LAYTON — Weber runner George Barlow knows the secret of what creates a good race. It's not how you start, but how you finish that counts. For Barlow, putting together a big finish means more than anything else he can do in a cross country meet.
"Every race I try to finish as strong as I can, no matter where I am," Barlow said. "It leaves me with a better taste in my mouth."
The Warriors senior will get to savor the flavor of a region championship. Barlow outlasted a pair of Davis runners down the stretch — Spencer Anderson and Seth Gutzwiller — with a time of 15 minutes and 48.2 seconds to capture his first Region 1 cross country title Wednesday afternoon at Layton Commons Park.
Barlow's main goal was to finish ahead of anyone wearing a Darts uniform. He did that with ease, putting almost 16 seconds between himself and Anderson.
Now his new goal is to parlay a region title into an equally strong showing at state. Barlow isn't predicting he'll win. But he's confident he won't finish back in the pack either.
"My expectations are a top three (finish)," Barlow said.
There was no real surprise in seeing Davis sweep top team honors in both the boys and girls races. With their depth and rich cross country tradition, the Darts were essentially runaway favorites at the Region 1 meet.
But Davis did provide an unexpected winner in the girls race. Senior Natalie Haws edged out teammate Candace Eddy by two-tenths of a second, finishing in 18 minutes and 36.8 seconds for the girls individual title.
Eddy, a junior, and Haws occupied the top two spots last year as well, only their positions were reversed.
"We were trying to tie, but I guess in a meet this big you kind of can't," Haws said.
The Darts had five top ten finishers in the girls race — Haws, Eddy, Emily Hansen, Meghan Hedquist and Loren Storey. Fremont was able to finish second overall by placing five runners in the top 20 — led by Jessie Chugg, who finished in 18 minutes and 43.3 seconds for third place and ninth-place finisher Jo Gullo.
Weber's Angela Baker and Allyson Deeter placed fourth and fifth respectively. Baker edged Deeter by 1.6 seconds, with a finishing time of 18 minutes and 49.8 seconds. Syracuse sophomore Abby Rich earned the remaining top ten spot, coming in eighth with a time of 19 minutes and 27.6 seconds.
On the boys side, Davis had four runners place in the top 10. Anderson and Gutzwiller finished second and third, while Jason Thomas and Bryce Larsen finished ninth and tenth.
Weber claimed the runner-up spot behind the Darts on the strength of having three runners finish in the top six. Russ Caranhan and Devan Radle claimed the fifth and sixth spot respectively, with Caranahan finishing in 16 minutes and 11.7 seconds.
Fremont's Marcus Charlesworth was the remaining top-five finisher, claiming fourth place with a time of 16 minutes and 8.8 seconds. Viewmont and Layton each had top ten finishers, with Vikings runner Jason Parrish claiming eighth place and Lancers sophomore Tyson Butler finishing seventh.