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REGION CROSS COUNTRY: Aggie girls out to stop runner-up streak

Arbor View’s girls cross country team has finished second at the Sunset Region meet the last three seasons.

The Aggies will try to end that streak Saturday at Boulder City’s Veterans’ Memorial Park.

“It’s going to be a great day of racing on Saturday,” Arbor View coach Tyrel Cooper said.

The Sunset girls meet is at noon. The day’s races begin at 8 a.m. with the Sunrise boys. The first girls race, the Sunrise Region, is at 11:20 a.m. with the Division III Southern girls race closing out the day at 1:20 p.m.

There are a number of strong teams in the Sunset girls race, but Arbor View, Centennial and Palo Verde are the clear favorites to advance to state.

Arbor View heads the list with striker Zanae Jones and some terrific depth. Seven Aggie runners have broken 21 minutes in 3.1-mile races this year.

Centennial counters with the Sunset Region’s top two runners in Sydney Badger and Katie Gorczyca.

“The girls are coming along great right now and it should be a great race,” Centennial coach Roy Session said. “The goal is to run better each week and work on closing our gaps.”

In Division I, three teams apiece from the Sunrise and Sunset regions qualify for state. The top five individuals from nonqualifying teams also advance to state.

In the Sunrise girls race, the top two spots for state will almost certainly go to Coronado (defending state champs) and Green Valley. Foothill has the edge for the third spot.

Two-time Sunrise individual champion Sara Dort, who has not been beaten by a Sunrise runner all season, leads Coronado. Green Valley has two front-runners with Lindy Eskin and Sara Braverman, and Alyse Vanek leads Foothill.

In the Sunrise boys meet, Green Valley is primed for a return to state. The other two spots are unsettled, but Coronado and Las Vegas look to be the favorites.

Green Valley has the most depth, led by sophomore Austin Rogers.

“(We’re) blessed with young talent this year,” Green Valley coach Blaine Thompson said.

Coronado counters with depth of its own, which includes the No. 1 sophomore in Southern Nevada, Colin Schaefer. Las Vegas will also be a contender for state this year, with a strong trio of Hector Ortega-Torres, Miguel Ramirez and Michael Wells.

Eldorado’s Eddie Esquivel will make noise as an individual. He is the defending Sunrise Region individual champion and the state runner-up.

Centennial’s boys, the defending Division I state champions, are led by Jackson Carter, Dajour Braxton and George Espino, who are ranked 1-2-3 in the Sunset. The other two spots at state will likely come down to Shadow Ridge, Arbor View, Desert Oasis or Palo Verde. The Mustangs appear to have the edge for the second spot, with a pair of aces in David Peters and Nick Oberdin.

The top-ranked girl’s team in Division I-A is Faith Lutheran, led by Hannah Pavlov and Jessica Scamman. Tech, Desert Pines, Pahrump and Cheyenne have the best chance of joining the Crusaders at state.

The top-ranked boy’s Division I-A teams this year are Tech, Clark and Faith Lutheran.

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