The Southwest region continues to build a strong case at Nike Cross Nationals.
It's difficult to say, though, what was the biggest statement on the day for region Southwest. Was it Katie Rainsberger's drop-the-field surge about midway through the girls race, or was it American Fork--whom Rich Gonzalez labeled as the last team to get into NXN--taking second in the boys race.
The first was, perhaps, almost expected, but no less jaw-dropping on account of that. The second was right in line with what you might expect from a Timo Mostert-coached team, but no less jaw-dropping on account of that.
We could further note that American Fork was leading the scoring through four runners. Great Oak passed them at #5, but it was a superlative effort from the only #4 team to make the NXN field.
And, behind American Fork, it was a veritable parade of Southwest teams. Timpanogos checked in at #5, up seven places from last year. Lone Peak finished in 11th and Mountain Vista in 12th. That's four of the top 12 teams in the nation from the Southwest region.
Of special interest there is that Mountain Vista's #5 of Ryan Currie crossed the line before all but four other teams. In a more typical field of teams, that likely would have spelled a higher finish for Mountain Vista, but the usual rules of thumb for cross country scoring get altered a little when the field is as stacked as NXN always is.
The Southwest domination was repeated in the individual tally.
When Paul Roberts' Ferrari ran low on fuel, Casey Clinger took over and took the win. Ogden's Alek Parsons followed close behind in third. In all, the Southwest region ended up with four of the top 13, and seven of the top 25, individual places.
Hats off the Clinger, Parsons, Roberts, Henry Raymond, Joe Benson, Ben Butler, and William Handley on account of storming the top of the leader board like that.
For the Southwest girls, the results were not quite as auspicious, but it was a solid day at Glendoveer nonethless.
Aside from Rainsberger's dominating run, the highlight for the girls would be American Fork finishing in sixth, up 16 places from last year. Davis and Xavier were a ways back at places 20 and 21. Of note there, Davis had only six finishers as usual #2 Aubrey Argyle was not part of today's effort.
Courtney Wayment (17th) and Brie Oakley (26th) were the Southwest's top finishers after Rainsberger. Individual qualifier Lauren Gregory was not part of the Southwest effort today on account of injury.
The American Fork scoring wave commenced with Sara Musselman in 54th (19 team points).