Sun, Jan. 19

Latimer leads Marauders cross country

Staff photo by Eric Lusk

Mingus runner Ariel Latimer frequently leads the Marauder pack.

The girls cross country program at Mingus is still not able to field a full team, so that leaves runners to participate in individual challenges. Varsity racer Ariel Latimer set a course record over the 5K (3.1 mile course) in 19:07 as the Marauders’ only female varsity runner.

“Ariel has is not only been an asset to our girls program but she is running so well right now she is helping our young varsity boys team in training,” coach Jim Bostwick said. “It is a win-win situation, as her times would place her in the upper half of the pack of a boys’ varsity race.”

That is evidenced By Greg Burnett—one of her training partners—running a respectable 22nd place in the 56 runner field in 19:01.

The girls JV ran a shortened 2.2 mile course and sophomore Danielle Williamson continued to show great promise in her first year out by finishing fifth in the 42-runner field with a time of 16:31. “She certainly will move up to the varsity level soon,” Bostwick said.

Sophomore Shelly Principe was hampered by a knee injury and ran despite the pain, toughing out a 24th place finish in 19:21.

On the boys JV side, freshman Jesse Valencia missed a top 10 finish by 3 places, finishing 13 in the 48 runner field in 21:16 over 3.1 miles. Sophomore Cam Peek finished his first 5 km race in 26:21. He’s getting in shape for tennis, and according to the coach, has made tremendous gains since the start of school, when he could not even finish a mile at that pace.

“We only wish many other multi-sport athletes would use cross country as a means to improve their performance in their other sports,” Bostwick said. “This get us as coaches as excited as a kid winning a race.”

On the varsity boys’ side, Mingus fielded a "full" team of 5 runners (you are allowed to run 7 and count your best 5) so they finished sixth in the 8-team field.

The boys were led by Seniors Cory Romine who finished eighth in the 56-runner field in 17:39 and Greg Burnett in 22nd place in 19:01, The tough sophomore duo of Shane Logan and Kellan O'Connor continued to pay their varsity dues finishing in 29th and 33rd places. Their times would have put them in the top five of the JV race if they had run it.

Senior Russell Latterman continues to improve, running in his first varsity race in 47th place in 22:22. It was a real accomplishment for someone who just started running a month ago. “I would love to have put him in the JV race but AIA rules says all seniors must compete at the varsity level,” coach Bostwick said.

Hopi girls, the top-ranked 3A team in the state, won the girls’ meet. They were led by junior Kelsey Hardt in third place, who trained briefly with the Marauders before relocating with her family.

The winner of the boys’ meet was Coconino (third-ranked 4A team in the state), which upended Hopi (first-ranked in 3A)by a score of 47 to 52. The next matchup for Mingus cross country is set for Saturday morning at the Four Corners Invitational in Flagstaff.

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