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SALT LAKE CITY — A week ago both Region 11 individual champions had a goal for the upcoming 4A State Cross Country Championships.

The top girl and boy each said they wanted to finish in the top 10 at state. Mission accomplished.

Mountain Crest’s Abbie Case and Sky View’s Isaiah Crookston did just that Wednesday at the Regional Athletic Complex at Rose Park. The Mustang senior crossed in ninth place in 19 minutes, 17.8 seconds in the girls 5K race. The Bobcat junior was able to hold on for 10th place in 16:10.8.

“It was a great race to end on, but I am sad that it is over and won’t have any more races,” Case said. “I’m very excited for track in the spring.”

“I had a pretty good start,” Crookston said. “I tried to stay up with the front group, and I don’t know if that was smart or not. That killed me. It was agony for two miles. ... I’m really happy, but wish I could have done better.”

It was a vast improvement from a year ago for both runners. Case was 52nd at the state meet in 2020, while Crookston was 38th. That race was held in Cedar City, so comparing times is not fair since different courses were used. But both moved up significantly in the individual standings.

“I love the course, but today’s race was really, really hard,” Crookston said.

Teams from Region 10 in the St. George area dominated both 4A races. Pine View was able to win the girls race with 60 points, while Desert Hills and Cedar tied for second with 89 points. The Reds got the nod for second over the Thunder due to the tie-breaker, which accounted for the sixth runner on both teams. Ridgeline was the top team from Region 11, finishing in fourth with 110 points.

“We were trying to take second if everything went right,” Riverhawk Lexi Patrick said. “As a team, I’m happy. We had a good pack time.”

Other girls teams from Region 11 included Bear River in fifth (133), Green Canyon in seventh (189), Mountain Crest in 10th (246), Sky View in 11th (265) and Logan in 12th (316).

On the boys side, Cedar had its five point-getting runners place among the top 13 and finished with 35 points to win the title. Desert Hills was second with 53, having four runners in the top 12.

Green Canyon was the top Region 11 school, finishing in sixth (176), just three points out of fifth. The Wolves were able to beat region champ Bear River, which took eighth (200). Rounding out the northern region teams were Sky View in ninth (222), Ridgeline in 10th (240), Logan in 11th (272) and Mountain Crest in 12th (291).

“We did great as a team,” Wolves senior Jackson Monz said. “We had three guys within less than 30 seconds of each other, which that is our best yet. Our top five did really good.”

There were 13 schools at the 4A state meet.

The top individual girl was Cedar’s Carissa Hofeling, who led from start to finish, crossing the finish line in 17:52.0, 51 seconds ahead of her teammate Emma Page, who took second.

In the boys race, it was also a Cedar runner crossing first. Logan Peel clocked in at 15:36.7, beating runner-up Spencer Smith of Snow Canyon by 11 seconds.

Case continued her trend of picking off runners at the end, moving into the top 10 over the final 100 meters.

“The race was kind of up and down,” said Case, who hopes to run in college somewhere. “I got a huge side ache after the first mile, so my pace slowed a little. But I sprinted at the very end, and it was good enough.”

Two of those runners the Mustang was able to get by were Riverhawks. Patrick finished just out of the top 10 by less than two seconds. Patrick was 11th in 19:19.9, followed by teammate Sydnee Walton in 12th in 19:33.8.

“It was the best I could do today,” Patrick said. “I threw myself off at the start because my legs are a little sore and I thought about that the first 100 meters, and that threw me off for the first mile.”

Patrick was in seventh with less than a quarter mile to go.

“Abbie zoomed by my and brought three girls with her,” Patrick said. “I was hoping to hold her off. She is a smart runner. I thought I was 12th, so maybe I could have pushed it in if I knew I was 11th, but honestly I gave it all I had.”

With Patrick being a senior, Walton, a sophomore, could be the next leader for Ridgeline. Walton has run right behind Patrick all season.

“I was mainly trying to stay with Lexi and be within 10 seconds of her,” Walton said. “Lexi is really good, so I try to go out a little slower and then catch up with her. Today was pretty good, and Lexi did really good.”

“Sydnee is amazing,” said Patrick, who hopes to get a running scholarship for college. “I’m looking forward to watching her next year.”

The course was flat and pretty wet in some places. Runners had to be aware of slick corners.

“Since I don’t have spikes, it was kind of hard to run with the sogginess,” Walton said. “I think I would have done better on hills, but it was fun. ... I did better running wise this year, but last year the course was fun.”

Green Canyon’s Katie Latvakoski was 14th in 19:45.0. Kaylee Grigg led Sky View, coming in 29th in 20:23.6. Taylor Laney was the top Logan runner, finishing in 32nd in 20:31.6.

In the boys race, Crookston ran so hard he collapsed briefly after finishing.

“I told myself I could lay down when I finished the race,” Crookston said. “So I did for about five seconds.”

Fellow Bobcat Jaime Tellez-Quiroz was 14th in 16:31.6.

“Jaime has been doing really, really good,” Crookston said. “It has been awesome to see.”

Tellez-Quiroz has been right behind Crookston most of the season. The senior liked how it went Wednesday.

“Me and Isaiah had a plan to stay together the first two miles and from there do whatever we wanted,” Tellez-Quiroz said. “I’m happy he placed. I’m happy with my time. I really wanted to medal (top 10), but I’m still happy. What matters is I had an amazing race my senior year.”

Last year Tellez-Quiroz finished 78th, so he made a big step forward in 2021.

“I feel like I won with how I ran,” Tellez-Quiroz said. “Me and Isaiah trained so hard this year. We put in a lot of work.”

Monz finished 18th in 16:38.0. The senior has been sick for nearly a month and dealing with a bum ankle.

“I felt like I could actually breathe well in this race,” Monz said. “I think I could have run better had I not been sick and my ankle. The course was a bit slow, but it was good. It is really muddy and soggy. ... This was probably my best race this season.”

Clark Campbell was second Green Canyon runner to come in, placing 28th in 16:49.1.

“Clark had an amazing race,” Monz said. “He was really good.”

Tate Hickman led Ridgeline, finishing 17th in 16:36.7. Mountain Crest was led by Hyrum Staffanson in 24th place in 16:46.3. Logan’s Jacob Anderson was the top Grizzly, finishing 34th in 17:09.1.

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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