SALT LAKE CITY — Desert Hills’ Jaiden Melendrez wasn’t about to let his senior season slip by.
Despite being involved in a car accident last week — and yet somehow still managed to win the Region 9 title — the senior gave everything he could to help Desert Hills win its fourth consecutive 3A state title at Sugar House Park Wednesday afternoon.
And it’s a good thing he did as the Thunder (46 points) needed everything to hold off Pine View (50 points) to take home the team title.
“It’s amazing. It means so much to me,” Melendrez said. “That’s how I wanted to end my senior season and I’m glad I could do with this team.”
The senior finished with a time of 15:27.1, nearly 33 seconds faster than his time last year.
“I was disappointed with my third-place finish last year and that just gave me a lot of motivation coming in,” Melendrez said. “I had a different mindset this year with it being my last year, and despite the (car) accident and everything, I just stay positive and resilient through it all.”
Both Desert Hills and Pine View each had three runners in the Top 10.
Desert Hills’ Spencer Ford was right behind Melendrez to finish second overall with a time of 15:30.4 and Bryson King finished ninth with a time of 16:12.6 to help lead the Thunder.
“At the two-mile mark I thought Pine View was going to do it, but the guys finished super strong and that’s what sealed the deal,” said Desert Hills head coach Logan Fielding.
When asked how he’s kept the streak going, Fielding smiled and after joking that it was all coaching, gave all the credit to the program.
“The younger kids see the success that we’ve had every year and it just pushes them and motivates them,” he said. “This is probably the sweetest win because we had four guys this year that came into the season without any varsity experience and they all stepped up.”
Pine View was led by junior Carson Horspool (15:51.3), and seniors Dallen Gillespie (16:00.6), Mitchell Price (16:05.6). The trio finished fifth, sixth and seventh, in a valiant attempt to knock off the defending champs.
Hurricane was led by brothers Caleb (15:45.5) and Caden (16:10.9) Armstrong who finished fourth and eighth respectively. The Tigers finished in fifth just five points behind Canyon View which took fourth.
The Falcons were led by Justin Hunt (16:17.7), Adam Covington (16:29.1 16.) and Kordell Baker (16:44.2.)
In 1A, Parowan (73 points) edged Monticello (76 points) by three points to take second. The Rams were led by Hunter Lorenz (17:30.8), Peter Ipson (17:38.5) and Jordan Ruesch (17:57.1).
Top 10 team scores
1. Desert Hills (46)
2. Pine View (50)
3. Stansbury (94)
4. Canyon View (111)
5. Hurricane (116)
6. Ridgeline (175)
7. Richfield (212)
8. Cedar (241)
9. Bear River (259)
10. Park City (264)