Saturday's Murray High cross country invitational illustrated how close the state 5A team races will be a month from now, when the prep season winds down with finals at Sugarhouse Park.
With a record number of entries in Saturday's races, Bingham's boys and the Orem High girls edged their opponents by just four points each to capture the team titles.In the boys' division, Bingham squeaked by Mountain View 41-45 to win the title. Both schools placed each of their top five runners in the top 20, quite a feat in itself, but the Miners placed their five among the top 12 finishers to defeat the Bruins.
The girls' race was equally close, as Orem edged its crosstown rivals from Mountain View 89-93. Roy placed third as a team in both varsity races.
Zak James and Dula Parkinson led a one-two finish for Mountain View in boys' varsity. James took first in a very impressive time of 14:59. Parkinson came in at 15:07, followed by J. Green of Roy at 15:21. Bingham's first finisher was Curtis Moore in fifth at 15:30, but teammates Corbin Talley, Jeff Hopkinson and Alexander Speed placed seventh through ninth, and Ryan Bullock took 12th.
The girls' varsity race was captured by Provo's Mary Huang, who literally ran away from the field to finish at 17:42. Springville's Lindsey Argyle was second at 18:10, and Provo's Tara Rohatinsky was third at 18:25. Orem's Kara Ormond finished ninth at 18:44, and Mountain View's first finisher was Leslie Vanoy in 13th. Both teams have a lot of depth, however, and they distanced themselves from Roy (147 points) and American Fork (157), along with the rest of the field.
In JV races, Cara Weiser of Park City won the girls' event in a time of 19:12, while Mike Stone of Mountain View captured the boys' race at 16:09. And for the first time, a boys' freshman-sophomore race was run, with Viewmont sophomore Trent Hooper taking the title at 16:14. There were 1,059 total runners entered in the invitational Saturday.