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American Fork boys, Provo girls capture Region 6 titles

There were few surprises at the Region 6 cross country finals Saturday at Springville High. The American Fork boys and Provo girls captured team titles, Jared Rohatinsky remained undefeated on the season, and Kim Rowberry ran away from the pack.

Although Provo junior Rohatinsky finished first in 15:07, he actually trailed Timpview senior Joshua McCabe during certain stretches in the race. McCabe came in second at 15:13.

"It was intense the whole way," said Rohatinsky. "I didn't know I had it until the end when I crossed the line. Josh (McCabe) was just incredible, an amazing athlete. I just pulled away from him at the end. My plan was to go hard in the forest, and I think it worked."

Said McCabe: "(Rohatinsky) had a stronger last mile. I felt really good, though; I've been improving and I'm getting closer. At the beginning of the season I was about 30 seconds behind him every race, but now I'm getting closer. Last week I was eight seconds behind him, and this week (six seconds)."

John Bell, Tyler Jackson and Mike Felix finished third, fourth and fifth, respectively, to power American Fork to a commanding 37-67 victory over second-place Provo in the boys team competition.

"We're really excited," said American Fork coach Timo Mostert. "I think this is the first time American Fork boys have ever won a region title. We tried to pack our guys together and be relaxed the first mile, then just stay and try to push those second and third miles."

Rowberry, a senior from Timpview, led from start to finish and pulled away from the field at the end to win the girls race with a time of 18:23. American Fork's Lisa Tubb placed second, clocking an 18:35.

"I just went out, felt strong and kept it," said Rowberry. "The course was really good, but it was hard because half of it was cement."

Freshmen Joanna Blackburn and Amy Andrus teamed up with older sisters Jennifer Blackburn and Alyssa Andrus to propel Provo to a 50-59 victory over Timpview in the girls team competition. Despite feeling the aftereffects of having a fever on Friday, Provo's Donna Manule was able to run and finished ninth. Although the T-Birds' top three runners each finished ahead of the entire Bulldog team, Provo secured the lower score thanks to placing all five of its scored runners in the top 15.

"I was delighted with the way the girls ran today," said Provo coach Phil Olsen. "I told all the other girls that (with Donna ill) you have to step up because American Fork and Spanish Fork are really close."

The top 10 runners and three teams from both boys and girls advance to the state finals Oct. 20 at Sugarhouse Park.