Division III Girls
The most exciting finish of the day was between Kylie Wild of Salpointe Catholic and Evelynne Carr of American Leadership Academy - Queen Creek. Carr took off right from the gun and had a sizeable gap at the one-mile mark. Wild took a more measured approach in her race strategy and was not even in the top-five at 800 meters and had moved up to fourth place right before the mile. And while Carr looked strong at about 2000 meters, one could see that Kylie had moved up to second and looked in control as well. Carr still had about 20-30 meters on Wild as the rounded the turn and headed towards the finish line. In the final stretch, it really did not look like Wild would have enough real estate to catch Carr but with about one to steps before the finish, Wild passed Carr to take the title in dramatic fashion.
Division III Boys
Last year's Division III state champion, Roshan Tinoco-Miranda, ran a very controlled and tough race to once again earn the top-spot yesterday. Roshan, who ended up winning by 15-seconds (15:32) was by no means leading this race wire to wire. While he was in the lead pack throughout the race, he didn't make a definitive move to open up a gap until around mile two. After that, it was a done deal. Unlike the girls' race, the top-nine finishers were all upperclassmen, with the top six being senior boys. Gilbert Olivas Jr. (Cactus) was very patient in his race plan, having had the luxury of running on the same course last week at sectionals, and was able to pass last year's champ, Trent Holiday from Page, with about 200 meters to go to capture second place.
On the team side, the boys of Salpointe Catholic won their first-ever state title (57 points) without putting anyone in the top-nine individually. They placed their top-five runners from 10th to 20th place, with only a 30-second gap. Sophomores, Michael Urbanski and Diego Veliz, lead the Lancers going 10th and 11th in 16:30.40. Junior Diego Martin-Valdez was the team's third runner (16:50) and two-spots behind him was teammate Deigo Logan-Beshad. Their fifth runner, junior John Harris crossed the land in 20th place in a time of 17:00. Diego Delgado (28th overall) and Ethan Mobley (44th overall) rounded out the team finishes for the Lancers. All boys were under 18-minutes with the top-4 being sub-17. The Lobos of Snowflake were the runner-ups yesterday (68 points) with a strong performance by their entire team as well.