The cross-country teams at Morgan High School continue to improve their times and prepare for the Region 13 Championships on Oct. 11 at the Cottonwood Complex in Salt Lake City. The boys’ team will be competing against the top-ranked Grantsville team to bring the region crown back to Morgan while the girls’ team will have to contend first with Judge Memorial and then Grantsville. Leading up to the region championships, the teams have competed in several high-level meets to prepare for the tough competition at region and state.
On Friday, Sept. 29, Morgan traveled to Park City for the Park City Invitational. Morgan’s Carson Wilkins was the top 3A finisher in the race with a time of 16:27.2. He placed 30th overall in the boys’ varsity event, which was dominated by 5A and 6A runners. A trio of runners finished next for Morgan, Conner Mathews, Jackson Avery and Mason Ralls, crossed the finish line in 77th, 78th and 79th places with times of 17:23.8, 17:24.6, and 17.25.0. Benaiah Everhart, Sanford Porter, Max Dicou, Samuel Allen and Andrew Roundy were the Trojans’ other varsity racers.
Sophomore Ashlynn Dawson was Morgan’s top finisher in the girls’ varsity race with a time of 20:52.9. She was followed by Elaina Halls (21:20.7), Ericka Parry (21:23.6) and Aubree Adams (22:46.4). Adalyn Sheffield and Kimberly Birt rounded out Morgan’s varsity girls’ team.
Freshman Gabe Sargent led the boys’ JV team with an 18:31.0 time. Sophomore Carson Skidmore trailed Sargent by 16 seconds to finish in 18:47.5, while junior Isaac Larsen completed the course in 19:20.4.
In the girls’ JV race, sophomore Maile Bernardo was Morgan’s top finisher in 26:26.0 followed by freshman Corrine Wilkinson 26:26.3.
The weekend before, Sept. 22-23, the varsity members of the team ventured to the Bob Firman Classic in Boise, Idaho, to face challenging competition at this prestigious meet. Over 3,125 athletes from 114 high schools including 23 team state champions gathered at Eagle Island State Park outside of Boise to race against excellent competition.
Competing against runners from Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, Montana, Oregon, California, the Trojans’ Carson Wilkins ran a 16:21.6 in the Elite race and placed 52nd out of 208 racers. Only runners with the fastest qualifying times were selected to compete in the Elite race, and Wilkins was Morgan’s only runner in the event.
In the Boys’ Division II Varsity Race, sophomore Kaleb Bowles ran to a 41st place finish in 17:25.6 followed by teammates Avery, Ralls, Everhart, Mathews, Porter and Dicou. The team garnered eighth place out of 44 in the Division II race. Congratulations to these seven young men on a fine race against tough competition!
Erika Parry was the top Trojan finisher in the Girls’ Division II Varsity Race with a time of 21:17.8, followed closely by Dawson with 21:39.3. Halls, Sheffield, Adams, Birt and Madison Myers completed the team that placed 16th out of 31 teams.
The final Region 13 meet of the season was held on Sept. 20 at Judge Memorial Catholic High School. In the varsity boys’ race, Morgan placed second behind Grantsville 23-35. Wilkins (17:39) earned fourth place behind a trio of Grantsville runners. Avery, Everhart and Ralls crossed the line in sixth, seventh and eighth places with Bowles and Dicou finishing 10th and 11th. With the top eight places going to either Morgan or Grantsville runners, the Region 13 Championships look to feature and exciting re-match of these two teams.
The girls’ team earned third place with 52 points finishing behind Judge Memorial (24) and Grantsville (48). Elaina Halls (21:53) and Erika Parry (21.53) tied as Morgan’s top finishers in fifth place and sixth places with Sheffield finishing up 10th and Adams 12th. Although Judge finished with five of the top 10 places to win the region meet, Morgan looks to compete strongly with Ashlynn Dawson, top Park City finisher, in the lineup for the region championships.
Look for full coverage of the Region 13 Championships next week and the state championships the following week. The 3A State Championships will be contested at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 18, at Sugarhouse Park in Salt Lake City.