SALT LAKE CITY — Mountain View's cross country dynasty added two more championship trophies to its impressive three-decade haul on Wednesday.
The Mountain View boys were heavy favorites and didn't disappoint by running away from the field to claim the 4A state title at Sugarhouse Park, its 15th in school history. The girls, though, were slight underdogs to Timpview and Skyline, which is what makes winning the Bruins' 18th state title in school history all the sweeter.
Mountain View's boys placed three runners in the top 11 to finish with 66 points to edge second-place Bonneville, which finished with 83 points. Orem (103), Sky View (108) and Herriman (124) rounded out the top five.
"They ran well collectively, I know individually some may have felt like they struggled a little bit," said Hunter. "The boys had the targets on their back, that's a whole other pressure put upon them not only physically but to carry that through the whole season mentally. They did a phenomenal job carrying that burden with them and coming through.
The five runners who placed for Mountain View were Alex Brown, Parker Goodwin, Jaydn Asay, Gordon King and Mark Roberts.
Hunter believed his girls were a slight underdog to Timpview, which beat Mountain View in the Region 8 championships on the sixth-runner tiebreaker, and Skyline. Knowing they needed to run a perfect race, he told them to go all out.
"We were going to have to run well to beat them. The game plan early was to go out, force the issue and give ourselves a chance," said Hunter. "I know sometimes you go out on this course conserving a little bit because of that backside hill and different things, but we knew the only chance was to lay it on the line and go for it."
Mountain View claimed first with 76 points, while Timpview finished in second with 92 and Skyline in third with 93. Mountain Crest (122) and Maple Mountain (154) rounded out the top five.
Mountain View's Ashley Warner, Kelsey Carlson, Megan Ryan, Tenill Sutton and Ellie Eyestone were the top five runners for the Bruins.
Neither Mountain View team finished with an individual title. Those honors belonged to Box Elder's Kelsey Braithwaite and Timpanogos' Jacob Heslington.
Heslington's title was somewhat expected considering he went the entire 2011 cross country season without losing to a 4A runner.
"I stayed with the front pack until about a mile left and then I tried to push the pace and pull away from everyone," said Heslington, who finished fourth last year.
The junior finished with a time of 15:39.5 to beat Sky View's Conner Mantz, who finished in 15:40, and Logan's Jerrell Mock, who finished in 15:40.3. Box Elder's Adam Hendrickson and Orem's Chance Werner rounded out the top five.
Braithwaite's title on the girls side was much more uncertain.
Heading into the race, most believed Braithwaite, Warner and Orem defending champion Summer Harper were the favorites. Early in the race Braithwaite felt the pace was too slow so she kicked it up a notch and pulled away for an impressive time of 17:36.4, a minute faster than her personal best at Sugarhouse Park.
"My dad told me if the pace is to slow to just go for it," said Braithwaite, whose time was 46 seconds faster than the 5A winner. "It's just really rewarding because all my hard work is paying off."
Warner finished in second with a time of 18:02.5, followed by Harper at 18:13.2, Mountain Crest's Miranda O'Very at 18:20.2 and Timpview's Carrie Jube at 18:29.7.