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South Valley Riverton Journal

Silverwolves have great showing in 6A state cross country championship

Dec 01, 2023 11:17AM ● By Josh McFadden

In a deep and talented field of runners and teams, the Riverton cross country team more than held its own. 

At the Oct. 26 state meet, Riverton placed fourth in Class 6A on both the boys’ and girls’ side. The boys had five runners in the top 61 of all participants, including three in the top 25. Meanwhile, the girls edged out Herriman and were 34 points behind third-place Westlake. The girls placed three runners in the top 25 and five in the top 48.

“The girls taking fourth overall was a huge highlight of the state meet,” assistant coach Janel Warren said. “This was their highest finish since 2015 and a huge confidence boost for what we are capable of as a team. Both boys and girls finished about where we expected them to. Boys still looked very fit, even though some of their performances at state didn't reflect their fitness.”

Junior Mya Oyler was the top Riverton girls team runner. She finished the race in 18:33.3, good enough for 11th place overall. Sophomore Grace Swanson was second on the team and 21st overall with a time of 19:14.3. Senior Melanie Anderson was 25th with a time of 19:20. Freshman Isabel Preston ran the course in 19:44.8 for 44th place, while junior Chloe Swain was 48th, running the race in 19:49.9. Seniors Maggie Lund and Chloe Cornia ran the race in 19:55.0 and 20:24.5, respectively. 

“[Oyler], [Anderson] and [Swanson] stood out on the girls side at state,” Warren said. “All three ran top-10 all-time marks for Riverton. Oyler is second all-time, Swanson is eighth all-time and Anderson is 10th all-time. They performed well at region too, with all three placing in the top 10. Oyler is the Region 2 champ, with a Riverton record of 18:36 on the region course.”

The boys had some standouts too. 

Junior Corbin Randall was the top Riverton competitor. He was 13th among all 6A runners with a time of 15:31.8. Senior Samuel Ghiz wasn’t far behind, running the race in 15:45.3. Fellow senior Gage Helm was 25th with a time of 15:49.1. Another senior, Luke Horner, had a good showing with a 16:07.6 race. 

In region, the girls brought home the Region 2 title, while the boys were just four points behind Herriman and took second. For the boys, Ghiz and Andrew Ludwig both broke the all-time region course records. Ludwig was the region champion. 

“Another great thing to remember about this season is how fun it was to see so many improvements throughout the season,” Warren said. “We took the JV kids to JV state, and they ran awesome. Lots of personal records were set. We have a group of freshmen boys working really hard right now, and it's going to be fun to see them continue to progress. Overall, we’re very happy with how the season went. We saw progression on every level, from JV to Varsity. It was fun to watch the kids get fitter and see improvement throughout the season.”

Next season, Riverton could be a force. Warren said both teams will be difficult to beat. 

“Next season looks to be really fun,” she said. “Both boys and girls should be able to compete with the best in the country. We return four out of our top five girls and three out of our top seven boys. The returning runners just need to keep showing up and working hard. Consistency with doing the little things will always win out.”

Warren said she loves being on the Riverton staff where she gets to interact with great young people and see them grow and develop—not just in competition but away from it. 

“These kids inspire us every day to be better,” she said. “It's been fun to watch them become the best versions of themselves, which makes us show up for them as the best versions of ourselves every day.” λ