Written By Caleb Bradshaw
The girls’ Cross Country team this year is good. Like nationals good. Earlier this year DyeStat ranked them 9th in the nation and so far they’ve delivered on that ranking.
But despite Lone Peak’s dominance, a lot of people still don’t even know what the sport is. XC, as it’s usually stylized, is a sport where athletes compete in 3-mile and 5k races. Now if that sounds like torture to you then you’re not alone. Most people, high schoolers especially, wouldn’t dream of running (up to) 50 miles a week for fun, but for the Cross Country team’s 100+ members, it’s just a part of the program.
In the state meet, held on October 15 at Sugarhouse Park, Lone Peak athletes Reagan Gardener(sophomore) and LJ Floyd(senior) both placed 3rd All-State. The girls’ team ended up placing 2nd, without even running their whole varsity team, only to be beaten by American Fork. AF, for reference, is the Cross Country powerhouse of Utah, and 2018 is the first year that they’ve been outranked by the Knights. The boys also put up a tough performance, placing 5th in-state.
Additional shoutouts are warranted for Jack Miller(junior) for placing 11th All-State as well as Taylor Smart(senior) and Ali Bybee(senior) for placing 11th and 12th All-State respectively.
Both teams will race in Arizona at the Nike NXR Southwest meet later this month in an attempt to qualify for Nike Nationals in Oregon in December. This is a highly competitive race with all the best high school teams competing for just two qualifying spots. The girls have a great shot at qualifying and need all the support they can get. Good luck Knights!