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North Sanpete dominates races

DELTA — North Sanpete pulled off dominating performances in both the boys and girls divisions to nab both Region 8 cross country crowns at Delta High Wednesday.

On the boys side, the Hawks placed five runners in the top seven, scoring 20 points to runner-up Emery's 55, while the North Sanpete girls placed six runners in the top 10, scoring 22 points to second-place Delta's 54.

North Sanpete senior Shaun Russon raced to a first-place finish with a time of 17:17 on the boys side. Russon tore his Achilles tendon last year and his first race back came at last year's region competition. At that race, Russon placed 14th. With a 13-place turnaround, Russon was happy to be at the top this year.

"I was hoping for a faster time, but I still got first and that's good enough for me," Russon said.

The North Sanpete boys are aiming to place top-seven at state next week, and Russon is aiming for a top-10 personal finish.

"I'm really pleased with the way they ran today," North Sanpete coach Scott Butler said. "They won in a really commanding way."

On the girls side, North Sanpete senior Silvia Bedford took first place overall, running a 19:39. Fellow Hawk Nia Ricks was fast on Bedford's tail with a 20:06. Ricks considers Bedford to be her direct competition at next week's state tournament and is hoping her team can move up from last year's fourth-place finish.

"We only lost one runner from last year," Ricks said. "We're aiming for top two, but anything can happen."

"To be candid, our number one girl is injured. She would have placed quite high at state," coach Butler said. "It's going to be a real overall battle between Cedar, Judge Memorial, Park City and us."

Juan Diego placed third overall for the girls with 69 points, while Emery came in fourth with 103 to wind up the team scoring. On the boys side, Carbon came in third with 77 points, Delta took fourth with 86 and Juan Diego rounded out the top five with 142.

Tyler Killpack from Emery (17:37), Caleb Franks from North Sanpete (18:01), Deven Shelley from North Sanpete (18:10) and Jonathan Bundy from North Sanpete (18:13) rounded out the top five behind Russon on the boys side.

Natalie Evans from Delta (20:39), Patricia Smith from Carbon (20:41) and Katie Curtis from North Sanpete (20:47) also finished in the top five behind Bedford and Ricks for the girls.