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High school cross-country: Different venue proves more satisfying for 5A champions

Springville overwhelmed the competition in the girls competition while Farmington edged on Timpanogos on the boys side

Farmington runners celebrate their team victory in the 5A boys state cross-country championship at Soldier Hollow in Midway on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020.
Farmington runners celebrate their team victory in the 5A boys state cross-country championship at Soldier Hollow in Midway on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020.
Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

MIDWAY — Farmington and Timpanogos have quickly engaged in a cross-country rivalry, with Farmington coach Chris Brower believing it’s proving a benefit to both programs.

On Thursday, for the second year in a row, Brower’s team narrowly got by the Timberwolves, escaping with the 5A state championship with a low score of 44 to Timpanogos’ 50. The two programs outdistanced third-place Orem by a large margin, proving to be in a class by themselves among the 5A ranks.

“Obviously we needed every single runner today to get past a very good Timpanogos team,” Brower said. “The boys just ran their hearts out, and I tip my hat to them. We were in it as a team and I’m ecstatic.”

Considering Brower’s team has won state championships in two of the three years since the school opened, it’s easy to see a potential perennial powerhouse forming on the cross-country front.

“We’re hoping for that, and we’re certainly working to get there,” Brower said. “We’re obviously off to a great start here, as a program, and all the credit goes to the kids and the amazing work they’ve put in.”

Doing the headlining work for the Phoenix in the championship was Simon Mitchell, who placed fourth, along with Isaac Halverson and Britton Austin, who finished sixth and eight.

“We prepared well for this race being at a new venue here at Soldier Hollow and to get three kids finish in the top 10, that’s great and we needed all of the high finishes, that’s for sure,” Brower said.

Earning individual top honors for a second year in a row was Bountiful’s Dalton Mortensen, who admitted to it being a bit tougher the second time around.

“Last year, I had a guy in front of me for a lot of the race, so that helped me push myself to go faster,” Mortensen said. “This year it was a bit tougher to push myself not having that, but I got through it on a tougher course, so I’m really proud of that.”

In the individual girls competition, it was Woods Cross’ Carlee Hansen taking top honors for a third year in a row. As impressive as Hansen was throughout the past two wins, she too admitted to the new venue presenting a unique challenge, but it was one she was grateful for.

“It was actually really hard for me after getting used to the championships being at Sugar House,” Hansen said. “Also, I’m not really a good downhill runner, so this course being so hilly was definitely a challenge. But it forced me to prepare for a new challenge, so winning it this year definitely felt more satisfying.”

Hansen is a senior and plans to run for North Carolina at the next level, where she hopes to help build a great running tradition at that school.

“I had a lot of options, but really felt comfortable at North Carolina,” Hansen said. “I really wanted to go out-of-state and believe the opportunities I have there are something I’m really looking forward to.”

Winning the girls team competition was Springville for a third year in a row. This time the Red Devils blew the competition out of the water, scoring just 38 points, which was quite a bit lower than second-place Timpanogos’ 169.

But even though it’s hard to believe, Springville coach Samantha Smith insisted her runners were anxious entering Thursday’s race.

“It’s so funny because they all really are so nervous entering every race,” Smith said. “But I told them they should be excited to show what they can do and what they’ve worked so hard for since June.”

Smith’s team definitely showed off all the work, and then some, with the overall depth proving overwhelming for the rest of the competition.

Top finishers for the Red Devils were Sarah Galbraith, who finished fourth, and Emily Sumsion, who placed sixth.

Class 5A state championships

Boys team scores

  1. Farmington, 44
  2. Timpanogos, 50
  3. Orem, 123
  4. Mountain View, 159
  5. Bountiful, 183
  6. Mountain Ridge, 195
  7. Woods Cross, 201
  8. Timpview, 268

Boys individual results

  1. Dalton Mortensen, Bountiful, 16:41.5
  2. Luke Douglas, Timpanogos, 17:07.1
  3. Anthony Davies, Hillcrest, 17:10.0
  4. Simon Mitchell, Farmington, 17:11.4
  5. Bronson Dameron, Timpanogos, 17:12.7
  6. Isaac Halverson, Farmington, 17:22.1
  7. Thys Hansen, Timpanogos, 17:23.2
  8. Britton Austin, Farmington, 17:23.5

Girls team scores

  1. Springville, 38
  2. Timpanogos, 169
  3. Mountain View, 176
  4. Farmington, 177
  5. Mountain Ridge, 185
  6. Timpview, 189
  7. Orem, 191
  8. Wasatch/Salem Hills, 209

Girls individual results

  1. Carlee Hansen, Woods Cross, 19:55.0
  2. Brynn Esplin, Timpview, 20:06.5
  3. Raygan Peterson, Timpanogos, 20:38.3
  4. Sarah Galbraith, Springville, 20:41.4
  5. Sienna Barton, Bonneville, 20:52.5
  6. Emily Sumsion, Springville, 20:53.5
  7. Mari Konold, Mountain View, 20:55.9
  8. Lydia Beus, Orem, 21:09.2