Cross Country Teams Off and Running
Oct 08, 2015 01:07PM ● Published by Bryan Scott
The Copper Hills cross country boys and girls won the Premiere Invitational Aug. 15. Photo courtesy of Copper Hills cross country
By Greg James
West Jordan - The chorus of the popular Kelly Clarkson song, “Stronger,” says, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” The cross country teams at West Jordan and Copper Hills high schools are becoming more competitive every season. Every time the teams’ runners step on the course, they are trying to get stronger.
Grizzly senior Christian Allen started the season on top for the boys team. At their first competitive meet, the Premier XC Invitational, he placed first overall and helped his team to a first place finish: eight points in front of the second place team, Bingham. The Grizzlies also had four other runners finish in the top 11: Benjamin Papenfuss (6th), Cameron Bodily (7th), Corban Allen (8th) and Alex Newbold (11th).
At the Herriman Invitational Sept. 11, Allen placed fifth overall, with the boys team finishing sixth. The defending state champions, American Fork, placed first.
The Grizzly girls team was not to be outdone and also placed first at their first meet this season. They had four runners in the top ten: Hailey Barker (6th), Julia Falcon (7th), Autumn Babcock (8th) and Katie Tanner (10th).
The Region 3 Pre-Region Meet was held Sept. 2 and the Grizzlies placed second overall.
The Copper Hills girls placed tenth at the state championship in 2014, with the boys placing ninth. Allen placed 12th overall.
The West Jordan girls placed third overall at the Premier Invitational. Senior Makenzie Prows led the way with the fastest time for the Jaguars. They had four other runners finish in the top 30: Arianna Valerio, Lauren Brown, Kelly Ballard and Ashlyn Demke.
The Jaguars boys’ best finish this season was eighth overall at the Herriman Invitational. Alex Valerio, Ryan Ward and Clancey Buhler were the team’s top finishers.
The Grizzlies and Jaguars are scheduled to compete in the Region 3 championships Oct. 13. If they qualify, they will participate in the state 5A championships, which are scheduled for Oct. 21 at Sugarhouse Park.