The Doug Conley Invitational came full circle as it returned to the Rolling Hills Golf Course where the meet originated in 1973. The 3.1 mile course was spectator friendly and well marked with the starting line, the half way point and the finish in close proximity to each other.
With perfect weather conditions, the varsity girls race started right on time at 7:45 AM. Chinle sophomore Rolonda Jumbo got out to a quick start reaching the mile mark in 6:03.21, about 10 seconds ahead of a tight group consisting of Christina Price (Sr., Sabino), Jenna Maack (Fr., Desert Vista), Kylee Kieser (Jr., Casa Grande), Lacey Kalinen (So., Pinnacle), Christen Collins (Sr., Pinnacle) and Kerri Lenihan (Jr., Marana Mtn. View). Kieser took a slight lead half way through the race and was closely followed by, Kalinen, Collins, Price, Lenihan and Jumbo.
(So., Mesa Mt. View
) was running behind Jumbo half way through the race when she slipped and fell. Teammate and best friend Sarah Schmidt
(So) stopped to help her back to her feet. (see photo on left)
Decker took the lead at the two mile mark with Kieser and Schmidt on her heels but it was Schmidt who crossed the finish line first in 18:52.25.
I kept thinking, "I got to keep up with Brianna because she is my motivation," said Schmidt about her teammate. "Toward the end I started passing her (Brianna) and I thought, what is going on, I am not surpose to pass her."
"She (Schmidt) has a great kick," Decker chimed in. Decker was a close second in 18:56.08 and was very happy for her teammate. Kieser sprinted to the finish line and almost caught Decker, finishing 3rd in 18:56.10.
(photo left: Sarah Schmidt crossing the finish line at the Doug Conley Invitational)
"This was a good course," said Kieser after the, "But I'm all for the Kiwanis course because that's my favorite course."
Senior Christen Collins (18:41.78) and sophomore Lacey Kalinen (18:42.29) placed 4th and 5th respectively, leading Pinnacle to the team title with 131 points. Also earning points for the team were Kyndal Sorenson (Jr) placing 29th in 20:18.41, Sydney Mierau (Fr) finishing 42nd in 20:36.72 and Nicole Zampino (So) taking 53rd in 20:51.84. Desert Vista took home the 2nd place trophy with 146 points and Highland placed 3rd with 169 points. Highlands #2 runner, freshman Kristi Rush, did not run in the meet.
Doug Conley Team Champions - Pinnacle Girls CC Team (pictured below)
Other top ten individual runners were Kerri Lenihan (Jr., Marana Mountain View) placing 6th in 18:43.77, Nogales junior Zahira Jimenez in 7th with a time of 18:52.16, 8th place finisher Christina Price (Sr., Sabino) in 18:59.45, Taylor De Laveaga (So., Perry) finishing 9th in 19:04.17 and Highland freshman Ashley Hatch in 10th in 19:07.35.
Top ten finishers in the girls varsity race. Ashley Hatch was not available for the photo so a teammate stepped in to accept her medal.
In the boys varsity race it was Jorge Martinez (Jr., Alhambra) who stepped out to an early lead but by the time he crossed the mile mark Rex Woodbury (Jr., Catalina Foothills) was running at his side followed by teammate Dylan Souza (Jr). Ryan Yazzie (Sr., Tuba City), Steven Gregg (Sr., Sabino), Humberto Bravo (Sr., Flowing Wells), Cory Breinholt (Jr., Highland), Jeffrey Segovia (Sr., Trevor Browne), Fabian Romero (Sr., Sunnyside), Tyler Bingham (Sr., Mesa Mt. View), Carson Woodbury (Catalina Foothills), Garrett Baker-Slama (Sr., Corona del Sol) and Jared Hirschl (Jr., Corona del Sol)were in a tight pack right behind Souza.
The race at the Queen Creek Twilight Meet
last Friday evening and the red-eye flight (immediately following the race) to North Carolina, took a little toll on Ironwood Ridge
senior Steve Magnuson (pictured right, crossing the finish line)
who verbally committed to North Carolina on Monday. "I felt terrible Monday and Wednesday during workouts," said Magnuson, but he followed his coaches advice and took the race out a little slower hitting the mile mark at 5:22. "I felt a little sluggish today and I just let the course do the work for me," said Magnuson after the race. "I just kept my own pace and caught up to the group and they just didn't want to go with me today..….it's a rough course" he continued. Magnuson won the race in 15:43.64 with the defending Doug Conley Champion, Jorge Martinez
) taking 2nd in 15:57.19. Ryan Yazzie
(Sr., Tuba City
) was less than a second behind Martinez (15:58.04).
Tyler Bingham (Sr., Mesa Mtn. View) placed 4th in 16:05.91 leading his team to a first place finish with 104 points. Mesa Mountain View had all five of their scoring runners in the top 30 with Ben Williams (Sr) placing 17th in 16:26.83; Blake Cowan (Jr) finishing 26th in 16:39.35; Spencer Frame (Sr) landing in 27th in 16:45.96 and Monson Cowley (Jr) taking 30th in 16:45.96.
The Alhambra team, led by 2nd place individual Jorge Martinez, took the second place team title with 163 points; Rex Woodbury led the Catalina Foothills to a 3rd place team finish with 163 points, 3 points behind Alhambra.
Top ten finishers in the boys Varsity race.
Highland high school has some depth with Lauren Lovell
(Fr., pictured left
) and Taylor Atchley
taking the first two places in the Girls JV race. Lovell finished first in and Taylor took second in 21:19.88 leading the Highland girls to the JV Team Title. Haley Mellison
finished in 5th (21:39.40), Jessie Worger
(So) in 10th (22:08.33) and Maddie Riggs
(Fr) in 12th (22:20.10).
On the boys side, Mesa Mountain View had 5 runners in the top 7 to take the JV Team Title with Dallin Gherkins (So., pictured right) taking 1st in 17:29.78. Jordan Spence (Jr) finished 2nd in 17:34.07, Taylor Barney (Jr) placed 4th in 17:40.21, Scott Carter (Jr) landed in 6th in 17:50.25 and Reid Hiatt (Jr) came in 7th in 17:56.15.