Devils among top 10 in State
Girls eighth, boys 10th despite fall
The Davis High School cross country teams said they weren't going to be content with just showing up Saturday at the CIF state championships in Fresno.
The Blue Devils were ranked as some of the best teams in the state in Division I coming into the meet. And the DHS boys and girls didn't disappoint on Saturday, with the girls taking eighth and the boys 10th in the 23-team fields.
"Division I was way stronger than the other divisions," DHS coach Bill Gregg said. "It was much deeper, so everyone had to deal with a lot more bodies."
The start of the boys race was recalled because of fallen runners and among the trampled were Blue Devils Patrick Lynch, Kyle Buchoff, and Mitch Danforth.
Lynch suffered a wrenched back as a result and it definitely took some of the wind out the team's sails. Despite the injury, Lynch managed to compose himself to finish third on the team.
Brendan Gregg had the best finish of the day, taking 18th place in 15 minutes, 52 seconds, 19 seconds better than his previous best.
He was followed by Scott Halliday (55th, 16:30), Lynch (82nd, 16:44), Mitch Danforth (105th, 16:53), Zach Bonner, (116th, 16:59), Kyle Buchoff (140th, 17:12), and Kenny Durell, (162nd, 17:36).
Halliday, Danforth, and Bonner also recorded best times on the Woodward Park course.
The girls' team effort had its share of ups and downs, too.
Junior Chelsea Reilly laid it on the line for two plus miles and was in sixth place with less than a mile to go. However, the fast pace proved to be too much as she faded on the home stretch to finish in 36th place with a time of 19:09.
Her teammate, freshman Maddie Hall, had a strong finish, taking 35th place with an identical time of 19:09.
Jonah Weeks ran most of the race stride-for-stride with Hall and finished 41st with a time of 19:15. Rebecca Woo (86th, 19:48), Jenna Fritz (109th, 20:07), Merek Kessser (150th, 21:02), and Allison Manderfield (193rd, 23:17) followed.
Hall, Reilly, Weeks, Woo, and Fritz each had Woodward Park lifetime bests.
Bill Gregg admitted there were a series of "what-ifs."
"My personal what-ifs were, 'What if the boys hadn't fallen? and 'What if Chelsea had maintained her pace?'" he said.
The DHS girls and boys combined finishes represent the best efforts ever by DHS teams at the state meet.
Brendan Gregg's time of 15:52 is the second fastest DHS time ever on the Woodward Park course. Luke Gibson ran 15:28 in 2000. The future looks bright each team as Scott Halliday will be the only senior lost to graduation.
Hall, Reilly, Weeks, and Woo's times on Saturday put them into top 11 best DHS times in Fresno.