With more than 35 schools and hundreds of runners from Utah and Wyoming in attendance, there were bound to be some surprises at the annual Orem Kiwanis Cross Country Invitational at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi.
The biggest surprise was that the gusting wind didn't turn the rain to snow. But in a close second was that in a state that features two nationally Top 20-ranked girls teams, the overall girls winner who blew away the field wasn't even from Utah.Other surprises - if not shockers - were the nationally ranked Bingham boys team finishing fifth, Mountain View's top runner being a soccer player and Bingham's fastest girl being a freshman.
Other than that, the meet was relatively predictable.
As expected, Provo's Josh Rohatinsky breezed to first in the boy's race, finishing the three-mile course with an impressive time of 14 minutes, 50 seconds.
Rohatinsky fell early in the race when a runner tumbled in front of him, but the Provo runner jumped up and, halfway through the race, took the lead for good.
Rohatinsky helped the Bulldogs finished sixth overall.
Mountain View showed its team strength by taking the next two spots. Bret Andrus finished 12 seconds behind Rohatinsky and in a virtual tie with teammate Dustin Bybee.
Rounding out the top 10: Mountain Crest's Trevor Ball; Rock Springs' Nathan Long; Skyline's Shaun Vernon; Orem's Golden Harper; Mountain View's Trevor Perkins; MV teammate Brock Call; and Mountain Crest's Dustin Liechty.
Mountain View's fifth runner was Karl Siebach, who finished 14th and gave the Bruins an easy team win with 32 points. Rock Springs was a distant second at 100, followed by Mountain Crest (110), Orem (143) and Bingham (166).
"We had five runners finish ahead of Bingham's first runner and they're in the top 10 in the nation," said Mountain View coach Dave Houle. "We're making a push for the top spot (No. 1 in the nation), and I think this will help."
Katie Moon of Evanston, Wyo., ran away with the girls race, posting a time of 17:11. Laura Zeigle of Bingham was second at 17:28 and Sheena Curtis of Mountain Crest was third at 17:41. Sarah Ellet of Wayne was fourth, followed by Ilene Dixon of Mountain View.
The Bingham girls team nipped Mountain View's girls for the team title in an ongoing battle of nationally ranked teams.
The Miners finished with 60 points. The Bruins had 64, followed by Copper Hills (104), Mountain Crest (150) and East (188).
Bingham had been ranked ninth nationally, while Mountain View as 14th. The two teams swapped places in the latest polls.