Four Battles To Watch At Utah State Meet: 14 Nationally Ranked Teams & Individuals

Class 5A Boys

Saucony Flo50 Teams: #1 American Fork, #6 Davis
Saucony Flo50 Individuals: #1 Casey Clinger (American Fork), #11 McKay Johns (American Fork), #12 Patrick Parker (American Fork), #19 Talon Hull (Weber)

Clinger, the No. 1-ranked individual in the nation, returns to defend his title and hopes to lead top-ranked American Fork back to a team title after a third-place finish in 2015 ended a six-year winning streak. The Cavemen's triple threat of Clinger, Johns, and Parker could potentially sweep the top-three spots, though Hull is the returning runner-up and a 2015 Foot Locker finalist. He's traded wins this season with No. 20 Garrett Barton, but otherwise he's raced sparingly.

Also be assured that it's not entirely out of the question for either Parker or Johns to have the race of his life and beat out Clinger, the defending NXN champion, for the individual title. Parker, a 4:06 miler, took the "W" over Clinger at the Pre-Region 4 Meet back in August, 14:23.01 to 14:26.04, on a short course (<3 miles).

Davis' greatest strength is its tight pack. The team won its regional meet with a 22-second top-five spread and swept spots No. 2 through No. 9. That race was no small-stakes anomaly; Davis won the elite Bob Firman Invitational with a similar spread (37 seconds, 84 points). Davis returns four varsity runners from last year's state championship team that won with an 18-second spread and 50 points.