Timpview senior runner Aidan Troutner proved to be one of the top runners in Utah when he came in first at the 5A state cross country meet at Sugarhouse Park in October.
But it wasn’t until Saturday that runners from the rest of the country got to know just how good Troutner is.
Troutner had just missed qualifying for the Nike Cross Nationals in previous years but when he made it to the finals this season, he made the most of it.
Troutner spent most of the boys race at Glendoveer Golf Course in Portland, Ore., trailing a few strides behind the leaders, including favorite Brodey Hasty, a senior from Brentwood, Tenn., who had finished third last year.
But when the leaders neared the finish line, Troutner found another gear.
His kick proved to be the strongest as he pulled past Hasty to win first place in a time of 15:03.9.
“Winning a national championship is something I couldn’t even dream of until this year,” Troutner told DyeStat editor Erik Boal after the race. “I was just thinking at the beginning of the summer that I had to take control, of myself, of my mileage, of my races. Everything had to be my own. I couldn’t rely on other people or let other people control my race. I had to control everything myself, my mileage, my workouts, my races, every single day up until now.”
Troutner’s victory gives Utah the top individual finisher for the third straight year, as former American Fork star Casey Clinger won the race in 2015 and 2016.
In the team competition, Springville had the best local finish as the Red Devils came in fifth overall. Timpanogos came in 21st.