Blogs / Features
Les WillseyStaff Writer, AIA365.com email@example.com
Desert Vista girls, Highland boys roll on at Chandler XCSep 8, 2012
Score a four-peat for Desert Vista's girls. A three-peat for Highland's boys and Corona del Sol's Nate Rodriguez. And may as well add repeats for Basha's Courtney Goodrich and Desert Vista's Dani Jones.
Those teams and individuals highlighted action Saturday morning at the annual Chandler Invitational Cross Country Meet at Tumbleweed Park.
Desert Vista's girls used at least top-four finishes in each of the four races -- freshman, sophomore, junior and senior -- to prevail for the fourth year in a row with the paltry sum of 11 points. Leading the way was sophomore race winner Jones, who defended her freshman win and turned in the best time of the day of any female runner at 18 minutes, 56 seconds. Other Desert Vista runners scoring were freshman Emily Smith (4th), junior Alexa Foster (3rd) and senior Brittany Tretbar (3rd).
Sophomore Lauren Ellsworth of team runner-up Highland (28 points) was second in that race (19:07) and boasted the second-fastest time of all female runners for the day. Highland teammate Kristi Rush won the senior race (19:22) for her second win at Chandler. Rush also won as a sophomore in 2010. Basha, which finished third in the team standings with 29 points, got a second consecutive title from junior Goodrich (20:24). The other girls winner was Xavier freshman Zoe Bargars (20:42).
Highland's boys, the defending Division I boys state champions, made it three straight years as invite champs. The Hawks needed not only a top finish in the senior race -- a win from its best Logan Woolf. Woolf responded with a fast time of 16:22. That enabled Highland to finish with 19 points and edge runner-up Desert Vista (20) and third-place Corona del Sol (23). Desert Vista and Corona were tied at 17 and Highland had 18 heading to the senior race.
"Logan was just running to win his race," Highland coach Dave Montgomery said. "We knew the score was close, but it wasn't like he was running with the pressure of winning the meet. This was our first meet of the season, and I thought we ran well. It was very hot and muggy."
Racking up a third individual title was Corona junior Rodriguez. Rodriguez turned in the fastest time of the day, covering the 5K in 16:02. The next fastest time of any runner was the runner-up in his race -- Vista Grande's Adrian Ortega (16:19). Rodriguez has won as a Williams Field freshman in 2010 and running for Corona in 2011.
Rio Rico's Oscar Amaya won the sophomore race (17:06). The freshman race went to Desert Vista's Xavier Esparza (17:24). Esparza bested Perry's Cade Burks (17:35). The pair ran last week at the Sole Sport Cross Country Festival at Silverado Golf Club in Scottsdale with Burks posting a time one-second better so a competitive rivarly could be brewing.