Thu, May 23

Camp Verde cross country small but could be talented

Logan Pratt (left) and Dominic Pittman (right) VVN/File Photo

Logan Pratt (left) and Dominic Pittman (right) VVN/File Photo

Camp Verde High cross country may be low on numbers but is expected to be high on talent.

Led by sophomore Dominic Pittman and freshman Sy Hanson, the Cowboy boys could have a strong season.

“The boys are OK. Dominic Pittman, our lead runner from last year is back, looking better than he did at this time last year, so that is obviously a good thing,” said Camp Verde head coach Mike O’Callaghan. “We have freshman Sy Hanson, during workouts he’s been running with Dominic, so I think that they’ll give us a good one, two punch.”

Last year Pittman finished seventh at the Nike Desert Twilight, eighth at the Holbrook Cross Country Invitational and 63rd at Sectionals.

The other runners on the Cowboys’ boys team are juniors Laddie Willis, Logan Pratt, who O’Callaghan thinks can do well too.

“Laddie Willis, Logan Pratt are back from last year,” O’Callaghan said. “Both will be better than last year, that we know.”

Sophomore Bryon Mina will be unable to run this year due to school commitments.

O’Callaghan is hoping to attracted more runners to fill out the boys team.

“We have a couple of folks who, might come out, but right now we’re one short of a full team,” O’Callaghan said. “So we’re still short of one guy to have a full team but the four fellas we have have been good about getting here and getting to practice, running, so we would expect that they would have a successful season as a group and if we could find several boys that would be willing to come and join us, that would be great Get ready for wrestling, basketball, track, whichever you’re interested in.”

The boys team is a little smaller than normal, usually they have six or seven runners.

“So small numbers, but I think quality wise we’ll be okay,” O’Callaghan said.

The girls team is smaller, with one runner, junior Hope Ontiveros,

“Girls for some reason always seem to be tougher to get,” O’Callaghan said.

Ontiveros tore her ACL in a basketball game against Sedona Red Rock on Jan. 10.

Junior Corina Crittenden is a part of the team but unable to compete this season because she transferred twice.

“Corina Crittenden who ran for us part of the season last year, she had transferred to Mingus and then transferred back, so she is not eligible to compete, she is going to run with us during practice and all,” O’Callaghan said. “She’s going to help as manager and that’s also going to allow her to run with us.”

Their first meet is The Scottsdale’s Invite at Cap Basin Sports Complex on Wednesday. The Camp Verde Invitational is Saturday Sept. 30.

O’Callaghan said likes that the Cowboys have some smaller meets.

“A lot of Wednesday meets, I like it because in some cases we have some smaller meets, not invitationals with hundreds of kids,” O’Callaghan said. “So I know the two meets, one at Alhambra, one a Apache Junction, those will be nice, they’re a little bit more low key, you don’t have a horde of people like you do at an invitational and it does in cases like that allow you to do some things like get the kids to work together, to run together for certain part or if you want to work on some different tactics, a meet like that is a whole lot easier and better to do it in than a big invitational.”

O’Callaghan thinks the Cowboys can do well this season.

“I think Dominic and Sy have the potential to qualify for state,” O’Callaghan said. “Logan and Laddie’s going to depend on circumstances as to how well they race but I think the first two, because they work well together and practice, so I think that will be a good indicator that they both would have a really good shot to make state.”