City Champs - Corona del Sol
City Champs Desert Vista Girls
With two weeks until the final match-up on November 9th, the top boys teams in the state will be meeting up three times.
The Tempe City Meet this morning was the first match-up with Corona del Sol, led by the dynamic trio of Nathan Rodriguez (Sr), Ryan Normand (Sr) and Marcus Wheeler (Jr), earning 18 points for the title.
"It was by no means easy," said Rodriguez after the race. "This is not our easiest course! We definitely have to push ourselves and its always a big challenge to get up some of the hills here."
Rodriquez's biggest competition? His two teammates Normand and Wheeler. "Ryan likes to take it out a little faster so I usually kind of cruise the first mile," stated Rodriguez. "We trade back and forth the 2nd mile and the third mile is where all the action usually happens."
For Normand it is a bonus to have teammates to run with. "We want to run it (the race) together because it makes it a lot easier," Normand added. " This race wasn't necessarily the fastest because of the hills."
And speaking of Hills. Wheeler hates! "I felt pretty good. I just have to get better on hills," he stated after the race. "This race was really good but - big hills - lots of big hills."
Patrick Cullings (16:35.90) and Blake Fischer (16:41.05) finished 5th and 7th.
Sophomore Xavier Esparza (16:24.39) from Desert Vista and teammate Jacob Walimaa (16:37.83) mixed it up with Corona finishing in 4th and 6th leading Desert Vista to second place with 40 points.
Both teams will meet again next week at Sectionals.
In the girls race Desert Vista junior Dani Jones ran away with the win in a time of 19:15 with younger sister Baylee finishing 2nd in 19:34.37. The two led the team to the title with 20 points over Corona del Sol with 45 points.
"Today the whole idea was to get a training day in," said Dani after the race. "We came out and did what we were suppose to do."
Last year the girls competed at the City Meet on a Thursday, then headed to Mt. Sac the next day for a huge race on Saturday, returned for the Sectionals the following Saturday and then raced at the State Meet.
"I think it really hurt us at State last year," stated Dani. "This year I have a better feeling about State and I feel like our legs are going to feel a lot better."
"Coach Messer has been doing a great job of keeping our legs fresh and feeling good," said Baylee with a smile. "I feel good and I'm ready for State."
Senior Nicole Hicks, who finished 4th for Desert Vista with a time of 19:49.50, is also looking forward to State. "I'm ready to tune up for State!"
Madi Bucci, Sabrina Camino, Emily Smith and Amanda Davis all crossed the finish line in 20:42 taking 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th.
Corona del Sol junior Kelly Naumann tried to see if she could run her first mile in the same time she ran her first mile at the Doug Conley race……she did!
"Our coach said to go out pretty hard but not too fast because of the big hills to come," said Naumann after the race. "The hills were pretty hard - it was a good challenge."
Mason Swenson (Corona del Sol) finished in 5th place with a time of 20:13.57. Teammate Sammie Moore rounded out the top 10.
DJ Harris from Desert Vista won the Open Race in 17:19.63 followed by Alex Hart (17:21.93) from Corona and Nathan Chan (17:32.95) from Desert Vista.
Corona del Sol boys won the Open Race title with 29 points. Desert Vista took second with 32 points followed by Tempe HS with 68 points.
The Desert Vista girls took the first 6 spots in the Open Race winning the team title with a perfect score of 15 points. Leading the group was Alexa Foster (20:41.90), Michelle Abunaja (21:18.75), Tessa Reinhart (21:23.39), Caroline Pass (21:45.11), Mikayla Greene (22:21.95) and Sydney Schtkowsky (22:28.36).
Corona finished 2nd with 49 points.
Sample Colt from Corona del Sol won the freshman race with a time of 18:48.31 followed by Jackson Hickey (18:52.38, Desert Vista), Solomon Hanson (18:55.20, Desert Vista), Ben Macey (19:00.82, Desert Vista) and Tyler Thompson (19:06.00, Corona del Sol.
Desert Vista won with 23 points. Corona del Sol took second with 41 points and Mountain Pointe finished 3rd with 74 points.
Mya Carrizosa from Desert Vista won the girls freshman race by almost 3 minutes - finishing in 21:04.42. Sarah Rusanowski (23:50.17, Desert Vista) took 2nd followed by teammates Sarah David (24:28.35) and Izzie Beeks (24:33.09). Asli Walker from Tempe High finished 5th in 25:05.81.
Desert Vista won the girls title.