PHOENIX,AZ The freshman runners were treated like royalty at the 1st annual Sole
Sports Freshman Cross Country meet held this morning at the small park near Desert Vista High School. The shorter course, the cooler morning weather, the chip timing and the professional looking finish line, made it a great day for freshman runners. The 2 mile race started at the park and finish on the track at the high school. Goch Ajak from Central High School came into the stadium with Desert Vista's Grayson Hacker (pictured right) on his heels. Ajak turn a wrong turn that cost him about 4 seconds in the race but Hacker's strong kick with 200 meters to go left no doubt in anyone's mind that he was the stronger runner at the finish. His winning time of 11:04.99 was nearly 11 seconds faster than Ajak's second place time of 11:15.21. When asked about the 2 mile course compared to the 5K, Hacker responded, "they both hurt but you can run faster on the 2 mile course." On the girls side, Sunnyslope runner Laura Orlie had a commanding lead by the 1 mile mark and was the only female runner to break 13 minutes. Her strong finish of 12:54.50 was almost a minute faster than second place runner Olivia Brancati from Saguaro who was the only other runner to break 14 minutes. Both girls liked the shorter race and Brancati thought is was easier than running in altitude like she did last week. Orlie, came into the high school prep scene with some impressive 8th grade track and field marks. Her fastest times in the 3,000, 800 and the mile last season were 10:23, 2:24 and 5:08 respectively. "I was a little afraid at the start of the race because of the hills but then I relaxed," said Orlie after the race. Both Orlie and Hacker will have the honor of holding the course record.