Jordan Cheney of Manti pulls away at the very end of the state 3A cross-country championship race, edging out his good friend Ryan Lewis of Grand County.

 

Manti senior wins state

title in cross-country

 

By Matt Harris

Staff writer

Oct. 26, 2017

 

SALT LAKE CITY—Manti senior Jordan Cheney stole the day in an exciting finish for first place in the 3A state cross-country championship last Wednesday, edging out Ryan Lewis of Grand in the last moments of the race.

Cheney, a former football player, finished with a time of 16:01:6, while Lewis, a good friend of Cheney’s, crossed the line at 16:02:2, a mere half-second later. The Deseret News labeled it as the most exciting finish of the day.

Cheney and his “buddy,” Lewis, have had friendly competition for some time now, Cheney said. “We’re rivals, and I just wanted to get him this time. He beats me. I get him sometimes, but most of the time it’s him.”

Cheney spent most of the race holding onto good positioning among the top 10 runners before slowly overtaking opponents one by one until it was down to Lewis and himself. That’s when he went for it all.

Cheney used to be a football player for Manti, but a coach convinced him to focus on endurance sports, something he had the build for.

“Jordan ran a smart race,” Manti coach Brandon Norris said. “He paced himself with the top 10 runners, and in the last mile, he made his move.”

The star finish not only earned Cheney the championship, but also got him designated as a MountainStar Healthcare Athlete of the Week.

“Jordan is a great teammate,” Norris said. “When he finishes his races, he cheers on all of his teammates and even kids from other schools. Jordan is always encouraging and uplifting to everyone around him.

“He is not just one of the best runners I have coached but one of the best teammates I have ever coached. It has been a privilege and honor to have had the opportunity to coach Jordan.”

Cheney ended up being the only Manti runner, boy or girl, to rank in the top 10 in state competition. Manti, as a team finished outside of the top five in boys and girls standings.

 

Two good friends and rivals, Jordan Cheney of Manti High School (right) and Ryan Lewis of Grand County, embrace after going toe-to-toe for the 3A state cross country championship. Cheney pulled ahead in the last moments of the race to win the state title.