Xavier College Prep and Los Alamos (NM) Take Home Titles at Twilight


US #4 ranked team, Xavier College Prep, displayed why they are so highly ranked in the country.  The team flexed some serious muscle at the Desert Twilight Classic Invitational against US #14 Great Oak from California -  wining with 28 pts to Great Oaks 41.


Crossing the mile mark Xavier’s Sarah Fakler (SR, pictured far left) held the lead with Great Oak, CA junior Ashley Helbig on her heels.  Great Oak had all 7 runners in the top 15 with no other Xavier runner in the top 25.   By the time the runners hit the 2 mile mark, Fakler had pulled ahead and all 7 of Xavier’s runners were in striking distance of Great Oak. 


Fakler won her 3rd twilight race in 17:34.28 almost matching her 17:30.9 course record from 2011. 


Helbig finished 2nd in 18:07.31 followed by Xavier junior Shelby Brown with a PR of 18:15.18.   Just 3 seconds back was senior Monica Huston from Cibola turning in a great time of 18:18.23.   Sophomore Sierra Brown (Shelby’s little sister) rounded out the top 5 with a time of 18:21.51.


All 7 of Xavier’s runners finished in the top 15 with Samantha Mattice (JR) finishing 9th in 18:29.85, Julianne Vice taking  (JR) 10th in 18:33.53, Jane Miller (FR) in 15th in 18:40 flat and McKenna Gaffney (SR) placing 15th in 18:42.92.


Great Oak had 5 runners in the top 13 with Dorris Haley  (JR) finishing 7th in 18:28.19 followed by Maiya Larsen (SO) in 8th with a time of 18:29.31, Christian Calain (JR) in 11th in 18:34.70 and Kim McNamee (SR) in 13th with 18:38.59.



The Los Alamos team from New Mexico earned 98 points to beat Great Oak California (154 pts) in the Sweepstakes race. 


The Los Alamos team was led by Sean Reardon (SR) who finished 4th in the race with a time of 15:39.23.  Senior Nick Hill was next in 14th with a 15:59.28 followed by Colin Hemez who finished in 16:06.65 for 21st place and Zak Kennison in 22nd in 16:06.75.  Orion Staples (SR) was the 5th  Los Alamos runner and finished in 37th place with a time of 16:22.57.


Great Oak  was led by Lapham Kaden (SR) who finished in 7th place with a time of 15:55.33.  Kaden was followed by 29th place Jack Balder (SR) in 16:13.54; 36th place Patryk Giba (JR) in 16:22.16; 38th place Oscar Ayala (JR) in 16:23.47 and David Carvajal (SO) who finished in 44th place with a time of 16:30.42.


US #1 runner Bernie Montoya (Sr., Cibola) won the Sweepstakes Race with a time of  15:12.88 followed by Andy Trouard (Sr.,) in 15:24.41.   Nate Rodriguez (Jr., Corona del Sol) finished 3rd in 15:35.10 with Sean Reardon (Los Alamos) in 4th and Highland senior Logan Woolf (sorry I couldn’t remember your first name last night) rounding out the top 5 with a time of 15:44.41.  Also in the top 10 were 6th place finisher  Jake Wynn (Sr., Saguaro) in 15:46.83; 7th place Matti Groll (Sr., Desert Mountain) in 15:48.95; 8th place Lapham Kaden (Los Alamos) in 15:51.40; 9th place Jack Rubenzer (Sr., Brophy Prep) in 15:51.89 and 10th place Josh Hoskinson (Jr., Arizona Lutheran) in 15:53.57.


Montoya crossed the finish line a little disappointed, “I did not break 15 minutes.” He said after crossing the line, a goal he was hoping to check of his long “To Do List” before he finishes his prep career.  But Montoya had a blistering track season that went well into the summer, putting his cross country training on the back burner for awhile.   


The good news is………he still has another shot at it on November 17th at the Nike SW Regionals (same course).



Montoya’s strong work ethic and dedication to the sport allows him to set very high standards for himself but his humble demeanor says more.  He just doesn’t want to disappoint his many followers who stand at the finish line just wanting to get a closer look at him or even a wave.


They just want to see him run.



Editor’s note:  In it’s 6th year the Desert Twilight Classic has become a favorite meet of most Arizona athletes.  Running at night, the dance, the fireworks and the out of state teams bring a new excitement to the sport and with so many out of state teams attending, the competition will only get better.