Arizona State Meet Highlights - Girls 5A I, Boys 4A II

Division 4A II Boys

 The Division 4A II boys race was the first race of the day at the Arizona State Meet Cross Country Championships held at the Cave Creek Golf Course in Phoenix on Saturday.  The top three runners in the state were all in the 4A II race and finished in the top three.

Junior Brian Shrader (Sinagua), Senior Tim Freriks (Mingus Union) and Junior Sherod Hardt (Queen Creek) shot to the front of of the race at the start and at the one mile mark Freriks and Shrader were side by side (4:49) with Hardt two seconds behind.  The race continued at a quick pace with Freriks in the lead by two seconds (9:48.05) at the two mile mark; Shrader in second and Hardt in third.  Shrader pushed himself hard to catch Freriks and with about 600 meters to go found another gear and passed Frerks for the win.  "At first I was going to go out with the lead pack and get a feel for what the pace was going to be and then Tim Freriks pulled up beside me and right when he did I thought......this race is going to hurt because he is not going to be letting up," said Shrader, "He was pushing the pace pretty good."  Shrader won the 3.1 mile race in 15:15.25 with Freriks finishing second in 15:20.50 and Hardt placing third in 15:38.65.  See Video.
Junior Jose Luis Munoz (Rio Rico, 15:50.40) was the fourth runner of the day to break the 16 minute mark and the top finisher for  Rio Rico, winners of the Team Title.  With individual runners removed from the scoring, Munoz landed in the 3rd spot with teammate Omar Hernandez (Sr) in 4th, Alejandro Valencia (So) in 7th, Matt Diaz (Jr) in 14th and Luis Sanchez (Sr) in 18th.  Rio Rico scored 46 points and only had six runners in the race with five of them finishing in the top eighteen.  Catalina Magnet led by 5th place finisher sophomore Alejandro Montano and 6th place senior Mario Portillo took second place scoring 65 points and beating third place Mingus Union by one point.  The other three scorers for the Catalina team were senior Wais Khairandesh (13th), Senior Stephen Pierson (19th) and Junior Arturo Pimienta (22nd). 

Division 5A I Girls

The Girls Division 5A I race was one of the last races of the day with the only runner to break the 18 minute mark.  Junior Jessica Tonn from Xavier College Prep took the race out at a brisk pace reaching the mile mark in 5:41.50, ten seconds ahead of second place runner Taylor Cole (Jr, Hamilton). Teammate Sarah Penney was sitting in the third place spot 17 seconds back until the two mile mark when Penney moved into second place, one second ahead of Cole and and 33 seconds behind Tonn.  "Then I heard Coach Messer yell "SARAH PENNEY....THIS IS YOUR LAST RACE," said a breathless Penney, "It got me going so I poured it on the rest of the way so I could get below 19 minutes."  Penney finished the race in 18:57.70 behind State Champ Jessica Tonn who finished in 17:50.90.  Cole placed third in 19:20.00 with Kylee Kieser taking fourth in 19:34.60 and Ann Bawden rounding out the top five in 19:44.60.
Jessica Tonn walked through the chute passed the finish line and headed for a block to sit on.  As a member of the timing company snipped off the timing chip on her running shoes she kept looking toward the finish line for the second place runner.  Her face lit up as Sarah Penney came toward the finish, excited not only because the runner was her teammate but also because she was her friend.  "We are close friends on and off the course," said Tonn, as she and Penney stood at the end of the chute watching for other Xavier runners.   Sarah's younger sister  sophomore Katie Penney was the next Xavier runner to cross the finish line (12th) with sophomore Catherine Fakler finishing 33rd and junior Megan Canon finishing 39th.  When all the points were added up Xavier beat Mesa Mountain View by eight points. "We just wanted to lay everything on the line for today knowing this is Sarah's last State Meet and we wanted to help give her the win before she goes off to college," said a very thrilled Tonn, "Our 4th and 5th runners did a totally amazing job and that really got us the win today."   See Video.
The Mesa Mountain View Team was led by freshman Brianna Decker (6th) and senior Cami Jackson (8th) followed by senior Melissa Peters (26th), senior Jayleen Robinson (27th) and senior Jennifer Larsen (28th).  The State Meet was Jackson's first meet back after a long absence due to an injury early in the season.
One of the hightlights of the day was when Pinncale's number four runner junior Austin Adamson held up a sign during the awards ceremony that read Jessica Tonn Will You Marry Me! The crowd joined in on the fun as Adamson presented Tonn with a blueberry lollypop engagement ring.  See Video