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AF’s Jaster wins second straight 6A title, Cavemen finish second

By Darnell Dickson - | Oct 27, 2021
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American Fork senior Nathan Jaster wins the 2021 6A state boys cross country race at the Regional Athletic Complex in Rose Park on Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021. (Jared Lloyd, Daily Herald)
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The American Fork boys cross country team poses for photos after finishing second at the 2021 6A state boys cross country race at the Regional Athletic Complex in Rose Park on Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021. (Jared Lloyd, Daily Herald)
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Runners compete in the 2021 6A state boys cross country race at the Regional Athletic Complex in Rose Park on Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021. (Jared Lloyd, Daily Herald)
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American Fork senior Nathan Jaster (right) gets congratulated by a teammate after he won the 2021 6A state boys cross country race at the Regional Athletic Complex in Rose Park on Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021. (Jared Lloyd, Daily Herald)
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Medalists pose for photos after the 2021 6A state boys cross country race at the Regional Athletic Complex in Rose Park on Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021. (Jared Lloyd, Daily Herald)
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Lone Peak senior Jeffrey Shields (center) runs in the 2021 6A state boys cross country race at the Regional Athletic Complex in Rose Park on Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021. (Jared Lloyd, Daily Herald)
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Runners compete in the 2021 6A state boys cross country race at the Regional Athletic Complex in Rose Park on Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021. (Jared Lloyd, Daily Herald)
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American Fork runners prepare to compete in the 2021 6A state boys cross country race at the Regional Athletic Complex in Rose Park on Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021. (Jared Lloyd, Daily Herald)
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Runners compete in the 2021 6A state boys cross country race at the Regional Athletic Complex in Rose Park on Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021. (Jared Lloyd, Daily Herald)
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Lone Peak and Skyridge runners prepare to compete in the 2021 6A state boys cross country race at the Regional Athletic Complex in Rose Park on Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021. (Jared Lloyd, Daily Herald)

Maybe it was the shades.

American Fork senior Nathan Jaster defended his Class 6A boys cross country individual title on Wednesday at Rose Park’s Regional Athletic Complex, finishing in a time of 14:55.5. That was more ten seconds faster than runner-up Jaron Hartshorn of Lone Peak (15:06.6).

Like the rest of his teammates, Jaster looked cool and confident in his sunglasses.

“I mean, I used to not wear them but I’d say they help me to relax my whole body,” Jaster said. “It just makes for a smoother run.”

The course at Rose Park is much different than the one Jaster ran last year at Soldier Hollow, which had more hills and steeper inclines.

“This one was better, definitely,” Jaster said. “I mean, I like the hilly courses a lot but I like this one, too. It’s a nice grass course. It was a little bit muddy out there today but it was fast.”

Jaster was in a group of about nine runners together at the two-mile mark that included Hartshorn and teammate Jayden Fitzgarrald but began to pull away with a mile to go.

This whole season I’ve been kind of dealing with some sickness, just some breathing problems,” Jaster admitted. “So today was a really good day for me to come out and run well.”

Coming in as the defending state champion put a lot on Jaster’s shoulders in the build up to the meet.

“There was definitely some pressure,” he said. “I would say there was probably more favorable individuals going into this race. But I was confident throughout the race and I was pretty confident coming into the race. I just decided I was going to sit behind the pack and I trusted if I made a surge at a mile I would be able to keep it.”

Jaster said the celebration would be eating dinner with his teammates and that he had built up a pretty big appetite.

“I think we have Chuck-A-Rama,” he said. “Anything sounds good right now, I’m really hungry.”

Jaster added that he had yet to decide on his next move but plans to follow in a long line of great American Fork runners at the next level.

” I’m looking at a couple of colleges right now,” Jaster said. “Maybe I’ll go on a mission right out of high school, so I have a bunch of different options.”

The Cavemen came into the 6A race as the favorites but were upset by Farmington. The Phoenix finished with four runners in the Top 10 ( 6, 7, 9, 10) and also had the No. 17 finisher to score a meet-low 49 points. American Fork ended up with No. 1 (Jaster), No. 3 (Fitzgarrald), No. 20 (sophomore Ben Bradshaw), No. 21 (senior Jared Thomas) and No. 23 (sophomore Ben Jaster) to score 68 points as the runner-up.

The Farmington win prevented AF and head coach Timo Mostert from winning their tenth state title.

We’ve had a couple of years where we haven’t won state,” Nathan Jaster said. “So I think as we got ready for this race, it was exciting. Just to watch all of the guys run. I think we all did pretty well so it was awesome.”

For complete details from the state cross country meet, go to http://UHSAA.org.

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