Scottsdale Running Company Invite
Cooler weather around the state made for a great opening day for the 2009 Cross Country Season.
At the Scottsdale Running Company Invitational, the weather could not have been better for the Community and JV Races. Half way through the combined boys and girls Varsity Black Race the skies opened and a downpour of rain hit the runners and wet the course making it a little slippery. That did not damper the spirits of the runners. As a matter of fact the athletes appeared to be excited about running in the rain as it rarely happens in Arizona. The Varsity Gold Race was the last race of the day and the course took on a new look with runners trying to maintain their footing on dirt hills and in large water puddles, making it a true cross country course.
Xavier Prep senior, Jessica Tonn won her 3rd straight title on the 3.0 mile course (.1 shorter than previous years) with a time of 17:01 leading her team to the team title. Freshman teammate Sarah Fakler (pictured left) looked strong as she took second in 17:36. Both girls had to wade through a sea of boys to get to the finish line. Other team members contributing to the team win were Daylee Burr who placed 8th (18:30); Brianna Perrone took 10th (18:48.05) and McKenna Gaffney who finished 11th (18:52.75)
Queen Creek's Ashley Workman (Sr.) took 3rd in 17:44.70 with Lacey Kalinen (So., Pinnacle) in 4th with 18:01.15 and Marissa Opatz (Jr., Desert Mountain) in 5th with 18:08.60.
On the boys side Sherod Hardt, (Senior, Queen Creek), flew down the first hill with Tyler Bingham, (Senior, Mesa Mt. View, pictured right) on his heels, however Hardt started separating from Bingham shortly after the hill and won the event in a time of 14:55.15, eleven seconds ahead of Bingham. Bingham's 2nd place finish helped Mesa Mt. View to the team title.
Other runners contributing to the team win; Ben Williams took 6th (15:35.95); Spencer Frame placed 9th (15:40.10); Monson Cowley was 11th (15:40.90) and Blake Cowan finished 19th (16:04.75)
Senior Albert Kombe from Desert Vista took 3rd in 15:31.70; Brophy's Will Firth (Jr.) placed 4th in 15:34.15 and Arcadia's Christian Markey (Jr.) finished 5th in 15:35.15 to round out the top five.
Up at the Peaks Invitational in Flagstaff, Sinagua senior Brian Shrader raced to a huge PR as he flew across the hilly course at Buffalo Park. Shrader won the even his sophomore year with a time of 17:06.7 and took 2nd (17:10.9) to New Mexico's Jim Donovan (17:05.3) his junior year after battling mono all summer. Shrader took a month off over this past summer to recharge his batteries and it appeared to pay off as he smoked the course in 16:12.9. Two other outstanding runners broke 17 minutes.
Junior Billy Orman from Tuba City finished 2nd in 16:32 and Junior Jorge Martinez from Alhambra took 3rd in 16:57.1. Rounding out the top five; Orman's teammate Ryan Yazzie (Sr.) landed in 4th in 17:17.6 and Bradshaw Mountain senior Jesus Escalera finished 5th in 17:23.0.
On the girls side Chinle sophomore Rolonda Jumbo improved her last year's win by 32 seconds to finish in 19:51.1. Jumbo's win was a minute and a half faster than second place finisher Kim Allen (Jr., Flagstaff) who finished the race in 21:22. April Tracy (Jr., Tuba City) took 3rd in 21:24.6 with Breanna O'Connor (Fr, Flagstaff) finishing 4th in 21:30.7 and Charnelle Curley (Sr., Chinle) taking 5th in 21:40.2
Chinle high school won the girls team event with runners in 1st, 5th, 16th (Deriann Yazzie, Fr.) 21st (Anjelica Bedonie, So) and 26th (Andrena Jim, Sr).
The boys team event was won by Hopi with runners in 8th (Ronald Laban, Sr), 18th (Justin Secakuku, Jr), 26th (Kyle Silas, Sr), 31st (Brennon Sidney, Sr) and 32nd (McCray Huma, So).
Steve Magnuson (Sr, Ironwood) is back after sitting out the 2008 Arizona cross country season and took the win at the Padre Invitational in Tempe over 2nd place runner Andrew Hagler (Chandler). Magnuson's time of 15:28 was 26 seconds faster than Hagler's time of 15:54. Hagler had to fight for second place with Highland junior Corey Breinholt who finished one second behind. Ryan Menchaca (Mesquite) and Cibola's Jose Guerrero also had a photo finish with both finishing in 16:09. Mechaca took 4th and Guerrero finished 5th.
Kylee Kieser (Jr., Casa Grande) took the win over Ironwood Ridge junior Sara Miville. Kieser finished the race in 18:31 while Miville finished in 19:10. In 3rd place was Miville's teammate sophomore Lauren Cooper (19:28); Amber Urban (Sr, Hamilton) placed 4th in 19:36 and Highland runner sophomore Tori Haberman finished 5th in 19:42.
The Highland girls and boys won the team titles. The Highland boys earned 54 points to beat out Ironwood Ridge with 87 points. The Highland Girls also earned 54 points over runner up Marcos de Niza's 80 points
Sue Fletcher Invitational
Azhira Jimenez (Nogales) won the Sue Fletcher Invitational in 18:31.59 and led her team to a second place finish. Kerri Lenihan (Marana Mt. View) was the only other girl to break 19 minutes with a time of 18:47.90.
Andrea Woletz (Sahuarita) took 3rd in 19:23.95.
The Buena girls won the team title placing 2 runners in the top 5. Bora Leonard took 4th with 19:31.55 and Briana McCloskey finished 5th with 19:39.83.
Ochor Odol led his Ricon team to victory with his 16:04.89 win. Second place Nico Montanez (St. Augustine) was 5 seconds behind in 16:09.93. Buena teammates Luis Gonzales and CJ Metcalf took 3rd (16:13.24) and 4th (16:19.52) respectively and Ryan Silva (Ricon) rounded out the top 5 (16:20.95).