The Morgan High School Cross Country teams finished the season with many accolades and honors. On Wednesday, Oct. 12, the boys’ team claimed the Region 13 Title, Morgan’s first XC Region title in 21 years! Junior Carson Wilkins repeated as the boys’ region champion, and the girls claimed second place in region behind Judge Memorial.
Coach Brennen Fuller noted, “We had a fantastic day at region XC. Our teams went in with some good goals, and the girls came out beating Grantsville by six points to claim second place in Region behind a really good Judge Memorial team. “
He continued, “The boys went in to region with a goal of taking down Grantsville to win region, and they did just that! All seven varsity boys finished in the top 10 and medaled beating Grantsville by 12 points!
“The boys left it on the course,” Fuller enthused. “It was awesome to see them picking each other off the ground after the race because they gave everything they had!! It’s the first boys region championship in 21 years!”
At the 3A State Championship Meet at Sugarhouse Park on Oct. 18, the Morgan boys entered with high hopes of building on their region success and claiming a state title. “Our boys came in really confident and knowing that they had a chance at the title,” Fuller explained. “Having had such a good region meet, a lot of other teams were looking at us to be up there. We had a good start and the boys were looking good.”
Unfortunately, Morgan’s plans hit a snag when “Wilkins was tripped in the first mile and fell down, having to work his way back up with the leaders,” Fuller explained.
“He did just that,” Fuller continued, “but in the last 400 meters he couldn’t hold on, but still placed fourth in the state.”
“The boys fought hard against a great pack of boys from Richfield and Emery, and in the end those teams just had better finishes overall through their top seven runners,” Fuller declared.
The boys took third place overall with 83 points while Emery edged Richfield to earn the state title—a title that was decided by Emery’s sixth-place runner’s finish (32nd) compared to Richfield’s sixth-place runner’s finish (33rd) after the teams ended up tied in points at 70.
The girls’ team worked together to earn fourth place overall with 108 points, just two points behind third-place Judge Memorial. San Juan claimed the girls’ title, with Juab finishing second.
Morgan senior Erika Parry was named to the Academic All-State team and honored at the state meet. The 3A team has a combined overall GPA of 3.998.
“For State, we came in as a girls’ team ecstatic to be able to make it to state, but again knowing anything could happen,” Fuller summarized. “The girls ran hard for each other and finished fourth, losing to Judge by just two points. Our theme for state was, ‘Every place counts: fight for each spot you can get, knowing that it can make a difference.’”
An excellent illustration of Morgan’s theme for state came in the boys’ race when the Emery number six runner, whose points generally don’t count toward the team total, decided the team state championship by finishing six seconds ahead of Richfield’s number six runner. “Every place counts!”
“I could not be prouder of these kids and how hard they have worked to help make this team relevant and a team that can compete at the state level. We have a LOT of phenomenal varsity runners returning and plan on continuing to build on what these kids have started and bringing home lots of trophies while representing Morgan!” he concluded.
The girls’ scored in 15th, 16th, 17th, 22nd and 38th places with the final two runners finishing 41st and 47th. Sophomores Elaina Halls and Ashlynn Dawson and senior Erika Parry finished within seconds of each other with the respective times: 21:04.4; 21:05.5, and 21:08.0. Junior Bella Porter (21:33.2) and sophomore Adalynn Sheffield (22:58.6) rounded out the scoring for the Lady Trojans followed by Aubree Adams (23:15.4) and junior Kimberly Birt (23:41.8).
Wilkins, a junior, finished the course in 16:21.7 in fourth place with seniors Jackson Avery (16th) and Mason Ralls (17th) completing the 3.2 miles in 17:06.5 and 17:11.8. Junior Stanford Porter ran a17:21.7 for 22nd place and senior Conner Mathews finished out the scoring with a 17:31.8 time for 24th place. Sophomore Kaleb Bowles (26th) and senior Benaiah Everhart (29th) clocked in with 17:37.6 and 17:44.7 times.
Fuller, who coached the team along with assistant coach Bryan Weir, ended on a high note. “Our varsity runners will be traveling to California the first of December to compete at Footlocker National Championships and will continue to work towards the track season and another run at state titles!”