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Top-ranked cross country teams show their stuff at league meets

Arbor View and Centennial’s boys and girls cross country teams have been atop the polls all season and for very good reason.

The teams didn’t go head-to-head on the 3.1-mile course at Floyd Lamb State Park Friday, but both dominated the scoring in their respective races.

The Aggies’ girls finished with 16 points, 28 points ahead of Shadow Ridge to win the Northwest League meet.

Arbor View’s Zanae Jones won individually in 19 minutes, 30 seconds, and was followed by teammates Morgan Anderson (19:38.3), Madison Fletcher (19:39.4) and Isabella Sakai (20:18.2). Shadow Ridge’s Jessica Graf finished fifth (20:20).

“I felt good today,” Jones said. “Our team is working hard. We have goal of winning state this year (and) I just want to help make it happen.”

Added Arbor View coach Tyrel Cooper: “Our girls are running really well.“Our top three have been outstanding and we’re pretty deep.”

Centennial competed without its No. 1 runner Sydney Badger, who was on a college recruiting trip, but the Bulldogs didn’t miss a beat in the Southwest League girls race. They won by scoring 22 points, well ahead of runner-up Cimarron-Memorial (71).

“We try to take advantage of our opportunities,” Centennial girls coach Roy Sessions said. “My girls are tired but they’re running with heart.”

Centennial’s Katie Gorczyca broke away after the first mile and recorded the fastest girls time of the day in 19:07 seconds. Desert Oasis’ Brooke Locey (19:49.8) was second, followed by Centennial’s Kayla Roberts (19:53.7) and Marieta Wright (20:09.1). Cimarron-Memorial’s Tiana Callejo (20:29.1) finished fifth.

“I’ve been trying different strategies,” Gorczyca said. “Ever since Lake Mead, I’ve been training so hard trying to help the team win state.”

Gorczyca said running without Badger had both positives and negatives.

“I like running without (Badger) so I can win, but I like running with her because she really pushes me,” Gorczyca said. “I would have run faster today (with Badger), but I wouldn’t have had the joy of winning.”

The Arbor View and Centennial boys matched their girls, winning their respective races. Arbor View outscored Shadow Ridge 25-32 for the team title. The teams combined to snag the first 11 places for scoring.

The Aggies’ Cole Jones won in 16:13 seconds. He finished ahead of Shadow Ridge runners David Peters (16:50.2) and Nicholas Oberdin (16:54.6), and his teammates Jordan Comish (17:02.0) and Jason Gallo (17:36).

“I broke away coming down the hill, just before the mile mark,” Cole Jones said. “I felt it was time to go. I was hoping to break 16, but I’m fine with a really hard race.”

The Centennial boys posted a perfect score of 15 in the Southwest meet, as the first five runners crossing the line were Bulldogs. Dajour Braxton posted the fastest time of the day in 15:52 seconds, and was closely followed by George Espino (15:57.1), Jackson Carter (16:13.6), Seth Wright (16:39.8), and Jason Day (16:43.3).

“I was surprised we ran so well,” Centennial boys coach Mike McGuire said. “I wasn’t expecting a perfect score. Our top seven is pretty well set.”

Bishop Gorman finished second with 70 points.

The Division I-A team winners for boys were Tech in Sunrise and Clark in Sunset. Tech (Sunrise) and Faith Lutheran (Sunset) won the girls’ titles.

Martin Ponce (Tech) won the boy’s individual Sunrise race in 16:57.7. Chase Wood (Faith Lutheran) won the Sunset race in 17:01.6 seconds.

Faith Lutheran’s Hannah Pavlov won the Sunset girls race in 19:51.4. Ebonique Diaz (Sunrise Mountain) was first in the Sunrise girls (20:11.1).

The Meadows won both Division III races. The boys outscored Laughlin (22-34), while the girls outscored Lincoln County (15-40).

Lincoln County’s Cameron Frehner was the individual winner of the boy’s Division III race in 18:07.0.

Jeneke Heerema of The Meadows won the girl’s Division III race in 19:59.1.

The two Division I Sunrise Region leagues ran their races at Foothill on Friday. Coronado’s boys rolled to victory in the Southeast League meet.

Colin Schaefer won the 3.1-mile race in 16:54.3, followed by teammate Sterling Saltz (17:19.8) to lead the Cougars, which finished with 25 points and placed five runners in the top 11.

Liberty took the next three spots, with Chuckie Custer (17:23.0) taking third, Jonathan George (17:25.4) fourth and Alex Grant (17:26.9) fifth. The Patriots were second in the team standings with 71 points.

The Cougars also took the Southeast girls race, finishing with 22 points. Foothill was second with 38.

Sara Dort led Coronado, finishing first in 18:42.8, more than a minute ahead of second-place finisher Alyse Vanek of Foothill (19:51.0).

Coronado’s Taylor Lauten (20:33.8), Logan Lucas (20:43.0) and Alexandria Danlag (20:48.0) took the next three places.

Green Valley’s boys took the top two spots en route to the win in the Northeast League race.

Austin Rogers was first in 16:47.9, followed by Lenny Rubi (17:01.5) for the Gators, which had 29 points altogether.

Las Vegas’ Hector Ortega-Torres (17:06.9), Miguel Ramirez (17:11.3) and Michael Wells (17:17.5) took the next three spots, and the Wildcats finished second as a team with 47 points.

The Gators rolled to the team title in the Northeast girls race, taking the top seven spots and finishing with a perfect 15 score.

Sara Braverman (20:30.7), Lindy Eskin (20:32.3), Stacie Hall (20:35.7) and Jenna Landman (20:35.7) finished in a tight pack to lead Green Valley.

Rancho was second in the team standings with 66.

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