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Utica High sophomore places in top 30 at state cross country finals

What began as a goal made at cross country camp to place in the top 75 at states has turned into placing nearly three times better in reality for Utica High School sophomore, Harper Wesley.

Improving his time over the season by a minute with a personal record of 15:31, Wesley shared, “I didn’t know I could be this fast this season.”

Wesley’s season was full of accomplishments in addition to being an all-state runner by placing 26th out of 260 runners at this year’s Division 1 state finals, including placing 4th in the Macomb Area Conference earning him a MAC Red distinction and 4th in all of Macomb County making him first team all-county.

“Many runners aspire to accumulate a list of accolades like this by their senior year, making Harper’s impressive achievements all the more remarkable as a sophomore,” UHS boys cross country head coach Megan Berry said.

Wesley’s approach to a successful run is to stay calm and focus on his breathing.

“When I run I try to think of a mantra in my mind, like ‘don’t think, just run’ which keeps me calm and maintain my breathing,” Wesley explained.

“Harper’s performance at the state meet was nothing short of extraordinary,” Berry said. “I am eager to witness just how far his running prowess can take him.”

With the 2023 season concluded, Wesley already has a fresh set of goals for the 2024 season.

“Next year I am going to try and break the school record of 15:14. For county next year I hope to take first; regionals we should be able to qualify as a team, and at states I am going to try and place top ten.”