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Draper Journal

JDCHS cross country teams running to state

Oct 28, 2020 03:03PM ● By Catherine Garrett

Juan Diego’s Makuei Lueth, who is in his first-year in cross country, has emerged as the Soaring Eagle squad’s top runner as he placed ninth at the Region 10 championships Oct. 9 at the Cottonwood Complex. (Photo courtesy Jeff Hodlmair)

By Catherine Garrett | [email protected]

Behind first-year runner Makuei Lueth, who placed ninth at the Region 10 cross country championships, the Juan Diego Catholic High School boys cross country team qualified for the 4A state championship meet for the first time, according to head coach Joe Elliott. The boys and girls squads finished fifth at the region meet so both teams will send their top runners to state, scheduled for Oct. 21 at Cedar High School.

Lueth finished the 3-mile course at the Cottonwood Complex Oct 9 in 16:34.9, 45 seconds out of first place. Patrick Reilly placed 16th while Aidan Hodlmair, Keegan Gilbert, Gabe Woods, Jack Raup and Thomas Kuhrke also crossed the finish line in the top 50 for Juan Diego.

The girls were led by Isabella Pickers and Maya Lentz who finished 18th and 22nd respectively with Beth Penderghast (33rd), Allie Sloan (35th), Jasmine Aguilar (37th) and Nicole Merhi (38th) also placing for the Soaring squad.

“Region went great with both the boys and girls punching tickets to state,” Elliott said. “We’ll get a few more tough practices in and go down to Cedar ready to rock. We’re looking forward to it big time.”

Juan Diego’s JV boys team placed sixth at region led by Hobie Hodlamir in 40th place with Madi Chamberlain’s 33rd finish first for the girls.

Elliott felt good about his program after a full 10-week summer of conditioning. 

“It was easily our best summer since I’ve been with the program over the past four years,” Elliott said. “We have a really talented guys team with lots of seniors and our girls team will be developing, but are also solid.”

After the boys just missing state last season, his squads had their eyes set on qualifying for state. This season, Juan Diego placed well at meets leading up to region. 

At the Premier Invite at the Cottonwood Complex Aug. 15, the boys finished seventh with Reilly finishing 26th while Pickers was tops for the girls in 25th.

Lueth’s second-place finish helped JDCHS to a third-place showing at the JD Regional race at Wheeler Farm Aug. 26. Reilly was also in the top 10, crossing the finish line in sixth place. The girls also placed third with Pickers placing fourth overall. 

At the Tooele Regional at Settlement Canyon Sept. 9, Leuth took third to help the boys place fourth as a team. Pickers’ eighth-place finish brought the girls into fourth as well.

Lueth placed seventh at the Carbon Invite at the Carbon Country Club Sept. 16 to lead the boys team to sixth place. The girls came in eighth with Lentz finishing 27th.

At the All City Championships Sept. 23, Lueth won the race in 16:50, five seconds ahead of West’s Magnus Tveit. Reilly came in eighth to also help the team place fourth. The girls took fifth with Pickers coming in 13th.

At the Catholic Schools Championships at Wheeler Farm Oct. 1, Lueth had another first-place finish, this time running the course in 17:05, 22 seconds ahead of Judge Memorial’s Zachary Petrogeorge. Reilly—in third place—and Aidan Hodlmair, who came in seventh, also placed in the top 10 to lead the boys to second as a team. The girls also finished second with Pickers and Lentz placing second and fourth, respectively. 

“Our teams have been running well, including Makuei who’s brand new to running,” Elliott said. “He has been a great addition so far.”

The Soaring Eagle squad also consists of Jasper Abanto, Kevin Abanto, Ivan Acero, Jacob Anderson, Preston Bath, Parker Chamberlain, Sierra Clark, Alynne Crooms, Elizabeth Cruz, John Deffner, Rantic Ishhanov, Kenyon Johnson, Landon Johnson,  Noah Jones, Thomas Jones, AJ Lefort, Sebastian Quintana Marzano, Connor Orges, Alexus Quayson-Sackey, Phil Reilly, Rhonda Rhonson, Dylan Rodriguez, Emma Shami, Jackson Shemwell, Ali Stevens and Haley Walker.

Former JDCHS runner Kristy Defner, who graduated this past spring, has been assisting Elliott on the coaching staff.  “She’s as good as we’ve ever had here at Juan Diego,” Elliott said. “She knows the program, she knows cross country and she’s good and fast and pushes the runners she’s coaching. She’s really adept there as we try to continue to build our culture and identity.”