The Scoop: Performances Are Still Heating Up Late In Season

Southwest Regional Meet

* American Fork's Daniel Simmons crosses the tape at the Utah State Championships

Photo Credit: Katrina Hirst / MileSplit Utah

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This weekend, Utah runners swept the individual titles at the Team Southwest Regional. On the boys side, Daniel Simmons of American Fork (UT) ran his third sub-15-minute 5K of the season and claimed the title on the Coyote Run Golf Course in Mesa, Arizona.

Simmons not only led American Fork to the team title, but he earned a 195 speed rating as he ran a 14:44 to officially punch his ticket to Team Nationals. 

Orem's (UT) Tayson Echohawk finished second in 14:55 while Herriman's Noah Jenkins clocked a time of 14:56 for third. Liam Heninger and Rendon Kuykendall each moved up a position to snag the fourth and fifth auto-qualifiers.

Heninger set a new season's best and dipped under 15-minutes for 5K for the first time this season with a 14:58. On the other hand, the New Mexico state cross country champion Kuykendall stopped the clock in 15:04. 

Mountain Vista's Tyler Downs was sixth and will get in by virtue of American Fork's win and Simmons' placement, while Jaron Hartshorn of Lone Peak, who finished seventh, will also be in and tied to Jenkins' finish for Herriman, who also auto-qualified. This one will go all the way back to eighth. 

If Mountain View is selected, Cheyenne Mountain's Kaden Levings, who was eighth, will also get in

In regards to the team standings, American Fork earned the title with 113 points to Herriman's 152. Mountain View (CO) and Mountain Vista (CO) finished third and fourth with 192 and 198 respectively. 

* Lone Peak's Andie Aagard at the Utah State Championships

Photo Credit: Katrina Hirst / MileSplit Utah

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The top three girls to finish this 5K race all went sub-17.

One of those girls was the Utah state cross country champion Andie Aagard of Lone Peak, who once again put together a solid performance as she clocked a new personal best of 16:51 to be able to clinch the title. The junior also earned a 154 speed rating for her efforts. 

Isabel Allori of Liberty Common (CO) and Brooke Wilson of Valor Christian (CO) finished second and third in 16:58, respectively. Four seconds behind was Air Academy's (CO) Bethany Michalak, who finished fourth, and Emma Stutzman of Pomona (CO), who rounded out the top five finishes in 17:09. 

Ella Hagen of Summit finished seventh and will get into Team Nationals if Air Academy's team is selected as an at-large.

As predicted, Niwot (CO) girls won the title with 67 points. Niwots' freshman Addison Ritzenhein led the team with her ninth finish in 17:40. Ritzenhein, Mia Prok, Anna Prok, Olivia Alessandrini, and Madison Shults finished in the top 23.

There was a question going into this cross country meet: Which team would put everything together to grab the second auto-qualifier? 

Utah's Lone Peak put all the pieces together to score 84 points over Air Academy, Mountain Vista (CO), American Fork (UT), and Valor Christian to grab the second bid.