SALT LAKE CITY – Four Timpanogos seniors were able to ride off into the sunset of their prep cross country careers by capturing their second straight 4A crown Wednesday afternoon at Highland High School.
Although Ogden’s Alek Parsons was able to hold off Timberwolf William Handley by five seconds to win individual medalist honors, Timpanogos had its five scoring runners finish in the top 18 to defeat the Tigers 42-65.
“Of course my goal was to win, but I have no issues with Alek,” Handley said. “He’s a worthy opponent and he earned it. I’m happy with my placement.”
Highland reconfigured its athletic fields in the past year, so the cross country course was modified to work around the new alignments.
“It was fun,” Handley said. “I like the change. The new course is not as repetitive and so it’s more interesting.”
Before the outcome was fully known, Handley said his teammates ran really well and did an amazing job, which was confirmed a short time later when the official results were announced.
Handley was followed in by junior Joe Benson, who medaled in fourth place, and the other three seniors: medalist Gabe Prettypaint in ninth, Cameron Benson 16th and Elijah Nimmer 18th. Sophomores Brennan Benson and Ben Berlin completed the competitors.
The Timberwolves were the favorites coming into the event, so it wasn’t a surprise that they won.
“We knew what we had to do, and our seniors stepped up big time and got the job done,” said Timpanogos coach Jody Benson.
“It was all about winning as a team,” he continued. “We knew that Ogden and Olympus (third at 76) were going to be tough. It was an exciting race. We had a couple of kids who didn’t run as well as they’d hoped, but others made up for it.”
Orem finished fourth at 171, led by juniors Jiree and Jiraa Riding, who finished just out of the medalist group at 11th and 12th.
Springville freshman Grant Gardner collected an individual medal in seventh place and helped his team finish sixth at 206.
Timpview was ninth at 240 with sophomore Aidan Troutner 13th overall. Salem Hills placed 10th at 245, and Spanish Fork finished 12th at 279.
Maple Mountain had two runners who competed as individuals. Junior Haydon Cooper came in 17th and set a new school record of 16:04.7.