Facebook Twitter

Utah prep runners shine at prestigious Nike event

Utahns claim four of the top 17 places in the field of 200 runners at the Nike Cross Nationals in Portland, Oregon

SHARE Utah prep runners shine at prestigious Nike event
JoJo Jourdon of Olympus wins the boys 5A cross-country state championship race at the Regional Athletic Complex.

JoJo Jourdon of Olympus wins the boys 5A cross-country state championship race at the Regional Athletic Complex in Rose Park on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2023. The future Wake Forest runner placed first in the Nike Cross Nationals in Portland, Oregon, on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

JoJo Jourdon, a senior from Olympus High, won the Nike Cross Nationals Saturday morning in Portland, Oregon, while Herriman and American Fork high schools finished 1-2 in the boys’ team race.

NXN, as it’s known, is the most prestigious team cross-country competition in the nation each year.

Jourdon, who plans to compete for Wake Forest next year, covered the 5,000-meter course in 15:16.5, finishing two seconds ahead of his nearest rival.

Utahns claimed four of the top 17 places in the field of 200 runners.

Austin Westfall, a senior at Orem High, placed fourth in 15:22.6. Dan Simmons, the pre-race favorite from American Fork High, was 13th in 15:29.9, passing eight runners in the final 1,000 meters. Riverton’s Andrew Ludwig was 17th in 15:31.2.

It marks the fourth time in nine years that a Utahn has won the race (not counting the canceled 2020 race). Casey Clinger, now an All-American at BYU, won in 2015 and 2016, Aidan Troutner won in 2017, and now Jourdon in 2023.

Herriman and American Fork, which have held the top two positions in the national rankings throughout the season, finished with 83 and 100 points, respectively. Riverton High finished ninth among the 22 schools that qualified for the race.

It marks the first time a Utah high school has won the team title, although American Fork has finished second four times in 11 years.

In the girls race, Lone Peak finished fourth, with Andie Aagard placing 52nd and Maya Bybee placed 64th. American Fork’s Avalon Mecham was 25th.

merlin_3002954.jpg

Lone Peak High’s Andie Aagard crosses the finish line, taking first place in the 6A state high school cross-country championships, at the Regional Athletic Complex in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2023. On Saturday, Aagard paced the Lone Peak girls team to a fourth-place finish in the prestigious Nike Cross Nationals in Portland, Oregon.

Megan Nielsen, Deseret News