At the AIA Division IV State Cross Country Championship on November 9, a student from Salt River High School competed and came away with a medal. Senior Eugene Lewis finished in 15th place out of 159 runners, with a time of 17:22.46. Lewis is the first SRHS student ever to medal at state.
“I was kind of nervous and wasn’t really ready,” said Lewis. “But I pulled it together and kept on running, and I tried very hard so I can go back to state.”
Lewis qualified for the Division IV meet because he was in the top 25 (12th).
“Eugene is the first person in school history to medal top 21 in State,” said SRHS Athletic Director Shawn Lytle.
Last year, Lewis and teammate Joy Manuel both qualified for the state championship, making this Lewis’s second time.
“It makes me feel good. I try to attend every practice and run on my own,” said Lewis. “I wish others on my team could have made it to state as well, but they are all happy for me.”
Lewis thanks his coaches for supporting him all the way.
“I think it is a great accomplishment for Eugene to medal. The state meet was by far his best race so far. I think he peaked at the right time and ran a really good race,” said Lytle. “He beat a lot of guys [during] the season whom he had not previously, and our section is probably the second-toughest section to compete in.”
Lytle added that Lewis had improved a lot, really focused and ran a really good race.
“I would like to thank Brooki Beasley and Jeff Johnson for stepping in and coaching this year. They did a great job with Eugene and the rest of the team,” said Lytle.