Sun, Dec. 15

Marauders preparing for regions

Mingus Union’s lead cross country runners broke school records Saturday in the final tune-up meet before this weekend’s region championships.

Ariel Latimer beat the old girls record on the flat, 2.8 mile Holbrook Invitational course with a time of 17:40 — a whopping 1:23 ahead of the previous best set by Jessie Cady in 1997.

Jack Mann edited the Marauder boys record with a time of 15:30 — 14 seconds ahead of the old mark set by Kyle Romine in 1997.

The Mingus girls took fifth overall against a field of 12 other teams. The Marauder boys earned eighth out of 12 teams competing.

"The girls all improved their times, the first time all year that every girl had their best race of the year," said coach Jim Bostwick. "The boys also had a good day, though not their best of the year as sophomore Colton Noble and junior Reggie Barron were missing from our usual varsity lineup."

Latimer placed fourth in the girls field, 24 seconds off the winning pace set by Flagstaff runner Annie Fowler. Next for Mingus was junior Kiera O’Connor in 13th place with a time of 18:29, followed by Abbie Swavee (23rd in 19:11), Elysia Goff (44th in 20:11) and Rachel Heydorn (60th place in 21:34)

Heydorn improved her per-mile pace by 38 seconds. Harmony Chakin, who joined the team a couple weeks ago to deepen the roster, placed 53rd in the junior varsity race with a time of 26:48. She’s already improved her per-mile pace by 42 seconds, Bostwick said.

Region rival Flagstaff won the girls meet with 50 points. Page, also a region foe, placed second with 63 points, followed by Window Rock 108, Ganado 116 and Mingus 144.

"All four teams ahead of Mingus are ranked in the top 20 coaches poll," Bostwick said. "This was our best showing of the year."

Mann, a freshman, placed 11th in the boys meet, which was won by Page’s John Scott. Marauder Cory Romine continued to move up the leaderboard in races with a 23rd place finish in 16:04. Freshman Peter Valencia was next in 51st (16:57), followed by Jared Cienega (53rd in 16:59), Jordan Goff (55th in 17:07), Jasson McGuire (56th in 17:10) and Neal Blackford (57th in 17:11).

Goff, called up from the JV team, improved his pace by 30 seconds over each mile. Blackford also performed well in his move up from the JVs. Noble rested Saturday in an attempt to heal up from a mild injury. Barron was at a band competition in Flagstaff.

Mingus will host the Grand Canyon Region championships this Saturday. Unlike at Holbrook this past weekend, GCR runners must tackle a course full of climbing. The 3.2-mile race will start and end at Clarkdale-Jerome School.

"We have been training all year for our course with hills," Bostwick said. "We should go into regionals with a lot of confidence."

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