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Runner-up Ponce leads Tech boys to Laughlin Invitational title

Second, third and fourth place were enough for Tech’s boys cross country team to claim the top prize on Saturday in Laughlin.

The Roadrunners placed three runners in the top four on their way to the team championship in the large-school race of the Laughlin Invitational at Mountain View Park.

Tech posted a team score of 41, just six points better than Shadow Ridge, which had runners in five of the top 12 scoring spots. Australian Select was third with 82.

Del Sol’s Nick Priego won the 3.1-mile race in 17 minutes, 15.9 seconds, but Tech took the next three spots.

Martin Ponce was second in 17:27, with teammates Zach Zimdars (17:45) and Ken Lawrence (17:51) not far behind. Clay Caines paced the Australians with fifth in 18:01.

Boulder City’s boys scored 35 points to win the small-school race. Virgin Valley was second with 50, and the host Cougars were third with 71.

Ryan Wright of River Valley (Ariz.) was the top small-school finisher with a time of 18:06. Boulder City’s Evan Klouse was second in 18:46.

Centennial’s Sydney Badger pulled away from the field to win the girls race in 19:22. Australian Select, which won the large-school team title, had the next two finishers with Karlie Swanson earning a time of 20:07, and Perri Newman claiming third in 20:25.

The Australian team scored 48 points to nip Basic, which finished with 56. Centennial was third with 63.

Laughlin had four of the top six scoring positions in the girls small-school race to easily win with 28 points. Virgin Valley was second with 59.

Boulder City’s Jessica Tobler, who finished fourth overall in the girls race, was the top small-school finisher in 20:28. Laughlin’s Kemberly Mejia was next in 22:27.

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