When the Bear River boys’ cross-country team last won a region title 10 years ago, the team followed it up with a state championship.
This year’s squad has completed the first of those two feats, and will look to follow in the footsteps of the 2010 team today in Cedar City.
Last week, the boys traveled to Cache Valley for the Region 11 championships, where they unseated defending champion and perennial powerhouse Ridgeline. As they have all season long, Bear River seniors Peter Nielsen and Daniel Curtis led the way, and their supporting cast came through in the clutch to help secure the region crown.
“That was a huge win for them and the program,” Boys Coach Dan Line said. “They got it and it is going into the rafters and we are engraving the names of some special kids on that trophy.”
To make the victory even sweeter, senior leader and varsity captain Peter Nielsen thrived under pressure and secured the individual title with a time of 16 minutes, 18 seconds. Not to be outdone by his teammate, fellow senior Daniel Curtis came in second (16:30).
“Having Peter and Daniel makes us look good as coaches,” Line said.
Coming into the meet, the team knew Ridgeline, Mountain Crest and Green Canyon all had top runners to match the duo of Nielsen and Curtis. They also knew their second wave of runners had to match the other teams to get the win, including
Gabe Wilson (12th, 17:16) Ammon Hunter (16th, 17:23), Keyjun Hale (17th, 17:24), Phillip Gallegos (28th, 18:00) and Kourtlan Rasmussen, 29th, 18:04).
Line said the boys’ performance was really a great team effort as Gallegos had been injured and regular No. 5 runner Matt Spotten had been really sick coming into the meet.
“When they went down, we knew we needed at least two of the boys to step up,” he said. “Keyjun and Ammon stepped in today and took care of things for region. Kourtlan, too. That’s what being a team is.”
Bear River finished with 48 points, with Ridgeline coming in second at 58. Mountain Crest (81), Green Canyon (81), Logan (111) and Sky View (120) rounded out the field.
The Bears’ junior varsity boys dominated the meet with a 24-48 win over second-place Ridgeline. Medalists were individual champion Matt Spotten (1st), Davis Bourgeous (2nd), Ryan Pace (6th), Will Rhodes (7th), Carter Hamson (8th), Braxton Craven (10th), Tate Pedersen (11th), Dallin Rhodes (15th).
The team will travel down to Cedar City on Tuesday, Oct. 20 in preparation for the 4A state championships on Wednesday, Oct. 21. The boys’ varsity run is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at Cedar City High School.