State cross country roundup: Capital boys win title

STATESMAN STAFFNovember 2, 2013 

Mountain View's Sam McKinnon crosses the finish line to win the 5A girls race Saturday at Freeman Park in Idaho Falls.

PAT SUTPHIN — (Idaho Falls) Post Register

The Capital boys surprised the field to win their first state title since 2004, and fifth overall since 1965, at Saturday’s 5A meet at Freeman Park in Idaho Falls.

Four of the Eagles’ scoring runners finished in the top 20, led by Drew Schultz’s third-place time of 16 minutes, 31.77 seconds in the 5k. Zach Wiberg was 10th (16:48.31), Jacob Davis 13th (17:00.08), Corbin Williams 17th (17:06.78) and Joe Mullener 31st (17:24.51), giving Capital 57 points. Tanner Eastep (49) and Preston Thomas (69) rounded out Capital’s competitors.

District Three champ Mountain View came in second with 64 points, followed by Rocky Mountain (119), Madison (128) and Vallivue (130).

All seven of the Mavericks’ runners finished before Capital’s fifth runner, and Mountain View coach Tracy Harris said coaches began to congratulate him shortly after the race. It wasn’t until the official points were released that the Eagles learned they had won.

“We thought that we had lost, so I pulled the team together and told them regardless of what happened today, that was one of the most phenomenal performances I’ve ever seen from a team I’ve coached in high school,” Capital coach John Doherty said.

“Right at that time, Tracy Harris came over to us and just real classy, started looking at our guys and said, ‘You guys won.’ All our guys were kind of just numb.”

The individual race was a repeat of last week’s district meet, as Timberline senior Andrew Rafla and Mountain View senior Sam McKinnon each won their first state championship.

Rafla was one of two boys to complete the course in less than 16 minutes, finishing in 15:54.48 to hold off Meridian’s Dwain Stucker (16:18.0), who won the title last season.

“I kind of hung in with the front pack for the first 3,800 or 4,000 meters,” Rafla said. “The last 1,000 to 1,200 I just tried to make a move and separate as much as I could, kind of throw the hammer down.”

McKinnon overcame three previous years of disappointment and injuries to claim the girls championship. She was the only female runner to eclipse the 19-minute mark in any classification, crossing the finish line in 18:26.31. Vallivue’s Mikayla Malaspina was second in 19:05.51.

“I definitely left everything out there. It was hard,” said McKinnon of a course that included tight turns and five uphill portions. “It’s been really great. I’ve been working a long time for this, so it feels pretty amazing.”

Two-time defending state champion Emily Hamlin helped the Boise girls win the second-place trophy with her fourth-place finish.

Coeur d’Alene repeated as team champion with 63 points. Rocky Mountain was third (108), followed by Idaho Falls (109) and Mountain View (122).


Girls: Sandpoint edged Preston 101-102, while Pocatello was third (113), Bishop Kelly fourth (140) and Skyview fifth (164). Preston’s Caitlin Elgan (19:29.21) won the individual championship by a few strides over Pocatello’s Molly Vitale-Sullivan (19:32.29). Skyview’s Jocelyn Barber (20:19.53), the District Three champ, was the top local runner in seventh.

Boys: Pocatello’s Elijah Armstrong collected his third consecutive championship and clocked the best time among all classifications in 15:41.08. The Indians repeated as team champions with 29 points. Bishop Kelly was second with 106, led by Daniel Elia’s seventh-place run (16:53.76).


Girls: Olivia Redd of Sugar-Salem successfully defended her title, winning in 19:22.39 as the Diggers repeated as team champs. District Three champion Harlie Sorrell of Parma was fourth (20:10.62), and the Panthers took fifth.

Boys: Shelley’s Austin Stewart won by nearly 30 seconds over his nearest competitor, finishing in 16:35.17 to help the Russets earn the title. Homedale’s Cole Hungate, the reigning District Three champion, was 10th (17:53.38).


Girls: Soda Springs runners swept the first five places to win their fourth team title in a row. Kelsey Yamauchi won the individual title in 19:37.62. Melba earned the second-place trophy behind a sixth-place finish from Sierra Manzer, last year’s individual champ.

Boys: Soda Springs made it a sweep of the 2A team races, finishing with 35 points to second-place Coeur d’Alene Charter’s 82. W. Leif Fredericks crossed the line in 17:00.74 to win the individual title. Victory Charter was the top placer among District Three schools in sixth, led by Gabe Fisher’s 10th-place run.

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