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West Jordan Journal

Grizzlies run strong race at state meet

Nov 08, 2018 02:43PM ● By Jana Klopsch

Senior Logan Anderson (No. 154) finished seventh at the state cross country meet. (Greg James/City Journals)

By Greg James |  [email protected] 

Copper Hills High School’s cross country team closed out its season with a balanced attack in the boys and girls state event.

“I felt our season was fairly solid for the most part,” Grizzlies head cross country coach Garth Rushforth said. “We did not run so well here at state. We have struggled through some injuries this season, so we have not been quite where I would like our team to be.”

At the Utah High School Activities Association state meet Oct. 17, senior Logan Anderson capitalized on a five-minute, nine-second mile start and continued to pass runners to finish seventh overall. 

The Grizzlies girls finished 11th overall. Sophomore Hailey Kidd paced her team by setting a personal record on the course. She ran a consistent race; at mile one she held the 21st position and dropped to 30th after the second mile but finished 23rd overall.

Kidd, Marlie Taylor, Brie Steele, Callie Barker and Kierra Allen were the scoring runners for the girls team.

“I had a great season and set a pr (personal record) at every race,” Kidd said. She finished third at the Region 3 championships. 

“We have been led by Hailey on the girls’ side and Logan on the boys side,” Rushforth said. “He has been our top finisher this season and most of last season. He tends to bet a little relaxed in the middle of his race, and we have been working on that. We have hope for him to make it to the next level. Hailey we will get back next year, and she will give us plenty of good things in the future.” 

The boys team placed eighth overall. Anderson’s top-10 finish coupled with Jerin Palmer, Brigham Ballard, Spencer Manwaring and Brenden Brown placing 46th through 61st left the team just seven points behind tenth place Hillcrest. American Fork High School walked away with the classification title behind the seven-second victory of Luke Grundvig.

“I came out hard and felt confident as I was going,” Anderson said. “The key was after the second mile, and I was holding on. It has been a tough season, but I am happy with my race today though.”

Cross Country teams score points based on the finishing position of their runners. Like golf, the lower the score the better. 

“It is important to work in groups in this sport and close the scoring gaps to make you team more effective,” Rushforth said. “That is why the teams struggled in today’s meet and other teams did better. To be a good cross country runner, you need to be mentally tough. This 3-mile race takes a lot out of the runner. They need to prepare themselves. You see kids collapse all of the time and not run the way they can because they are not prepared or focused on what they are doing.” 

The Grizzlies had about 70 participants this season, down slightly this season. The boys and girls both placed third in the Region 3 championships.

“We are not sure what will happen next year with the boundary change at the school,” Rushforth said. “I will need to wait and see what happens for next year, but these kids are the best kids in the school. They have the ability to not let anything get in the way with their goals. They have the commitment to run on Saturday mornings when their friends are all still asleep.”