It was a mixed bag of results for Dutch Fork at the Class 4A state cross country championship meet last weekend at Sandhills Research Park.
The Silver Foxes boys and girls teams both made the Top 10 cut for the first time since 1997. On the down side, senior standout Samantha Hughes became ill during the race and had to drop out – ruining her shot at an all-state finish in her final high school race - and Roland Hakes was not in top form in the boys race.
“I really hate it for Samantha because she is such a wonderful athlete and is clearly all-state quality,” said DF coach Barry Linder.
Hughes’ misfortune obviously hurt the Silver Foxes chance at a Top 5 finish. In the end, however, DF had enough quality depth to place 10th. It was the sixth Top 10 state finish for the girls team, dating back to the program’s first varsity season in 1994.
Senior Michelle Arms paced the gutsy Silver Foxes effort with a 12th place finish, good for a berth on the all-state team after she placed 19th a year ago.
Freshmen Amelia Syfert, Haley Saxby and Hannah Martin and junior Jessica Torres took care of the rest of the team points. Syfert and Saxby, who will be foundation of next year’s team, finished 31st and 33rd, respectively.
Though sophomore leader Roland Hakes was disappointed with his own performance, the Dutch Fork boys team celebrated its first Top 10 finish since 1998. The Silver Foxes finished fifth with 156 points. It was the best team score and state finish since the program moved up to Class 4A in 1997.
Hakes just missed making the all-state cut by finishing 16th with the slowest time he’s had on the Sandhills course in four races at the state venue since early October.
But seniors Grant Pensa and Zachary Duskin both peaked perfectly. Pensa finished 19th with a season best time of 16:48.80, while Duskin was 25th with a time of 17:01.27 – a personal record.
Sophomore Zac Jaynes and junior Collin Studemeyer were the Foxes’ other scoring runners.