Highland Hosts Cross Country Runners At State Meet


Highland Cross Country starts their race at the state meet.

Eli Adams, Feature Editor

Hoards of runners, completely silent, await the loud bang of the start gun. Schools from the far corners of Utah flood through the gates of Sugar House Park. Paramedics stand at attention in anticipation for collapsing runners. Coach Gary Rowles leads a small army of volunteers and staff to make sure the meet runs smoothly. A cool breeze chills everyone, from the runners to the onlookers. This is what it was like to experience the 2018 state cross country meet that took place on Wednesday, October 17th at Highland High School.

For the first time in many years, the Highland cross country team was able to send both their boys’ and girls’ varsity teams to compete in this meet. For a team to qualify for the state meet they must place at least fourth at the regional cross country meet. The varsity boys were able to secure the fourth place spot at Regions and the girls’ team came in third. These victories at the regional meet allowed our top 14 runners; seven from the boy’s team and seven from the girl’s team.

Although not placing in the top for the other teams running state, everyone had amazing performances. Highland’s top runner for the boys team was Will Olsen, and the top for the girls was Geneva Humbert. Both had amazing performances and had amazing races for the last of their high school cross country career.

“Our team really made the effort to push each other ever since the first day of summer training. We all helped each other to perform the their very best and it turned out being a great season,” Olsen said.

The runners were not the only students who committed their time to this event. Many of the members of the cross country team that were not running were excused from school to assist Coach Rowles in making sure the meet ran smoothly. They did many jobs such as running the concession stand, helping hydrate the runners, cleaning vomit, or simply cheering on the runners. The team helping at the meet has become a fun and important tradition to everyone who does it.

“It’s such a great opportunity, getting to help out at State every year. We get to see a lot of incredible athletes from around the state. The best part is that they are running on our home turf,” volunteer worker Jon Lambert said.

Although the cross country team is losing some strong members as the seniors graduate this year, they’re looking forward to strong performance in the future, with some excellent freshman runners making a good showing at this final meet of the season.