The Morgan Cross Country teams have been working hard and racing even harder. They have run in four races and at each meet, runners have been improving their times.
Sophomore Carson Wilkins is still the male runner to beat. At the USU invitational on Friday, Sept. 2, Wilkins was the fastest sophomore overall and placed 15th in the event with a time of 16:56. Verl Johansen was Morgan’s second fastest time, 18:26, followed by Jackson Avery 18:42, Sanford Porter 18:48 and Mason Ralls 18:50.
With Bella Porter cheering injured from the sideline, Ericka Parry clocked the fastest time on the girls’ team, 22:18, with freshman Jayda VanDyke running the second fastest time on the team at 23:24. Natalie Nielson was third at 23:45 followed by Addelyn Sheffield 24:08, Shelby Lynam 25:31 and Hailee Sargent 25:46.
“To say I was happy about the results at USU is an understatement. The course ended up being closer to 3.2 miles than 3.1 miles. We ran Como hard with just one day of rest in between and the team fought through being sore and tired and gave me their all. I saw so much heart and push in this race. I know with this team anything can happen,” Coach Brennan Fuller said.
The team participated in a team Handicapped Como Timed Trial on Wednesday, Aug. 31. Each runner raced against his or her personal record. The person who stepped up and had the biggest PR was the winner. Nick Brown won the Como Timed Trial by setting a new PR of 19:52, beating his old record of 22:10. Second place was Shelby Lynam, who shaved more than a minute off her record with a 24:44 finish and her old PR was 25:53. Chad Larkin took third place in the time trial. Several new runners established their PRs for the season at this event as well.
The Westlake Grass Relays are a fun event that incorporates jumping over hay bales into the course. The two-mile course is a fun warm up for the season. Boys’ results: Carson Wilkins-11:08; Payton Bailey- 11:33; Verl Johansen-11:41; Jackson Avery-11:50; Sanford Porter- 12:03; and Mason Ralls 12:13. Girls results: Ericka Parry-13:28; Jayda VanDyke-15:05; Natalie Nielson-15:07; Hailee Sargent-15:27; Adelynn Sheffield-12:29; Shelby Lynam-15:36; and Elaina Halls-15:43.
Highland Invitational was “hotter and much harder than the first course in Tooele, but a great opportunity to run the course where the State Cross Country Championship will be held and many kids PRed,” Coach Fuller reported. The course was at Sugar House Park in Salt Lake, where the 3A State Cross Country Championships will be held.
Boys’ Highland Invitational results: Carson Wilkins-16:48; Payton Bailey- 17:51; Sanford Porter-17:57; Mason Ralls-18:09; Jackson Avery-18:19; Verl Johansen-18:20; Christian McClellan-18:32; Caleb Dredge-18:40; Max Dicou-19:05; Benaiah Everhart-19:15; Alex Ward-19:53; and Chris Payne-20:10.
Girls’ Highland Invitational results: Ericka Parry-20:33; Jayda VanDyke-22:46; Natalie Nielson-23:55; Adelynn Sheffield-24:02; Shelby Lynam-25:53; Megan Carter-26:13; Kimmy Birt-26:21; Kaitlyn Golson-27:04; Megan Bartol-28:46; Brooke Nelson-29:25; Briglyn Dorius-29:35; and Kallie Croft 30:06.
The team ran Wednesday at the Super North Pre-Region at Juan Diego and will participate in the Murray Invitational on Friday in Salt Lake. Next week they will travel to Weber County. Morgan’s only home meet of the season will be Wednesday, Oct. 5, at Round Valley. Make plans to attend the home meet and support the Trojan runners.