One of the longest streaks for consecutive state championships was maintained Wednesday, in a sense, as Mountain View captured the 5A girls' cross country title at Sugarhouse Park. The victory marks the 14th straight year that the Bruins have won a state cross country title, whether boys' or girls'.
And that was the goal which coach Dave Houle set for his team. Combined with the boys' second-place finish, it was another banner year for the Bruins' program.Joining Mountain View as state champs were Timpview in 4A, Cedar City in 3A, Grantsville in 2A and Dugway in 1A.
Mountain View was pressed to the limit by the Cavewomen of American Fork, whose Lindsey Argyle took the state crown with a decisive 22-second victory over the Bruins' Wendy Allen. In fact, AF placed three runners in the top five, but Mountain View won with its depth. Kelly Fugal's 17th place finish among the scorers helped the Bruins edge their Region 4 rivals by seven points.
"We knew that with 16 teams, it would be close," Houle said. "And we knew how tough AF would be. It figured to come down to that fifth runner, which it almost always does in cross country." Another Region 4 squad, Orem, finished third, showing why the region is probably the toughest in the nation in cross country.
East's Sarah Gardiner set a new 4A state record in easily winning the state title at 17:39.1. She pulled away from Provo's Tara Rohatinsky and East teammate Stefani Clark in the final half-mile. But it was Timpview's overall strength (five finishers in the top 18) that helped the T-Birds defend their title. Tarrah Monson took fifth and Kaci Jensen sixth to pace the Timpview effort of 57 points, while East finished with 83. The Leopards had another top 10 finisher as well, Sarah Jackson in ninth.
Shae Messersmith of Lehi took the 3A title in a time of 18:30.9, holding off teammate Jenni Carter for the crown, but it wasn't quite enough to hold off Cedar City, which edged Lehi by two points for the gold trophy. Cedar's Robyn Truman took third, and all five Redwomen runners were in the top 20. Two oustanding performances were turned in by independent runners (without full teams), as Delta's Cynthia Losee finished fourth and Uintah's Carrie Barlows was fifth.
The sister-act of Liz and Amelia Oliver of Grantsville helped their squad capture the 2A title with a nine-point win over Monticello. Liz placed second behind state champ Ellie Culp of Rowland Hall, while Amelia was sixth overall. Monticello's top finisher was Collette Randall in third.
Dugway edged Wayne by four points for the 1A crown, despite Wayne's Sarah Ellett, who took the state title in 19:42.3. Mary Beth Deuel and Alissa Perez were fourth and fifth respectively for Dugway.