The Mesa Mountain View boys cruised to an easy wiin placing runners at 1st, 2nd, 3th, 5th and 10th place for 21 points.
Jacob Toller, Samuel Biggs, Andrew Free and Luke Senftner ran as a group for most of the race. Teammates Giovanni Waterman, Justin Decker and Ashton Hoopes stayed in close proximity for the first half of the race until the top four moved into the lead.
"Our goal every race is 'run as a group' 'run as a team." said Toller. "We do just what we need to do and it turned out great."
At around 2 1/2 miles Toller (photo right on left) decided it was time to make his move and started to put some distance between himself and the rest of his team but Biggs (photo right on right) decided to go with him and challenged him at the finish. Both runners crossed the finish line in 15:50 with Toller having the edge.
Andrew Free took 3rd in 15:59 with Jonathan Stern from Desert Mountain finishing 4th in 16 flat. Senftner was the 4th runner for Mesa Mt. View finishing 5th in 16:40 and Waterman was the 5th runner landing in 10th place in 16:15.
Highland finished in 2nd place with 65 points led by 6th and 7th place runners Weston and Logan Jones - both with a time of 16:08.
Toller felt great about his team's performance and is hoping the team can land in the top 3 at State. "I don't think anyone's going to beat Corona," he said after the race.
But they will certainly try.
Highland junior Lauren Ellsworth (photo left) took the lead from the start winning the race with the fastest time of the day in 17:45. Ellsworth was the only runner to go under 18 minutes on the 3 mile course beating 2nd place finisher Huston Jones (Mesa Mountain View) by 24 seconds.
"I felt good," said Ellsworth after the race. "When we started I was planning on tucking behind the top person and then once we got up that first hill I was like "I feel good - let's go.""
And off she went - giving the crowd some credit for her win. "I can hear everything when I race," Ellsworth continued. "Everywhere I went there were all these people cheering - which was great. It was helping me stay on pace."
Led by 3rd place finisher Shelby Brown, Xavier College Prep won the team title with 38 points. Shelby finished the race in 18:25 followed by a 4th place finish by Lauren Kinzle (18:28), a 6th place finish by Shannon Molvin (18:35) a 12th place finish by Samantha Mattice (18:55) and a 13th place finish by Shannan Higgins (18:56).
Highland took 2nd place with a point total of 83 followed by Red Mountain with 89 points.