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2017 All-Area Girls XC Coach of the Year: Sean Schmidt, Skyline

Skyline head coach Sean Schmidt, Breanne Herrmann, Elizabeth Harrison, Megan Reed, Halli Olson, Adria Roberts, Macy Olson, Sariah Harrison and assistant coach Erica Wendt Richardson pose with their Bob Firman Invitational varsity girls Division I first-place trophy during the Division I awards ceremony Sept. 23 at Eagle Island State Park. Photo courtesy of Kris Horsburgh

Skyline sent three girls to the 2016 4A state meet, and all three medaled.

Grizzlies coach Sean Schmidt and other local coaches knew Sariah Harrison, who had an undefeated eighth grade season, was on the way to join the three returning medalists. Skyline piled up top-three finishes in the team standings from meet to meet, winning six of them including districts for the first time since 2004.

The state title came down to a showdown with defending state champion Twin Falls, which was heavily favored to repeat. The official results prompted tears and lengthy embraces from the Grizzlies, who left Eagle Island State Park with a 54-58 win, four individual medalists and a program-first state banner.

“I knew they would be good, but no one thought they’d be that good,” Madison coach Steve Barrus said.

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