Springville junior AnnaBeth Templeman pounded across the grass at Sugar House Park during the 5A state girls cross country race on Wednesday surrounded by hundreds of the best runners in the state.
But as she looked around, she saw the ones that really mattered most to her.
There was her younger sister, freshman Lydia Templeman, and her cousins, freshman Sarah Galbraith and freshman Madison Galbraith.
“It’s so fun,” AnnaBeth Templeman said. “The four of us were running as a pack and it gave me goosebumps. Whenever I’m running and see one of them, it’s like, ‘let’s go!’”
She quickly added that even though the other runners might not have the same direct family ties, she feels the same way about them.
“Even with my teammates that I’m not directly related to, I basically am anyway,” AnnaBeth Templeman said. “When it’s tough, being with them all makes it worth it.”
The tight-knit Red Devils used their connection as a springboard, vaulting to the top of the 5A ranks with another stellar performance in the state competition and successfully defending their state championship.
“It’s inspiring to repeat,” said AnnaBeth Templeman, who was the first Springville finisher as she came in fifth overall. “I didn’t think it would be as special but doing it with my cousins and friends like this, it’s amazing.”
Red Devil head coach Sam Smith said her girls executed their strategy to perfection.
“Our plan was to go slow for the first mile and conserve our energy,” Smith said. “It was scary, though, because there were five Farmington girls in front of us. They just had to trust the system. They took off on the second half of the race. Some of them really moved past a ton of girls on the final straightaway. We have so much balance that with our team it can be hard to predict who will finish No. 1 through No. 5, but that means if someone collapses, someone else is their to fill in their shoes.”
Madison Galbraith was running well until the final stretch when she appeared to lose cohesion and could barely stagger across the finish line. She was treated by medical professionals after the race although Smith said it was nothing serious.
“It was like, ‘oh, no,’” AnnaBeth Templeman said. “But she’s amazing. She’s someone we can always count on and she did finish. I’m proud of her.”
Smith said the care that the girls showed for each other from the beginning of the season made a huge difference in Springville’s quest to repeat.
“We lost three of our top seven runners from last year and we had three freshman coming in, so we didn’t know what to expect,” Smith said. “But the juniors had to step up and educate the new runners on how things work for us. It was fun to watch them make the choice that they wanted to come back and win state again.”
Lehi senior Anna Martin ended up finishing second overall behind Woods Cross junior Carlee Hansen.
The Red Devils didn’t have a senior run in the state finals, so don’t be surprised to see the Springville dynasty continue.
“It’s super-exciting,” Smith said. “Things change so girls might not be as fast as they were when they were freshmen but we have established depth and tradition. Hopefully that means things will carry on for years to come.”
Timpanogos finishes second in 5A boys race
Coming into the 5A boys competition, Timpanogos head coach Jody Benson knew his Timberwolves would need to be solid to compete with a talented Farmington squad.
“I knew they would be out fast and we wanted to try to go with them,” Benson said. “We did that but we weren’t quite able to keep up with them at the end. It came down to one or two spots, and it’s awesome when it is that close.”
Timpanogos ended up having its fifth runner finish before the fifth Phoenix runner, but Farmington had just enough of an advantage in the earlier placings to get the state title by 13 points (70-83).
“We knew what we had to do and the boys gave it their best,” Benson said. “Farmington just had a little more. I told the boys that if we give it our all and take second, that’s all you can ask.”
Orem junior Taylor Knight had the best individual finish from Utah Valley, coming in third overall.
Cedar Valley builds program with first 4A appearance
The Aviators weren’t near the top of the leaderboard in either the boys or girls 4A competition but athletes for the first-year school gained valuable experience.
The Cedar Valley boys team finished 17th led by junior Macy Carwin who came in 66th overall, while the Aviator girls team ended up 16th with sophomore Anne Ballard leading the way at 41st overall.
For complete results, go to http://RunnerCard.com.