Monticello takes down local opposition to win division at Loyds Lake Classic
by Haley Burton
Despite the 88 degree temperature, the Monticello High School cross country teams won the 1A-2A division at their own annual Loyds Lake Classic this past Friday, September 2.
The Buckaroos hosted teams that spanned classifications from 1A to 5A at the event. Individual placing was scored with all divisions in attendance but the team placings were divided into a 1A-2A division and a 3A-5A division.
Teams traveled from as far as Provo and Salina, UT and Grand Junction, CO to compete. Local teams included runners from San Juan, Grand, Monticello, and Whitehorse high schools.
The starting gun ignited six times during the event. Races included boys and girls in junior high, junior varsity, and varsity races.
1A races are scored based on each team’s top four runners. Though the Buckaroo girls only have four runners on the roster, they packed a major punch.
Monticello’s top three all finished in the top ten overall: Lilli Burton finished in 5th place, Marah Long came home eighth, and Ayla Carling grabbed ninth place. Alexis Bailey finished 32nd to help secure the top spot for the squad.
The boys ran in similar fashion with the top five all finishing in the top 20 overall. Curtis Bunker crossed the line in ninth, Jesse Pettit was 13th, Kaden Pehrson came home 17th, Josh Wheeler got 19th, and Soren Welch was 20th. In addition, Kooper Nielson finished 22nd for the Bucks and Jacob Johnson was 35th.
Following the win, junior Curtis Bunker, who led Monticello in the race, said, “We have an amazing team this year. When we race…our top five runners are within one minute of each other.
“After more improvement from all of us, [that] will give us a chance for greater success later in the season. I’m very excited for the rest of the season and to run with the others on the team,” Bunker concluded.
One member of the boys team added a little bit extra to this year’s race. Junior Jesse Pettit helped to design the medals and team trophies.
Pettit’s father, Bryce Pettit, has been donating handcrafted bronze medals and trophies for the local race for the past five years. This year’s design sported a Sasquatch.
Medals in previous years have included a road runner, a flying bird, an antelope, and an elk. Each year not only is there anticipation for the race but the runners hum with excitement and intrigue over what the event logo might be.
Buckaroo sophomore Lilli Burton stated, “These are the best medals we get all year. They are hand made and not cheap ones bought off Amazon!”
Monticello will take this week off from racing but will step to the starting line in Huntington, UT for the Stewart Foster Invitational on Monday, September 12.