For­mer Payson track star named to hall of fame

Serve Daily - - BUILDING COMMUNITY - By Lana Hiskey

Nebo School Dis­trict in­ducted Jody Ben­son in the Nebo Ath­letic Hall of Fame in Fe­bru­ary at the Payson High School boys bas­ket­ball game.

Jody Ben­son grad­u­ated from Payson High School in 1993 and was the re­gion cham­pion for cross coun­try in the 1600 M and 3200 M for track and field. He was a podium fin­isher, plac­ing third for cross coun­try in the 3200 M for track and field.

As a col­lege stu­dent at Utah Val­ley Univer­sity in 1997, Ben­son was the con­fer­ence cham­pion and qual­i­fied for na­tion­als, plac­ing 12th in the na­tion and be­com­ing an All-Amer­i­can for cross coun­try.

As a col­lege stu­dent at South­ern Utah Univer­sity, Ben­son was the Phys­i­cal Ed­u­ca­tion Stu­dent of the Year in 2000 and com­peted in cross coun­try and track. Be­fore he grad­u­ated in 2001, he was on the Na­tional Cham­pion NCAA Aca­demic Cross Coun­try Team in 1997 and qual­i­fied for na­tion­als for three years. Ben­son’s best per­for­mances were: 52nd in the na­tion, third in the dis­trict and first in con­fer­ence. He was named Mid-Con­ti­nent Con­fer­ence Run­ner of the Year twice and was All-Con­fer­ence six times and All-Dis­trict twice.

Tim­pano­gos High School in Orem is where Coach Ben­son has spent his ca­reer for the past 15 years. He was named Al­lS­ports 4A Coach of the Year in 2015. He has led his cross coun­try teams to three state cham­pi­onships with his boys team win­ning in 2014 and 2015 and his girls team win­ning in 2015. The boys team qual­i­fied for the Nike Cross Na­tion­als for two years, plac­ing 12th in the na­tion in 2014 and fifth in the na­tion in 2015. Ben­son coached the state record holder for cross coun­try in the 3200 M and 100 M for track and field. He coaches his son, Joe Ben­son, who be­came an All-Amer­i­can for cross coun­try in 2015 by plac­ing 16th in the na­tion.

Ben­son has run the St. Ge­orge Marathon five times, with his best fin­ish as sixth over­all. He was priv­i­leged to run the Bos­ton Marathon in 2011 - a life-long goal. Ben­son also ran the Squaw Peak 50, plac­ing sec­ond over­all. Coach Ben­son con­tin­ues to run with his high school team ev­ery day.

Ben­son is mar­ried to Katie Ben­son from Orem and they have four chil­dren: Joseph, Kali, Carter and Tate.

Coach Jody Ben­son was in­ducted into the Nebo Ath­letic Hall of Fame in Fe­bru­ary at the Payson High School boys bas­ket­ball game.

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