They did it again.
The Desert Hills boys cross country team beat Pine View by 27 points to claim its third consecutive 3A title at Sugar House Park on Wednesday. Thanks to the performances of Jaiden Melendrez (16:00.4), Spencer Ford (16:03.8), Sage Ducote (16:08.8) and Joshua Thatcher (16:13.2), the Thunder placed four runners in the Top 7 to run away with the victory.
“We’ve been working for this all year and to accomplish everything we set out to do is a big accomplishment,” Melendrez said.
Thatcher said it’s an honor to win it three times in a row.
“We definitely couldn’t be where we are at today if it wasn’t for all of our coaches,” Thatcher said. “They put so much time into our success and are always cheering and supporting us.”
However, the one spot the Thunder couldn’t catch was Pine View’s Nick Hill who took home the individual championship with a time of 15:43.5. Hill won by seven seconds, the largest margin over the past three years.
“Everyone was cheering so loud that I thought somebody was right behind me,” Hill said. “I just gave it all that I had down the stretch, and I’m just glad I was able to hold everyone off because there are so many great runners.”
Hill said he didn’t know he had a seven-second lead heading down to the last quarter mile stretch to the finish line.
“I always imagined myself winning it all,” he said. “Not in my wildest of dreams did I think I would win by this much though.”
With some minor adjustments made every year, this year was no different, but those changes seemed to be a little bit more noticeable with a run up some hills right out of the gates.
“The course was great and really suited us better as a team because we’re stronger on the hills, but it also take more of a toll on your body and slows you down a bit more at the same time,” Ducote said.
When asked what his secret was after winning for the third-straight year, Desert Hills head coach Logan Fielding laughed and said, “I don’t know if there is one. We have great kids who have bought into our system and they work hard. It also helps that they have tasted that success, and those kids really want it year in and year out.”
Canyon View’s McKade Steffensen finished second overall with a time of 15:50.6 to lead the Falcons to a fourth place finish as a team. Lance Prisbrey (16:53.4) and Adam Covington (16:53.7) finished 18th and 19th respectively. Kordell Baker finished right behind with a time of 16:55.4.
Cedar rounded out the Top 5 with 129 points. Luke Orison finished 13th with a time of 16:37.2. Eric Lambert (17:09.3), Tayson Meanea (17:09.6) and Jensen Lambert (17:11.1) all finished in the Top 30 for the Redmen. It was Cedar’s third consecutive year that it has finished fifth overall.
Follow Justin Giles on Twitter @Justingiles22.
Top 10 finishers
1. Nick Hill (Pine View) 15:43.5, 2.McKade Steffensen (Canyon View) 15:50.6, 3. Jaiden Melendrez (Desert Hills) 16:00.4, 4. Piercen Maez (Stansbury) 16:01.0, 5. Spencer Ford (Desert Hills) 16:03.8, 6. Sage Ducote (Desert Hills) 16:08.8, 7. Joshua Thatcher (Desert Hills) 16:13.2, 8. Dallen Gillespie (Pine View) 16:18.3, 9. Jack McCulloch (Logan) 16:25.4, 10. Hawk Call (Stansbury) 16:27.5
1. Desert Hills 32, 2. Pine View 59, 3. Stansbury 76, 4. Canyon View 93, 5. Cedar 129, 6. Logan 211, 7. Grantsville 218, 8. Union 237, 9. Bear River 267, 10. Hurricane 278.