On Wednesday, October 19, Springville High’s cross country team traveled to Sugarhouse Park to participate in the Utah State Championships. Tensions were high for the Red Devil athletes because this was what the team had been training for all year.
The first race for the team was the girls 4A division. The girls ran great and finished 6th which was five places higher than their performance from last year. But the real highlight of that race was Julie Sumsion who was the first to cross the line in a time of 17:55.8. After she finished, she was swarmed by friends, family and the media. This was her goal that she had for herself since day one.
Sumsion said, “It was probably at 400 to go when I passed the leader that I knew I could win, and it hit me when I broke the tape that I was the state champion.”
The team was so excited for her and it was great to see her finish in first. Kaitlyn Gee finished as the team’s fifth runner and was that last scorer to boost the girls to 6th.
Gee said, “It’s a lot of pressure being the fifth runner, knowing that you got to pass all the other team's fourth and fifth runners. In the end, every person counts.”
The boys team finished 3rd led by Grant Gardner who is now ranked 22nd in the nation after his performance at state.
Gardner commented on his performance and said that being ranked didn’t come to him as a big surprise, but he was glad that he was finally able to be known as one of the best runners in the country. Gardner’s time of 15:04.2 makes him the fastest Sophomore in the state meets history.
Gardner said, “You know, it’s really cool to see all the amazing things our state has done and all of the great runners who have come. It just shows that I’ve run some pretty fast times, and I’m excited for my junior and senior year.”
Also having incredible performances were the Garnica twins Brandon and Caleb. Caleb finished 87th last year and Brandon 33rd. This year Brandon finished in 4th, followed by Caleb in 23rd. They credit their performances to their coaches and all the hard work they put in over the summer.
The boys race was crazy seeing how the top 4 teams were only separated by 22 points. Olympus downed the defending champions Timpanogos, followed closely by Springville and Ogden. Overall, Springville finished 4th in the state merged results ahead of a lot of other talented teams.
Springville will now head down as a team to Arizona so that they can compete in the Nike Cross Southwest Regionals. This is the race that determines who will go to Nationals.
On Tuesday, October 18, our Springville Lady Red Devil Sophomore, JV, and Varsity teams hosted the Salem Hills Lady Skyhawks in volleyball matchups. Although the varsity games were close, Salem Hills left with the victory, 3-0.
Breast cancer awareness night included the "Dig Pink" t-shirts worn by the players, students, and crowd.
Springville and Salem Hills were both tied for the football Region 8 Title headed into the last game of the season on Thursday, October 13. The outcome of the showdown would determine the Region 8 Champion.
Payton Kelepolo rushed for four touchdowns while Jantsen Thorpe rushed for one touchdown and caught another one to help Springville take the big victory and the region championship over Salem Hills, 49-14. Ty Eriksson and Brennen Rymer each had one TD to add to the win. Game played at Salem Hills High.
Springville will play at home in the first round of 4A state football playoffs on Saturday, October 29.
On Friday, October 7, the Springville Cross Country team traveled to Spanish Fork to participate in the Region 8 Championships. The boys owned the varsity race by placing its top 4 individuals in the first 6 places. Grant Gardner defended his region title by winning the meet with a time of 15:06.1 for 3 miles, followed by teammates Brandon Garnica (2nd), Haden Penrod (3rd), and Caleb Garnica (6th). This is the first time in school history that the boys team has ever won regions.
Gardner said, “It was a very exciting race. It was cool to see the boys win in such a dominating fashion.”
Gardner said his personal goal heading into state is to take the individual title and to give his team that low stick score. Haden Penrod was stoked with how the boys finished. Penrod has been on the Varsity squad since his freshman year. So, for the team to win regions his senior year, was an awesome feeling.
The girls finished in second place only 3 points off of Maple Mountain. Julie Sumsion won the race in a time of 17:54.4. She was followed by teammates Ella Park (6th) and Mariah Skinner (9th). Sumsion said that the team did really good.
“The team has worked so hard all season, and it was very hard to finish 2nd by only three points,” said Sumsion.
Park said the race was fun but hard. “It was hard to win with the Maple Mountain runners running as a pack, but it was fun and it helped push us,” said Park
Overall, the boys and girls Varsity and JV teams finished either first or second in all of the races. After this race, the boys proved they will be a team to watch at State. Springville has had a very successful season beating nationally ranked schools and writing history along the way.
Head Coach Sam Smith said, “The team exceeded the expectations that they had. The boys went in as the favorite, but the girls came in as the second ranked team. Almost everyone beat their personal records which was the overall goal for the team.” Smith went on to explain, “I know the girls are frustrated with finishing second. I talked with the Maple Mountain coach and he complimented us saying that we really made his team work for the Region Title. I know we can beat Maple Mountain, which is one of our goals going into state. We hope to see the girls place top 3 at state and for the boys to win state. Grant and Julie have run really well for us all season, but we need everyone else to run their best because they can’t win state on their own.”
If the boys can finish on the podium at state, this will improve their chances at earning an invitation to the National meet in December.
Gardner commented, “In order for us to win state, we need to race how we’ve been racing all season. We don’t need to do anything crazy. We just need everyone to do their job and we can walk out of it with the state trophy.”
Springville hasn't consistently been recognized for their cross coutry teams in the past. It has managed to produce some great individual runners who were very successful at the collegiate level. But, this is the first time in which the Red Devils have had an extremely talented boys and girls team in the same season.
Penrod said, “Not a lot of people know who we are right now. Springville is just another school that hasn’t really been recognized for its cross country team. Hopefully, after state, we will be able to emerge and receive the recognition we deserve.”
The Springville Red Devils remain undefeated on the season after a huge 49-6 win over Payson in region play at home on Friday, October 7. Jantsen Thorpe connected with Brennen Rymer for two touchdowns while Payton Kelepolo and Bradley Nicol added two rushing touchdowns a piece; Cole Bowers also added a touchdown in the win.