Desert Twilight XC Festival Highlights



The evening races kicked off at 4:30 PM with 4 freshman races.  Rebecca Farnsly from Peoria won the girls small schools section with a time of 21:42.6 and a 25 second lead over 2nd place with Savannah Gaffney (Xavier College Prep) winning the girls large school division in 19:50.6.  Shelby Brown (20:17.1) and Hannah Coffman (21:17.4) also from Xavier finished 2nd and 3rd respectively.  On the boys side John Reniewicki (Arcadia) finished 1st with a 17:54.6 and Desert Vista's Andrew Hermanski won the large school section in 17:36.4.

Open Races:
The Open Races were underway as the sun started to go down.  Schaivon Bitter (So, Page) won the girls small schools division with a time of 20:22.1 and Kate Yanish (Jr., Xavier College Prep) finished 1st in the large school division with a 19:56.9.  Goch Ajak (Jr., Peoria) won the boys small school section in 17:14.1 and Kevin Estrada (Jr., Desert Vista) won the for large schools in 16:46.4.  
Varsity Races:
Kristina Vanderhout (Sr., Notre Dame Prep) won the girls Varsity small schools division with a time of 19:48.5 and Chloe Newell (Jr., Sahuaro) finished 1st in the large schools division in 19:34.1.  On the boys side Nicolas Montanez (Jr., St. Augustine) took 1st in the boys small school varsity race in 16:24.1 and the large school division title went to Ryan Williams (Pinnacle) in 16:20.6.  
Sweepstake Races:
The girls sweepstakes race took off at 8:45 PM and a small group took the lead for the first 800 meters until  Sarah Fakler (So., Xavier College Prep) and Rolonda Jumbo (Jr., Chinle) moved ahead of the group running alone by the 1st mile.  The two stayed together until the 3 mile mark when Fakler decided to move, "I felt like I was being pushed the whole time," said Fakler after the race, "I'm just not use to people being right here," she continued, pointing to her side.  Fakler finished the race with an impressive time of 17:47 followed by an also impressive second place finish by Jumbo in 17:57.  Fakler and Jumbo were the only female runners to break 18 minutes. Seven other runners in the race ran under 19 minutes.  Aeoleone Bristow (Sr., Rio Rico) finished in 3rd in 18:14 followed by 4th place finisher Breanna Perrone (Jr., Xavier College Prep) who had a breakout race with a major PR of 18:34.10 and Kylee Keiser (Sr., Marcos de Niza) rounded out the top 5 win a finish of 18:36.50.
Top 10 Girls (above)    Top 10 Boys (below)  
Billy Orman (Sr., Tuba City) has been running at altitude all season with no real chance to push himself competitively until Friday night.  "I had no idea who the competition was," said Orman after the race.  "I had never race the Phoenix guys so I had no idea what level they were running at so I decided to stay behind the leader," he continued.  The leader was Chinle junior Johnathan Yazzie who took the race out fast hitting the first mile in 4:45.  Orman hung behind Yazzie until they past the two mile mark when Billy decided to make his move.  "I tried to maintain the pace but it was fast and with 800 to go I thought, "uh oh, I'm in trouble," said Orman with a laugh.  The pace may have been fast but Orman never slowed down and crossed the finish line in a swift 14:51.10.   Alejandro Montano (Sr., Catalina Magnet) finished 2nd in 15:14.60, followed by 3rd place finisher Alejandro Valencia (Sr., Rio Rico) in 15:22.60, 4th was Will Firth (Sr., Brophy Prep) in 15:30 and 5th went to Jorge Martinez (Sr., Alhambra) in 15:36.
Alhambra won the boys team (photo above) title with 143 points and a combined time of 1:20:55 followed by Mesa Mountain View with 176 points and Desert Vista with 196 points.  Alhambra place runners in 5th (Jorge Martinez), 13th (Ignacia Villalba), 26th (Max Talamantes), 49th (Jesus Bustillos) and 50th (George Ramirez).
On the girls side Xavier College Prep (photo above) won the team event with 50 points placing runners in 1st (Sarah Fakler), 4th (Breanna Perrone), 10th (Daylee Burr), 12th (McKenna Gaffney) and 23rd (Julianne Vice).  The total team time was 1:33:54.  Second place went to Desert Vista with 109 points followed by Highland at 144 points.  
College and Community Races
 The College and Community races were fun to watch as we were able to see coaches, parents and former high school runners hitting the course.
University of Arizona runner Mohammed Ige won the men's college division in 14:28.7 and Erin Menefee (U of A freshman from Mt. Carmel HS in California) won the girls college division.