Published: Oct. 7, 2007 12:23 a.m. MDT

SPRINGVILLE - Every runner matters in cross country, and that wasn't more apparent than in the Region 7 championships Saturday at Springville High School.

Three points separated the top three boys teams as defending 4A champs Timpview edged Orem 51-52. Mountain View was just a step behind with a 54 total.

Coming back and performing well at Springville was important to Timpview coach Brian Kuhlmann.

We ran this (course) at pre-region and didn't run it well, Kuhlmann said.

Jon Nelson finished fifth to lead the T-Birds, but Kuhlmann also had high praise for Jason Fairchild, who came in 14th.

He was ailing a bit, but Fairchild came back, Kuhlmann said.

Other Timpview top-15 finishers that contributed to its team performance included Nathan Fletcher (seventh), captain Krys Gardner (10th) and Kevin Kemp (15th).

Despite finishing third, the Bruins had the greatest total depth, placing runners in second and fourth, and its seventh runner finishing in 22nd.

Spectators looking at who won the individual races must have thought they were experiencing deja vu as both the boys and girls 2006 Region 7 winners came away with trophies once again.

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Spencer Gardner took the boys race, coming in at 14:56. Gardner took an early lead and just let the others follow his pace. With the cold, slippery conditions, Gardner had a good time during his run.

It was a little different and kind of fun, he said.

Krystal Harper, the 2006 4A champ, led Orem to the girls team title with her 17:55 time, beating out Stephanie Jensen of Timpview by more than 20 seconds.

With sleet and hail coming down midway through the race, Harper predictably had one word to say about her run: Ouch!

It wasn't just the weather affecting as her as she knew she gave it her all on the course.

It was just really hard running, Harper said.

Kendy Christensen (third) and Sarah Blackburn (sixth) helped give the Tigers a 37-52 advantage over second-place Mountain View, with Joanna Black (12th) and Megan Webb (15th) rounding out Orem's top five.

Our girls have been running strong, Orem coach Andy Jacobs said. The girls pack is much tighter than it's been.

With two weeks left until the state meet at Sugarhouse Park in Salt Lake City on Oct. 17, there is one thing that was decided for certain Saturday. And that's that several Region 7 teams have the depth to make a run at the 4A title.