Springville Cross Country is heading to State after making history at Regions

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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.”  

By Josh Ornelas, SHS News Writer