Varsity Boys Start
The boys race started at 8:00 AM and by the time the group of runners made the first turn and headed down the canal, Cody Smith (Sr, Shadow Mountain), DJ Johnson (Sr, Mesa Mt. View) and Ryan Yazzie (Jr, Tuba City), were front and center. The lead pack stayed up in the front and by the two mile mark Humberto Gonzales a senior from Cesar Chavez was in the lead with sophomore Jorge Martinez fromAlhambra on his heels. Cody Smith (Sr, Shadow Mountain), Andrew Kellogg (Jr, Desert Vista) andfollowed close behind as the group came around the lake and headed up to the canal.
The crowd let out a roar as the two top runners came into view and headed for the final stretch. Gonzales had a slight lead over Martinez as they came around the final corner for the finish line when all of a sudden Martinez appeared to pick up speed and zig zag in front of Gonzales making contact with the surprised runner. See Video
Martinez crossed the finish line in a time of 15:38. Gonzales appeared to slow down after the incident and finished 2nd in 15:41.
Ryan Yazzie from Tuba City came in third with teammate Billy Orman finishing fourth. Smith rounded out the top five.
In the girls varsity race, Jessica Tonn (Jr, Xavier), Kylee Kieser (So, Casa Grande), Aeoleone Bristow (So, Rio Rico) and Rolonda Jumbo (Fr, Chinle) jumped out in front at the start of the race. Jumbo continued to push the pace until the one mile mark, when the patient Tonn took the lead and held it until the finish. "I knew Rolanda was going to give me a really good race in the beginning so I thought I would go in there and relax the first mile and make sure I had enough left to take it home the last two," said Tonn after the race.
Kieser finished nine seconds behind Tonn in second place with Jessica Rydberg (Sr, Blue Ridge) finishing third, Ann Bawden (Sr, Highland) in fourth and Jumbo in fifth.
Freshman Taylor de Laveaga from Perry High School was heading for a third place finish when she stopped fifty feet from the finish line and stood there watching runners pass her. A quiet came over the concerned crowd, as they watched the young runner slowly walk toward the finish, all willing her on. As soon as the dehydrated de Laveaga crossed the finish line (in 13th place) her coaches grabbed her and took her to the medical area.
Tonn who won the Doug Conley invitational last fall joins four other Doug Conley back to back champions, the last being Sally Meyerhoff from Mountain Pointe who won the event in 2000 and 2001. Meyerhoff who went on to run for Duke has returned to Mt. Pointe as a coach.
Shadow Mountain (pictured above)
led by 5th place runner Cody Smith won the boys team title and Sara Beth Miville
led Ironwood Ridge (pictured below)
to first place finish
on the girls side.