By Jaydon Goodrich
Photos by Kurt Johnson
Lucy Biles’ first high school race came at the Highland Invitational Aug. 26, 2011. As a Herriman High freshman, she placed 47th overall out of 95 participants.
Biles’ varsity debut that day covered the three-mile course in a time of 23 minutes and six seconds. She was the fourth fastest freshman to finish that day, but it was the last time those other three runners would top her time.
Since that day, the Mustang senior has been pushing herself each and every day. She has grown both mentally and physically as she has worked hard to accomplish her goals. A two-time All-American, Giles has taken the Utah state cross country championship three consecutive times, won six state track and field titles, and now she has been named the Gatorade Player of the Year for cross country. Clearly, Lucy Biles has made a huge impact on the Herriman girls cross country and track teams.
Biles is now a senior at Herriman and she has been running cross country since that freshman year. It all started when her mother thought it might be something she would enjoy and excel in, so she signed her up. Diana Biles believes her daughter has a strong future as a runner.
“( I see her) doing well as a Division I athlete and possibly becoming a pro runner someday,” Diana Biles said.
Growing up, Biles loved doing anything that had to do with sports. She also enjoys snowboarding and playing Mario Kart. Her major focus, however, comes on the track and the cross country course.
By the end of her freshman year, Lucy was on the verge of something great, placing 12th at the region meet at Westlake and taking 41st out of 131 runners at state. During that season, she learned what it would take to succeed.
Throughout her freshman year she faced challenges that she eventually overcame. These challenges included anemia, weight loss and working to improve her diet. She was able to overcome these challenges and bounce back the next year.
Lucy worked hard throughout her sophomore year. Her first race of the year brought a fourth-place overall finish at the Highland Invitational. A week later she finished first overall in the Utah County Invitational. She finished out her sophomore season taking first overall at both region and state.
Biles’ success has not been limited to the open spaces of the cross country course. Beginning that sophomore season, she has also dominated the distance races in track and field. It is that combination that makes he so valuable to the University of North Carolina, where she has signed a national letter of intent to run collegiately beginning next year.
As a sophomore in 2013, Biles won the first three of her state track and field titles, winning the 4A 800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter championships. She backed that up in 2014 as the 5A state champ at those same three distances.
Her junior year began in cross country, where she competed in the Highland Invitational, Utah County Invitational, USU Invitational, Nebo Invitational and Park City Invitational, winning all but one of those races. She also captured another region title and took the 5A state championship.
Biles also ran to a third-place finish in the Foot Locker West Regional and took seventh at the Foot Locker National Finals.
Another state title followed this past fall, when she also competed in the Nike Cross Country Nationals, where she placed seventh overall. After finishing the spring track season, her talents will take her next to Chapel Hill.
“I think she has a lot of potential to go a long ways, becoming their best runner at some point,” said Herriman coach James Barnes.
Biles owns three of the Top 10 times on the Utah state meet course, and she holds the sophomore 4A course record, along with the junior and senior 5A marks. As she graduates from Herriman and continues on to college, she has left her footprints on high school cross country one step at a time.
“My biggest motivation would have to be the desire to be the best I can be,” Biles said.