SALT LAKE CITY — Sweet revenge.
Led by Rylee Holt (18:47.5) and Jessica Hill (18:52.5), the Pine View Panthers ran away with the 3A state title, and there was no doubt about it this time, either.
“We knew our strength was running in a pack and everyone came out and had some of the best runs of the year,” said Pine View head coach Dave Holt. “After what happened last year, we just focused on what we could control, and they did that today. I really couldn’t be happier for them. To see how happy they are right now and after all we went through last year is pretty special.”
Fans can expect to see the Panthers near the top again next year as they graduate just one runner from its championship team.
“I’m so happy right now,” said Rylee Holt. “All of our hard work paid off and to be able to do it with this team is amazing.”
“We wanted to prove to everyone how good we really were after what happened last year,” Pine View’s Caroline Clements added.
It didn’t take much to motivate Pine View coming into Wednesday’s 3A state cross country meet. The Panthers finished one-point behind Stansbury last year for a second-place finish despite a Stallion runner making her way out of the boundaries. After hours of appeals, it was to no avail for Pine View head coach Dave Holt and the program.
But there was no denying who the champs would be this year.
On top of having six runners finishing in the Top 20 for the Panthers, Rylee finished with her fastest time to break the school record in the process.
Desert Hills was led by Bailey Brinkerhoff who dominated with a time of 18:22.6. Brinkerhoff could have walked the last part of the home stretch after winning by 13 seconds.
“I’m just so grateful to come out on top this year,” the sophomore said. “I finished third last year and kept looking back because I thought somebody was going to catch me. Luckily nobody did.”
Tooele’s Makayla Komer had an early lead before Brinkerhoff chased her down around the two-mile marker before cruising to the victory.
That capped off an impressive day for Region 9 as Southern Utah came away with the sweep as Cedar finished third to round out the Top 3.
“When we got bumped to 4A eight or so years ago, we knew we had to step it up to run with those programs,” Coach Holt said. “Desert Hills then stepped it up and all the other programs followed and it’s just carried every year.”
Top 10 team scores
1. Pine View (45)
2. Desert Hills (65)
3. Cedar (84)
4. Park City (115)
5. Stansbury (165)
6. Juab (242)
7. Richfield (246)
8. Carbon (247)
9. Snow Canyon (256)
10. Ridgeline (260)