Corner Canyon runs away with state cross country title
Dec 10, 2019 12:41PM
● By Catherine Garrett
The Corner Canyon boys team pose with their trophy and state championship medals Oct. 23 at Sugarhouse Park for the second year in a row, this time in the 6A classification. (Photo courtesy Devin Moody)
by Catherine Garrett | [email protected]
With the lowest team total in state history, last year’s 5A state champion boys cross-country team, Corner Canyon, stayed on top — this time in the 6A classification, which is stacked with three other nationally ranked programs in American Fork, Davis and Skyridge — at the 6A state championships Oct. 23 at Sugarhouse Park.
“It’s an amazing feeling to win a state championship, but even more wonderful to feel a sense of pride in how far we have come,” head coach Devin Moody said. “We won last year as an underdog, but this year we learned we could thrive in the limelight.”
Senior Caleb Johnson ran the three-mile course in 15 minutes, 21.5 seconds, seven seconds behind Skyridge’s Creed Thompson, who won the individual title. Only 14 seconds separated Johnson and the next three Chargers — seniors Mark Boyle, Alex Harbertson and Easton Allred — who came in third, fourth and fifth respectively. Junior AJ Rowland finished in 10th place and junior Ben Dastrup was 12th, while senior Arik Manwaring crossed the line in 24th place.
“We try to stay focused on the process throughout the season so each competition leading up to state isn’t really about the results on paper, but the growth of each individual’s abilities,” Moody said. “It feels really rewarding to see the team reach its potential when it matters most.”
Corner Canyon also set other state records at the meet. The first was the largest margin of victory as the squad had 22 points and second-place Davis had 80. Additionally, the Chargers topped the state charts with a team average of 15 minutes 34 seconds.
The two-time state champions have also won region titles in 2018 and 2019 and ran this year’s meet in “dominating” fashion, according to Moody.
Also on the varsity boys team are Lance Andrewson, Nate Beltran, Ben Dastrup, Carson Day, Noah Hanson, Eli Kimball, Jayden Loeser, Steve Oler, Tyler Rhoads, AJ Rowland and Connor Whatcott.
The Corner Canyon girls squad placed sixth at the 6A state meet after grabbing the last qualifying spot at the Region 4 meet, the “toughest region in the state,” according to Moody.
“Their sixth-place finish as a team was exciting and inspiring,” Moody said. “They really came together with their best racing at the state meet.”
Senior Lexi Larsen placed eighth to lead the Chargers with senior Kali Richardson 26th, sophomore Avery Hartey 39th and freshman Charly Murie 50th. Freshman Courtney Madsen, senior Mallory McCarter and sophomore Rachel Oldham also competed at state for Corner Canyon.
“The girls team has grown so much over the past few seasons,” Moody said. “I’m really proud of how our girls have created a team culture of hard work, positivity and a commitment to each other.”
Other girls on the 2019 squad were Abbi Anderson, Rachel Ball, Annika Gilson, Lisa Hastings, Makenzie Lawson, Allison Oler, Anna Nelson, Jaden Singleton and Kate Wing.
Corner Canyon competed at the Nike Southwest Regionals Nov. 23 (after press deadline) in Casa Grande, Arizona against teams from Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah. The top two teams qualify for the Nike Cross Nationals event in Portland, Oregon Dec. 7 against the nation’s top teams.