This article begins much like Monday's article about the last week for Arizona boys began. In spite of Desert Twilight being on tap for this week, there were a couple of big-deal meets in California that pulled a lot of Arizona across the border. A long way past the border, actually.
We'll start our look at the week gone by with the California meets.
It may be the fastest course in North America. It's a pity, then, it's a three-mile course, though nobody seemed to mind much last weekend.
As I did with the boys, I've pulled together and linked a virtual meet of all the Arizona results from Woodbridge. You can only see it if you're a subscriber, but it reveals a lot of insights into how things went for the Arizona crowd at Woodbridge:
There's a lot to ho-hum over in the first two team places in the Arizona merge. Everyone expected Desert Vista to come out on top. Everyone expected Lauren Ping and Katie Sigerud to post the top two times from Arizona (though they may not have expected the size of the gap between the two). Perry is, at best, a very mild surprise in the #2 slot. Word is around that Perry puts a very good team on the course. Perhaps a few folks are mildly surprised that the Pumas ran this well, but they shouldn't be. Taylor Lovell and Alexis Pagel give Perry a very nice 1-2, and the Pumas don't take long to finish the scoring.
In news with more potential to raise your eyebrows, we got a bit of a sneak preview of the Division 2 girls race at Woodbridge. We'll note here that a) it's not November, and b) it's not 2020, but Casteel did leave a pretty serious message at Woodbridge. Jadyn Herron-Jonap ran a 17:34, Natalia Medina ran 18:22, and the Colts had six altogether under 19:20. Casteel, if they can keep the wheels on the wagon through November, is a very serious threat to win the Division 2 title.
Aside from the aforementioned Desert Vista and Perry, Casteel and fourth-place Xavier College Preparatory were the only Arizona teams to get more than two below 20 minutes. There was the top four and then an enormous gap. In all, 15 Arizona schools had enough individuals for a team score in the Arizona merge.
A bit south of Woodbridge, and at fabled Balboa Park, Kylie Wild did in California what she's been known to do in Arizona. She buried the field in the Division 2 race. She ran 15:35, which would be jaw-dropping except that it was a 2.75-mile course. It's still impressive. Overall, Salpointe Catholic finished fourth to three California schools. Maria Fernanda Ruiz de Chavez (I have learned by now there are way too many opportunities to lay down a typo in that name) added a very nice 8th-place finish in the same race.
Nothing Salpointe Catholic has done this season has yet diminished their standing as the team to beat in Division 3.
Turning our attention back to events that happened in Arizona in the last week, we start with...
Kimi Cahoon of Phoenix Country Day showed up and ran fourth at 20:13. If you were looking for PCD in the team scoring, however, they weren't there. That would be because PCD had only three entries in the race. It's not a good sign for PCD's Division 4 state title hopes if that's the extent of what they can put on the course this fall. We'll check back later in the season to see if that's still the case.
They were at it up in Flagstaff once again this past weekend. Mia Hall was absolutely dominant, winning by more than two minutes. Flagstaff had four more in the next 10 places and won easily. Mingus Union ran a distant second and Pusch Ridge Christian third. Of the three schools just mentioned, the best news is the news for Pusch Ridge. This performance stamps them as a legitimate Division 4 state title contender.
Nogales takes the win, led by three of the top six places courtesy of Mia Barraza, Sofia Durazo, and Brianna Morgan. But, it's difficult to put a finger on anything particularly portentous coming out of this meet. There may well have been teams here that can make some noise at state, but the hard evidence for that may have to wait for a faster course.
Jessica Madrid of Round Valley shows in the results as winning this one by two minutes on the nose. If you're rationalizing that with something like, "Well, it probably wasn't a very strong field," consider that Wheaten Smith finished second. Assuming that the results report accurately what happened, Madrid is the real deal. We will pencil her in for now as a certified Division 4 individual title contender.
The rest of the way through the top 12 was a case of Snowflake and Coconino trading places. Coconino got the best of the exchange this time around, but you can't help but feeling there's no guarantee it would fall the same way the next time around. Mark down both Snowflake and Coconino as Division 3 title contenders.
As an aside, Coconino is now several meets into their season and we've seen neither hide nor hair of Cathron Donaldson. Going forward, I'll assume that Donaldson is not part of the picture for Coconino cross country this fall. At least initially, that would seem to put a dent in their chances, but they seem to be holding up well and it is an opportunity for another girl to run varsity and develop at that level.
This one was a CAA meet. But, it's still worth noting that Heritage Academy is running a pretty strong team. It would be a delight to see them get a chance against some AIA schools. Brooklynn Dorr takes the win in 21:48.
As almost everyone knows, this Friday is Desert Twilight. Nearly all of Arizona, or so it seems, shows up for this one. We'll have a much better read on how several of the classification battles are shaping up after this week. Look for that kind of coverage coming next week!