Friday was a very strong indicator for key contenders at State Championships this Saturday. Four pairs of Sectional races for girls and boys were held at Crossroads Park in Gilbert, Arizona and out of four boy's races, three featured winning teams taking home individual titles as well.
First up out of the boy's races were the Division III section 2 boys. Saguaro's one-two punch, Michael Barney (Sr.) and Mark Wogan (Jr.) finished first and second in 16:40 and 16:51 respectively. Seton Catholic's Quinn Burdick (Jr.) clocked in hard at 17:02 for third place. Matthew Nadolski (Jr.) and Jacob Hoppe (Jr.) followed suit for the Saguaro Sabercats in 8th and 10th, places and with Alex Daer (Sr.) placing 18th to round out their top five runners, they sealed their victory.
Next up were the section 1 boys out of Division I, arguably the most heavily loaded section in the State. Reece Donihi (Jr.) led the charge for Desert Vista in 16:17 the fastest time out of Crossroads Park on Friday. Liam Kovatch (Sr.) took 2nd place for the Corona Del Sol Aztecs and Perry's Anthony Haren (Jr.) just edged out Kovatch's teammate Slade Sumners for third place. With four others in the top fourteen, Desert Vista Thunder collected a triumphant total of 36 points.
Third was the Division IV section 4 Boys race. In his first race in over a month, Trevor Tam (Horizon Honors, Sr.) went head to head with Evan Balizado (Chandler Prep, Jr.) and pulled away to win by 15 seconds. Balizado earned second and led the Chandler Prep Titans to a first place team finish, while Sam Hallam (Scottsdale Prep Academy, Jr.) finished in 3rd and led the Scottsdale Prep Spartans to second place.
Finally, the Division II section 4 boys closed out the day at Crossroads Parks. Rylan Stubbs (Campo Verde, So.) dominated the boy's race with a winning time of 16:58. Tristan Stellmach (Queen Creek, ) held on for second place in 17:06, while Zach Prusse (Campo Verde, Jr.) scored another three points for the Coyotes. Freshman Zac Whaley, Kenny Edwards, Garrett Anderson came through between 17:23 and 17:31 to deliver a landslide victory of 25 points for the Campo Verde Coyotes, the lowest boys team score of the day.
The State Meet draws nearer every day and those who came away successful on Friday will not underestimate their competition at Cave Creek Golf Course on November 5th.