American Fork is going for four straight boys’ cross country title. Davis is going for its fifth in six years in the girls’ competition. Can anything upset the established order?
Maybe each other.
The two programs bring not just a team to Sugar House Park for the state meet Wednesday afternoon — they bring a legacy. The Cavemen have been the definition of dominance in the last few years in the boys’ category, with a group that consistently has earned national rankings. The Davis girls’ team might be its best ever, even after winning each of the last two years.
It seems this season might bring more of the same. But the intriguing part is that the Davis boys and the American Fork girls could be the best chance at a spoiler for either dynasty.
“It’s getting to the point where I’m not nervous anymore for my girls,” Davis coach Corbin Tailey said. “But I definitely am for my boys. We have a team, like we have in years past, that might’ve been able to win state in another year if not for American Fork.”
The Cavemen have another strong team. They return four runners from last year’s nationals: Connor McMillan, Tyson Green, Brayden McLelland and Zachary Jacklin. All four have been running in a tight pack, guiding the school to a No. 3 national ranking by Milesplit.com.
The Darts hope to break in with Brayden Cromar and Alex Hedquist leading the pack. If those two can get ahead, there might be some hope for a Davis 5A sweep. American Fork, of course, will have something to say about that.
“It’s good to have stiff competition: It makes you train harder and gives the boys motivation to raise their game,” American Fork coach Timo Mostert said. “Davis is kind of in the same boat, bringing back some guys from nationals last year. I’ve told my kids that we need high-quality races out of all seven guys. It could come down to a tiebreaker.”
On the girls’ side, two-time individual champ Shea Martinez might be pushed the most by her first-year teammate, Ellie Child. The two have an ongoing rivalry on the Davis team, one that Tailey hopes eventually pushes his squad to new heights.
But a strong American Fork squad also could push them.
“There’s strong pack of about five girls who could mix it up,” Tailey said. “Maybe a couple slip in and get all-state. Our girls’ team is really solid, probably the best girls team I’ve coached. But it won’t necessarily be a hands-down victory.”
State cross country meet schedule
Wednesday, Sugarhouse Park
1A girls • 11 a.m.
2A girls • 11:30 a.m.
1A boys • noon
2A boys • 12:30 p.m.
3A girls • 1 p.m.
4A girls • 1:30 p.m.
5A girls • 2 p.m.
3A boys • 2:30 p.m.
4A boys • 3 p.m.
5A boys • 3:30 p.m.