The last two weekends of September were as busy as things get for invitational season cross country in Arizona. The last two weekends have been, well, quiet. Very quiet.
Whether it's licking wounds from injuries, trying to get rest back into bodies that were racing hard on back-to-back weekends, or just what, there's not much to report on from last weekend.
The biggest meet of the weekend, oddly enough, was hosted by Chandler Preparatory Academy. They dubbed it the Titan Invitational. And it was legitimately big.
Mia Hall came down from Flagstaff to win the individual title, by a lot. Other than Hall, Taylor McCue of Catalina Foothills was the only other competitor under 19 minutes. Four more slipped in under 20 minutes.
The team scoring, however, was a good deal closer. Xavier College Preparatory edged out Casteel, who edged out Flagstaff. There's more than a little hint here that the Flagstaff vs. Casteel battle in Division 2 may end up closer than what it looked like a couple weeks ago. Desert Mountain was way back in fourth and Campo Verde still further back in fifth.
There were no especially eyebrow-raising small-school results coming out of the meet. So, we move on...
Named after Sandra Day, not Carroll (who had no plausible Arizona connections), this meet was also a reasonably large meet--and particularly so by last weekend's standards.
We saw some of the Desert Vista varsity--Bailee Christofis and Emily Littlefield went 1-2--but it was not enough, in total, to hold off Liberty. Liberty claimed the next three places with Madeline Reeves, McKinley Blanton, and Laynee Hollech, then proceeded to snatch the meet title away from DV by a 32-47 margin. Make no mistake, Liberty is a solid team.
Of note here, D3 Saguaro fared nicely in this meet, finishing third with 88 team points. D4 Glendale Prep had 140 in fourth. Both of those finishes remind us that Saguaro and Glendale Prep are teams of interest in their respective divisions. Saguaro's Evangeline Dunckley (we mentioned that name before this season) was the first to break up the DV/Liberty party at the front of the race.
Hosted in Sierra Vista (Buena High School), this one predictably drew a Tucson-esque kind of crowd.
Salpointe Catholic sat their biggest guns, but still came precariously close to winning the meet with 50 points. Marana took the meet title with 45. Cienega's 50 was good enough for second by virtue of snaring the tie-breaker out of SC's hands. In the small-school world of things, Pusch Ridge Christian held their own with a respectable fourth-place finish.
Taking the win and claiming the only sub-20 finish of the day, was Mariza Chavez of Marana at 19:20.
Up north a piece from Sierra Vista, Alchesay hosted a smallish meet of their own.
Temyra Bia of Chinle won the battle--as she has done a couple of times this season. Winning the war, however, was Snowflake. Chinle was back, a fair bit, in second. The girls in blue are a long way from giving up on the possibility of earning a state title this fall. The odds are long, but the prize dangles even so. Freshman Addison Craner led the flurry of Snowflakers in second with a time of 21:44, 20 seconds behind Bia.
Back again to points south in the Arizona scheme of locations...
The result this time was much the same as it has been other times. D3 Thatcher first, D4 Benson second. Both are good teams. Both should advance to state, but both will need a boost before state to become certifiable title contenders.
Amity Hall of Benson takes the individual title in 21:32. It's nice to take a win at your home meet. I think we could be friends.
In what was essentially a dual meet, Page and Tuba City battled to a very close team score, 27-29. The 27 belonged to Tuba City, 29 to Page. Jade Reid of Page, however, ran 19:55 to win by a whopping 70 seconds. We probably haven't heard the last of Reid for the season.