After solid start, Hillcrest runners race to unexpected finishDec 14, 2020 12:20PM ● By Julie Slama
Hillcrest cross country girls took third place and boys, fourth, at the region race on Oct. 1 at Big Cottonwood Regional Park. (Julie Slama/City Journals)
By Julie Slama | [email protected]
In what Hillcrest coach Scott Stucki describes as “interesting,” many of his cross country runners opted to self-quarantine to ensure they would be able to run in the final races of the season.
While having solid performances, especially from his seniors through most of the season, Stucki was pleased with the girls team third place at region, led by freshman Anna Ames’ 12th place finish, and the boys fourth place, led by senior Anthony Davies, who won the race.
Then, overall, the girls had their only “disappointing” race of the season finishing 12th at the new divisional race, which left them out of state meet for the first time in seven years. Senior Megan Liddiard qualified individually, and raced to place 105th at the meet, which was moved to Soldier Hollow to help with social distancing.
“When I look back at the season, I can put the disappointment about not qualifying for state in perspective and can see how much we improved from last year; we just had one bad race and it was at the worst possible time,” he said. “Even the boys are running faster than before.”
The boys team finished fourth at region, ninth at divisionals before they had their state race which Stucki described overall as a team as, “we didn’t finish where we could have, but we finished where we should have” in 18th place.
Davies individually finished second at divisionals and third at state, the highest finish for a Husky since 2009, which also was a third-place finish.
Stucki was particularly pleased with sophomore Sam Timmerman’s state run, described as “a really great race” where he finished third for the team on the hard, hilly course.
“We are losing our biggest group of seniors on the girls team we’ve had in a long time. Next year, our girls team only has a couple returning varsity runners, but we’ll have runners we can move up,” Stucki said. “The boys lost a big talented group last year. Next year, we’ll have a strong team, with five of our top nine runners coming back.”