Peter Nielsen put another state performance in the record books for the boys from Bear River last week.
Nielsen brought home a fifth-place medal by running the second fastest time in school history with a mark of 16:01 at Cedar City High School on Wednesday, Oct. 21.
“Peter really wanted to break 16 minutes, but he also wanted a medal,” Coach Dan Line said. “He will take fifth place with a huge smile on his face. Really proud of him and all he has done this year.”
Nielsen was fresh off an individual region championship the week before and had his sights set on the state podium. He had previously ran against the best in the field several weeks earlier on the same course, finishing 10th.
“Peter was really running solid at Region and I thought he was in the mix to break into the top five,” Line said. “He did that and almost took third.”
Fellow senior teammate Daniel Curtis almost made it two runners from Bear River on the medals stand. Curtis finished 23rd (16:40).
“Daniel did what he had to do,” Line said. “He has grown as much as any athlete in the history of the program.”
The boys had hopes of possibly finishing in the top five like the girls, but it wasn’t to be. The boys did come in the top half of the race with a 9th place finish.
“I really think two things held us back,” Line said. “One was the trip we took earlier to Cedar. We had to do it one day. We raced at home five days later and then ran our hearts out to win region six days after that. It probably was too much for them to bounce back and do great at state. We probably emptied the tank too much, but we aren’t trading a region title for a better spot at state.”
The rest of the boys squad that competed at the 2020 4A State Championships included junior Ammon Hunter (69th, 17:30), senior Gabe Wilson (72nd, 17:32), junior Matt Spotten (83rd, 17:40), senior Keyjun Hale (88th, 17:49) and junior Phillip Gallegos (99th, 17:58).
Line said the team has a great shot next year to continue with the success they have seen the last several years. Line and Neal thanked the high school administration for their support, especially athletic director Van Park, plus all the parents, area businesses and new assistant coach Ben Wynn for their help.
The team will celebrate the season at their annual Dinner and Awards Banquet on Tuesday, Nov. 10 at 6:30 p.m. in the Bear River High School Commons. All athletes are invited with a maximum of two guests per family.