMAA, director of athletics, Brick (N.J.) Memorial High School; Tom Doyle, CAA, retired athletic director, Seattle (Wash.) Preparatory School; Larry Goins, CMAA, athletic director, Desert Oasis High School, Las Vegas, Nev.; Mike Jackson, CMAA, athletic administrator, Hanover (N.H.) High School; Mark Kryka, CAA, activities director, Verona (Wisc.) Area School District; Paul Moses, CMAA, athletic director, Strongsville (Ohio) City Schools; Todd Olson, CMAA, director of student activities, Fargo (N.D.) Public Schools; and John Van Fleet, CMAA, retired athletic director, Woodstock (Ill.) High School.

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