The final tune-up of the regular season was a smashing success for Preston’s cross country programs.
The Indians dominated the competition on the boys and girls sides at the annual Preston Invitational, which was contested Wednesday at the Preston Golf Course. Additionally, the Preston boys finished with a perfect score of 15 points, meaning they had the top five placers.
Sugar-Salem was second in the boys competition with 58 points, followed by Soda Springs (77), West Side (117), Box Elder (156), Burley (168), Bear Lake (213), Minico (215) and Malad (263).
The Preston girls also outpointed the nine-team field in comfortable fashion as they finished with 30 points to runner-up Sugar-Salem’s 77. Rounding out the girls field were Soda Springs (90), Bear Lake (123), West Side (135), Malad (154), Burley (164), Box Elder (200) and Minico (223).
For the second straight meet, all five of Preston’s scoring runners on the boys side broke the 17-minute barrier. Sam Jeppsen led the way with a blistering 5-kilometer time of 15 minutes, 58 seconds.
Edison Leffler was the silver medalist and he covered the course in 16:05. Jeppsen and Leffler were followed by teammates Garrett Hale (16:32), Dawson Leffler (16:48) and Reynger Davidsavor (16:49), giving Preston’s top five harriers a solid 51-second spread.
The Indians also had three other placers among the top 12 in Luke Visser (10th, 17:21), Druw Jones (11th, 17:22) and Gage Cordner (12th, 17:24).
West Side had a pair of athletes earn a spot in the top 20 in Brentan Noreen (14th, 17:27) and younger brother Bradyn Noreen (17th, 17:30).
The Preston girls had four of the top seven finishers, paced by freshman Angelie Scott’s bronze medal winning time of 19:34. Older sister McKinley Scott placed fifth as she clocked in at 19:51, and she was immediately followed by teammates Maren Leffler (20:15) and Elly Jeppsen (20:17).
Oakley Reid, the fourth Preston freshman to cross the finish line, was ninth (20:25), while Rachel Lee, the team’s lone senior in the varsity lineup, was 14th (20:58). Like the boys, the Preston girls also had a 51-second spread for their five scoring runners.
The girls title was captured by West Side freshman standout Aubrie Barzee, who completed the course with an impressive time of 19:12, which was five seconds faster than district rival Elise Kelsey of Bear Lake. Kelsey was the bronze medalist at the 2019 2A State Championships.
Barzee and Kelsey have gone back and forth in 2020, and Barzee has won a handful of meets.
West Side’s Ashlyn Willis, an all-state performer a year ago, powered her way to the No. 12 spot and clocked in at 20:37.