Blogs / Features
Les WillseyStaff Writer, AIA365.com email@example.com
6th Annual Desert Twilight XC Meet corrals state's bestSep 27, 2012
The Desert Twilight Cross Country Meet takes a back seat in the grand scheme of things (prep football) on a fall Friday night, but nothing matches it for distance-running enthusiasts with the standout-studded field and unique night run.
The 6th annual Desert Twilight XC Meet takes place Friday (September 28) afternoon through late evening at Toka Sticks Golf Course in Mesa. The meet brings together the top schools and individuals from across the state with more than 100 schools taking part. Races begin at 4 p.m. and continue until the marquee events (boys and girls championship races) consisting of mostly non-elite teams and ending with the Girls Sweepstakes (9 p.m.) and the Boys Sweepstakes(9:25 p.m). The sweepstakes races consist of the elite teams in the state with a few sprinkled in from California, Colorado and New Mexico.
Teams selected for the Girls Sweepstakes are: Cactus Shadows, Catalina Foothills, Chaparral, Chinle, Cibola, Corona del Sol, Desert Vista, Durango, Colo.; Greak Oak, Calif.; Highland, Hopi, Ironwood Ridge, Los Alamos, N.M.; Marana Mtn. View, Mesa Mtn. View, Red Mountain and Xavier.
Xavier is the three-time defending champ and led by two-time individual returning champ Sarah Fakler and teammates Lauren Kinzle and Sam Mattice. Mesa Mountain View was last year's runner-up. Los Alamos (3rd), Desert Vista (4th) and Highland (6th) will try to keep pace with the Gators. Fakler won the meet in 2010 and 2011 and was runner-up as a freshman in 2009.
Other runners to watch are Desert Vista's Dani Jones, Jenna Maack and Brittany Tretbar; Highland's Kristi Rush and Lauren Ellsworth; Mesa Mountain View's Huston Jones; Cibola's Monica Huston; Chaparral's Ali Kallner and Notre Dame Preps's Juie Vanderhout. Flagstafd the Arizona Division II state cross country champ,opted to compete in the girls championship race. The Eagles have an elite runner in junior Tatiana Gillick.
The Boys Sweepstakes, the final event of a six-hour race schedule, has the following teams competing: Boulder Creek, Brophy, Cactus Shadows, Canyon del Oro, Chinle, Cibola, Corona del Sol, Desert Vista, Durango, Colo.; Greak Oak, Calif.; Hamilton; Highland, Ironwood Ridge, Los Alamos, N.M.; Marana Mountain View, Mesa Mountain View; Peak to Peak, Lafayette, Colo.; Red Mountain, Rincon, Rio Rancho, N.M.; Rio Rico, Saguaro and Salpointe.
Last year's Boys Sweepstakes champ, Mountain Brook High, Ala, is not defending its title. Top finishing teams behind Mountain Brook last year were Mesa Mountain View (2nd), Highland (3rd), Los Alamos (4th), Brophy (5th), Desert Vista (6th) and Rio Rancho (7th). A newcomer this year, Great Oak, should be in contention for the title. Five different schools have won the boys sweepstakes title in the previous five meets.
Runners to watch are defending Division I and DT champ Bernie Montoya of Cibola; Rincon's Ryan Silva, Corona del Sol's Nate Rodriguez; Saguaro's Jake Wynn; Highland's Logan Woolf; Brophy's Jack Rebenzer; Desert Vista's Carter Macey; Desert Mountain's Matti Groll; Canyon del Oro's Andrew Garcia; Rio Rico's Robert Contreras and Cactus Shadows' Ethan Homan. All were top-30 finishers last year.