PROVO — The fact the much-ballyhooed Fremont girls cross country team won Saturday at the Utah County Bulldog Invitational surprised nobody.
On the boys side, however, Mountain View's victory over nationally ranked squads Judge Memorial and American Fork turned a few heads and served notice that the Bruins, despite heavy losses to graduation, are geared up for a run at another state title.
"I'm really excited about (our boys)," Mountain View coach Dave Houle said. "This had a lot of national implications because Judge is ranked, American Fork is ranked.
"We've basically been a national power for 15 years, and then this year we weren't even ranked. So our boys came in with a little bit of fire because they feel like somebody forgot them, I guess." Mountain View's score of 41 was enough to beat the Bulldogs' 59 and the Cavemen's 119.
The Bruins, fueled by Derek Zabriskie's first-place individual effort, won even though Adam McDonald — normally their top runner — finished 14th because of illness and questionable tactics. "(McDonald) ran a little bit silly," Houle said. "He ran a 4:56 first mile. And he had been a little bit sick all week, and so he paid the price for it. But he hung on and was a scorer for us."
Zabriskie's time was 16:53.
"I started out fine, relaxed and easy and just being really patient," Zabriskie said. "It was a four-loop course. I was just hanging back, and then on the last loop I took the lead and just took off from there."
Judge's Nicholas Gaitan and Andrew Hirning finished second and fourth, respectively, with Lehi's Chris Dorton coming in third. Gaitan, Hirning and Dorton all finished within one second of each other.
Led by a first-place finish from Cassis Ricks, the Silver Wolves easily outdistanced runner-up Judge Memorial and third-place Park City in the girls team competition.
Fremont coach Amber Tingey singled out Ricks and the Silver Wolves' fifth runner, Lindsey Slater, as having turned in impressive performances.
"I was proud of the girls," Tingey said. "They all ran really well. They're a competitive group. Today they got after it; they never want to hold anything back."
Ricks' time of 19:22 was a whole 30 seconds faster than her closest competition. Judge's Samantha Gaffney finished second, and Payson's Melissa Baird edged Fremont's Katie Chugg for third place.