The course at Mt. Sac is one of the toughest in the country with hills named "The switchbacks" and "Poop out hill" and with over 600 teams, 104 races and close to 20,000 runners……..the teams come to compete and see where they emerge among the best.
Xavier College Prep sent two teams to California and both did amazingly well. The JV team competed in the Division 1&2 JV National Championship race and placed their top 5 scoring runners in 7th, 10th, 17th, 19th and 23rd led by freshman Savannah Gaffney (19:08). When the race finished and the dust settled, the team stood on the podium as the Division 2 National Champions. Also scoring for the team were Shelby Brown (Fr, 19:13), Laura Orlie (Jr., 19:24), Quincie Glimcher (So, 19:34) and Kate Yanish (Jr., 19:38).
The Xavier Varsity team keyed it up for the top team race of the weekend…….."The Team Sweepstakes." At the start of the race the team, led by sophomore Sarah Fakler, settled into a comfortable pace and at the half way mark started moving forward. With 400 meters to go it was an all out sprint as Fakler finished 6th overall clocking a nice 17:20, a 48 second PR from her freshman Mt. Sac finish. Six runners on the Xavier team ran in 2009 and all posted faster times on Saturday with a total team time of 1:32.02. Senior Daylee Burr was the second runner for Xavier finishing 36th in 18:33 followed by junior Breanna Perrone (45th, who had the biggest PR from from the previous year moving from 20:17 to 18:37) and sophomore McKenna Gaffney (46th) in 18:37. Freshman Juliann Vice finished 5th for the team in 18:55.
As elated as the team felt about their improvement, they were still looking ahead.
"A 2009 to 2010 comparison shows that our girls have made significant progress in both fitness and time. That being said, we need to continue to make significant progress if we seek to compete at the very highest level both regionally and nationally," said Coach Messer after the race.
Two runners from Arizona ran in the "Individual Sweeps." Kylee Kieser (Sr., Marcos de Niza) ran a strong solid race and finished 10th with a time of 18:13, a 50 second improvement from last year.
Daniel Wong (Sr., Canyon del Oro) finished 18th in the fast and furious boys Individual Sweeps with a solid 15:18 time.
The boys of Catalina Foothills won the "Boys Division 2 Varsity Race Race 50 " with a team total time of 1:21.07. Senior Rex Woodbury led the way with a 2nd place finish and a time of 15:35. Dylan Souza (Sr) finished in 6th place (16:01) followed by Mike Whetzel in 7th (16:10). Max Warneke (23rd, 16:38) and Sam Sandweiss (26th, 16:43) rounded out the top 5.
Lauren Cooper (Sr., Ironwood Ridge) ran in "The Division 2 Girls Varsity Race 56" and finished 3rd in 18:37. Teammate junior Emily Wilkinson placed 10th clocking a 19:10.
The Ironwood Ridge Boys finished 9th in the "Boys Division 2 Varsity Race 51" with junior John Winfield placing 9th in 15:50. The team had a total time of 1:25.04.
Sunnyside high school had 3 runners in the Division 2 Varsity race #49 with Salazar Terrance winning the race in 15:54.
The division 3, 4 and 5 sweepstake races were held on Friday evening and Hopi High School placed 2nd in both the boys and girls races.
The Hopi girls placed runners in 10th, 11th, 15th, 16th and 30th and had a total team time of 1:41:35. Two Hopi freshman led the way for the girls team as Claryn Josytewa finished in 11th place with a time of 19:54 followed closely behind by Ashley Onsae in 12th place with a 19:55.
Junior Justin Secakuku finished 3rd in the boys race in 15:36 (the announcer kept calling him Kyle Silas), followed by senior Dani Lomayestewa in 9th place in 16:04. Also scoring for the team were McCray Huma (S0, 16:18), Kyle Yoyokie (Jr., 16:39) and Kelsey Jones (Jr., 17:03).