Patriots ready to run the cross country season
Aug 01, 2018 11:36AM
● By Jana Klopsch
The Patriots traveled to Moab last season and participated in the Red Rock Classic cross country event. (Catherine Garrett/City Journals)
By Greg James | [email protected]
Providence Hall High School is hoping to improve on its eighth-place finish last season at the state cross country meet. And the team will begin the season with a new man at the helm.
“It is is exciting to be a new coach at this school,” Patriots head cross country coach Eric Williams said. “We have quite a few seniors and upperclassmen that all want to be better.”
The Patriots are led by senior Nolan Beck. He finished last season as region champion.
“My goal is to stick with Nolan this year,” junior Brandon Garrett said. “He is by far our best runner. Cross country is a great sport for me to use to stay in shape for my other sports (basketball and baseball).”
Beck placed 19th overall at the state cross country meet last season to lead the Patriots. TJ Warnick, Chase Francis, Will Keel, Nathan Lund, Caden Peterson and Evan Neff all finished within four minutes of each other.
All seven of the top boys runners are expected to return this season.
“I feel like since I have been at the school this varsity team is going to be the most competitive we have ever had,” Garrett said.
Williams is entering his first year as the team’s head coach. In summer workouts, he likes to run with his team to help coach members on technique and strategy in racing.
“He has been great so far,” Garrett said. “I like that he runs with us and trains by our side. That pushes us to be better.”
The girls team did not qualify for the state meet last season. It placed sixth at the Region 14 finals.
Abby Finlayson led the girls by placing 20th at the region memet. Brynne Rindlisbacher, Ann Seo, Maya Howell, Natalie Finlayson, Madison Mitchell and Lea Seo were the other top team finishers.
The girls team is scheduled to return all of its top varsity performers from last season.
High school cross country is a sport in which teams and individuals compete on courses over natural terrain such as dirt, grass and hills. It is both an individual sport and team competition. Teams score points based on finishing position. Most of the courses are about 3 miles in length.
“We feel like we are giving these kids every opportunity to get better,” Williams said. “We want them to have success. The girls and boys teams are improving every day, and they have been working hard this summer to improve.”
According to the Utah High School Activities Association rules, the first school meet can be held after Aug. 7. The state meet is scheduled to be held Oct. 17 at Sugar House Park.
The team is scheduled to compete at the Highland Invitational at Sugar House Park Friday, Aug. 17. The Patriots will also take part in the Red Rock Invitational Sept. 5 in Moab.
Lucy Biles of Herriman High School holds the sixth- and eighth-fastest times on the Sugar House course. It was slightly reconfigured in 2015.