Titan Invitational Meet Preview

Caden Hercules will look to defend his title tomorrow as Titan Invite Champ. (Photo by John Hays)

This Friday, Chandler Prep will host the 3rd Annual Titan Invite at Crossroads Park. For many teams and runners in the valley this meet will be the last invitational of the season before racing City, Sectionals and hopefully State. Two weeks after the Titan Invite, Crossroads Park will become the venue for four Sectional races and this meet will be ideal for those who wish to become familiar with the course.

Last year, the meet gathered over 50 schools having grown significantly from 16 schools in the first year it was put on the schedule. Last October, Caden Hercules (Desert Mountain) as a sophomore set a meet record of 16:09 by only 2 seconds, and this year the field is even deeper. Perry's Anthony Haren (Jr.) is ranked 5th in Division I. Two weeks ago he ran 15:35 at Desert Twilight and led his team to finish 7th in the Sweepstakes race. Cibola's Thomas Cain (Jr.) will also play a huge factor, in the Large School race with Caden and Anthony. This past weekend, the Cibola Raiders traveled to Oceanside, California where Cain left as the individual winner with a performance of 15:38. The Campo Verde boys team will also be in the Titan Invite's Large School Boys mix. The Coyotes are ranked 4th in the State with an average time of 16:15 for runners 1-5, all within 54 seconds of each other. Finally, Seniors Slade Sumners and Liam Kovatch lead a strong group for the Aztecs, who were third out of the Arizona boy teams at Desert Twilight. The Aztecs return as last year's meet Champions ready to bring it against the Perry Pumas and the Campo Verde Coyotes. Michael Barney (Sr.) leads the charge in the Small School Varsity boys race for the Saguaro Sabercats. They are also heavy favorites to take the team victory with an average of 16:37.

On the Girl's side, there are only four girls entered who have broken 19 minutes for 5k. Junior Alaina Kautz of Campo Verde ran 18:36 at Desert Solstice earlier this season. The other two, Seniors Alexis Hocken and Stephanie Stewart have pulled their Desert Mountain Lady Wolves squad to a team average time of 20:18. Desert Vista's Sabrina Camino (Sr.) was 3rd in the Large School Varsity girls and led her team to victory race last year. She will have a lot in help if she intends to run sub-19 at this meet.

The Veritas Prep Falcons will look to dominate the Small School Varsity girls race. They are ranked 4th in Division IV and are led by Olivia Pitcl (So.) and Meghan Barney, individually ranked 2nd and 3rd in the State respectively.

Best of luck to all racing tomorrow morning!