Boys' state cross-country • Mustangs' sixth runner finishes 37th to secure title.
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When Herriman junior McKay Sharp woke up Wednesday morning, he had no idea that his performance in the state 4A cross-country meet would become the stuff of legend.
Sharp, who has run as high as fourth on a very good Mustangs team, got banged around in the early part of Wednesday race and found himself looking ahead at five other Herriman boys in front of him.
Despite not running his best, Sharp clawed and scratched his way up to 37th place.
The Mustangs were thankful he did.
Approximately five minutes after the race finished, it was announced there was a tie between Bonneville and Herriman for the team title. The sixth runner serves as the tiebreaker.
Sharp, as the sixth runner for Herriman, finished higher than Bonneville's sixth-best finisher, Jesse Mott in 62nd.
After a few anxious moments, the final announcement was made and the Herriman athletes could celebrate their state title.
"All season coming in working up to this, I imagined what it would be like to win a state championship," Sharp said. "This is a feeling I've never had before, and it feels wonderful."
A good share of Herriman's heavy lifting was done by the junior/senior tandem of Rory Linkletter and Chuk Mitchell, who finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
"We thought we should have gotten it last year, so this is redemption hour," Linkletter said.
Herriman coach James Barnes knew he had a good squad after finishing fifth last season. That feeling was confirmed in late September when the Mustangs edged Davis by a point at a meet in Boise, Idaho.
"We had a couple of guys run good and a couple of guys not run well, but we were deep through our seven," Barnes said. "It just shows that every person counts and it's not just the one through five runners."
Bonneville coach Debbie Perry ran the numbers Tuesday night, considering the infinite possibilities and variables of how her senior-laden squad would fare.
Perry was encouraged Wednesday when senior Cade Perry got up for sixth, Jared Seachris 12th and Colby Myers 15th, hopeful when the tie was announced. The hope evaporated when the final standings were announced.
"It just drives home the point that in the first mile of a race you have to have the fire burning so brightly that you make it happen," Perry said. "This group is a really good group. … I'm really proud of them."