Preston cross country

Preston hosted its annual invitational on Wednesday and won both races in convincing fashion.

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After a big snowstorm Tuesday, running conditions were not ideal for the Preston Invitational on Wednesday.

But that really didn’t hamper the hosts from dominating on both the girls and boys side at the Preston Golf and Country Club, where the races were held. There were nine teams that competed in the girls race and 10 in the boys.

Preston easily won both competitions as well as it had the top individual finishers in each race. On the girls side, the hosts finished with 22 points, easily beating the field and had a large lead over second-place Soda Springs with 68 points. The Preston boys nearly had a perfect score, which is 15, by finishing with 17 points. Second-place Sugar-Salem had 46.

“The girls continue to get better and better each week,” Preston head coach Tyler Jones said. “Times were a little slower because the course was a little long (3.2 miles) and the conditions were wet and soggy.”

McKinley Scott led the Indians, covering the course in 19 minutes, 56 seconds. Preston’s Oakley Reid was second in 20:05.

“McKinley Scott finished first and ran a good race,” Jones said. “We placed seven girls in the top 11, and our pack time was a season-best 56 seconds. Our two freshmen, our number five and six runners Tenley Kirkbride and Ashley Scott, really stepped up.”

Kirkbride was eighth overall (20:51) and Ashley Scott was ninth (21:00). Elly Jeppsen was fifth (20:46), Angelie Scott took sixth (20:50) and Alyssa Crowther was 11th (21:11).

Green Canyon competed at the invitational, taking fifth on the girls side with 117 points. The Wolves were led by Katie Latvakoski, who took fourth in 20:40.

The rest of field in the girls race included Sugar-Salem (89), Malad (112), Green Canyon, Bear Lake (138), Marsh Valley (185), Box Elder (224) and Minico (252).

On the boys side, it was all Preston. The top four finishers were all from the host school. Edison Leffler led the charge for the reigning 4A state champions, finishing in 16:39. He was followed by teammates Garrett Hale (17:23), Luke Visser (17:23) and Reynger Davidsavor (17:28). Gage Cordiner was seventh (17:47) for the fifth Preston runner that counts toward the team score.

“Edison Leffler continues to improve,” Jones said. “Our boys were great, placing five of the top seven runners and seven of the top 14 runners.”

Jackson Monz led Green Canyon, placing ninth in 17:56. Bradyn Noreen was the top runner for West Side, finishing in 16th with a time of 18:12.

Rounding out the rest of the boys team scores were Green Canyon in third with 107, followed by West Side (119), Soda Springs (149), Bear Lake (192), Malad (185), Box Elder (192), Marsh Valley (271) and Minico (275).

“We just want to continue to build on this and run our best the next two weeks at district and state,” Jones said.

The Indians will run at the district championship next Thursday at Ross Park in Pocatello. State is the following week.

REGION 11 DUALS

There were two duals this past week involving Region 11 schools. Sky View hosted Ridgeline and Mountain Crest welcomed Logan to Hyrum.

At Smithfield, the Sky View boys edged Ridgeline, 27 to 30, while the Riverhawk girls cruised to a 18 to 39 win. The top three boys were all Bobcats in Isaiah Crookston (16:06), Jaime Tellez-Quiroz (17:02) and Rome Greenmun (17:32). Ethan Krohn led Ridgeline, finishing fourth (17:33).

The top three girls were Riverhawks in Lexi Patrick (19:22), Sydnee Walton (19:34) an Brynlee Brown (20:28). Sky View’s Kaylee Grigg was fourth in 20:59.

At Hyrum, the Mustangs won both the boys and girls duals. In the boys, it was 24 to 33, while the girls won 28 to 29.

Mountain Crest’s Hyrum Staffanson was the top boy, clocking in at 11:48 on the 2.2-mile course. Logan’s Sam Lorimer was second in 12:01.

Abigail Case was the top female as the Mustang covered the course in 14:17. Logan’s Taylor Laney was second in 14:52.

Region 11 will hold its championship races on Wednesday at the Steve & Donna Reeder Course on the campus of Utah State University. The varsity girls will run at noon, with the boys running at 12:30.

Shawn Harrison is the sports editor at The Herald Journal. He can be reached at sharrison@hjnews.com or 435-792-7233.

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