San Juan cross country teams head to state with academic honors
by Jessica Walker
Thursday, October 21 brought an action-packed day for the San Juan cross country teams. Traveling over five hours to attend the 2A Region 19 Championships in Mt. Carmel, UT at the Thunderbird Golf Course, the Broncos raced in impressive fashion from start to finish.
In the 2A classification, the top three teams qualify for state as do individuals who place in the top ten and the top three runners who are not on a qualifying team if those runners are not in the top ten individual qualifiers.
The goal for the Broncos was for both the boys and the girls teams to qualify for state, a feat that hadn’t been accomplished for six years. Each team showed their grit and determination as they plowed through the 5K course with rolling hills.
All of San Juan’s hard work this season paid off when both teams qualified for state with third-place finishes. The girls team beat their nearest competitor by a comfortable margin, while the boys team trailed first-place Beaver by only 11 points (well within striking distance for the state meet).
The girls were first up, starting their race only five minutes ahead of the boys team. Racing to the finish first for the Broncos and battling it out with her brother Edward Lyman was Ella Lyman.
She came in third at the region race, with a time almost two minutes faster than when she last raced the same course a few weeks ago.
Lyman was followed by Dinebahh Eddie in 15th place. Eddie showed incredible speed and talent in her first race of the season and was an essential contributor to the team performance as a whole.
A mere second behind Eddie was Sofie Hook who crossed the finish line in 16th place. Hook creamed her previous performance on this course by a whopping five minutes.
Perkins was followed by Caroline Crippen who set her fourth personal record in a row and captured a 20th-place finish. She was followed by Saylor Perkins who came home 25th.
Rounding out the Lady Broncos were three amazing performances, each runner setting a personal record by over a minute. Taryn Perkins was the first of the pack coming in with a 30th-place finish. She was followed by Megan Black (33rd), and Nadia Armajo (34th).
The girls team also showed that they are successful not only on the cross country course, but also in the classroom. As a team, they gained top academic honors in the 2A division with their combined GPA.
Next to race was the boys team. Edward Lyman paced the boys with a spectacular race and a third-place finish. Lyman was followed by a tight pack of four runners who came in 14th-17th.
Spencer Jensen led that group and was followed only one second later by Abe Lyman. Lyman was followed by Ryan McCullough and Toby Ward.
Daniel Jolley came in close behind his pack of teammates with only a single runner separating him and his teammates. Jolley’s performance earned him a 19th place finish. Rounding out the boys team were Logan Keith and Dakota Long, who finished in 33rd and 42nd.
Only the top eight runners from each team were able to compete in the varsity race, but the rest of the team was given the opportunity to run in a combined male-female junior varsity (JV) race after the other races were contested.
The boys competing in the JV race represented San Juan High by taking first place as a team with a nearly perfect score. Nate Redd was the first Bronco to come in, smashing his personal best time by almost a minute and a second-place finish.
Josh Nielson came in next with a third-place finish. He was followed by his teammate Tayden Bitsoie in fourth. Bitsoie was followed by Tatum Begay (fifth) and Austin Pincock (sixth).
The Broncos’ next competition is the 2021 2A State Championships this Wednesday, October 27 at the Regional Athletic Complex in Salt Lake City. The girls race begins at 11 a.m. with the boys getting underway at 11:30 a.m. Good luck to all the runners who are competing!