Wed, Jan. 22

Marauder girls run 8th at 4 Corners

File photo

BRIANNA Lawton paced the Mingus varsity girls team with a 15th place showing in Flagstaff.

The Marauders not only have a full contingent of runners to make up a team – something they’ve lacked most of the past four seasons – they also have the talent to match up against many of the GCR’s stalwarts.

The Mingus girls placed an encouraging eighth in the 19-school Four Corners Invitational this past Saturday at Buffalo Park in Flagstaff.

The Marauders finished behind the defending state champion Flagstaff Lady Eagles (the meet’s champion) but came in ahead of other league rivals like Sinagua (ninth), Payson (10th) and Coconino (18th).

“A great job by the ladies,” said Mingus coach Jim Bostwick.

Sophomore Brianna Lawton had the best individual finish among the MUHS girls. She took 15th out of 155 runners, finishing the three-mile course in 21:34. Senior Danielle Williams earned 28th place in 22:20.

Freshman Nicole Powers, racing in one of her first-ever varsity high school invites, worked her way into the upper third of finishers. She took 55th in 23:32.

Fellow freshman Grace Stearman was 66th in 23:57 and senior Marti Diehl earned 69th in 24:09.

“Bri, Danielle and Nicole all ran their best races of the year,” Bostwick said.

Defending 3A champ Hopi took second in the team standings, followed by Winslow, Alchesay, Prescott, Piñon and Tucson Sahuaro. Samantha Hatch of Sinagua won the individual title with a time of 19:23, two seconds ahead of her nearest challenger.

Mingus will need to finish in the top three at the GCR meet later this fall to earn a team spot in the 4A state meet. Flagstaff (ranked sixth in the state, all classifications) and Chinle (ranked fourth) look like the GCR teams to beat thus far.

Page, which didn’t compete at Four Corners, is listed eighth in the latest rankings. Mingus is not in the top 20 but could move in with solid finishes in upcoming meets.

The Marauders’ JV boys team also had a great meet Saturday. Bostwick stacked all his first- and second-year runners into the JV race, and that group placed second overall.

Flagstaff took the gold with 36 points, followed by the Marauders with 75, Winslow 125, Hopi 151, Horizon 153 and Prescott 201.

Freshman Bruce Logan led the way for Mingus with a fifth-place showing in 18:05. The field included 135 runners.

Freshman Sam Hayes and juniors James Fettkether and Rod Loehr also garnered medals for top-15 finishes. Hayes was 12th in 19:17. Fettkether took 14th in 19:27, while Loehr was 15th in 19:30.

“They did a great job of running together as a team against the altitude-trained teams,” Bostwick said. “Look for some of these young runners to move up to the varsity level in a few weeks.”

Freshman Angel Jaramillo earned the “most-improved” label among Marauders in the JV race. He placed 37th in 20:27. Teammate Ronnie Bingham took 29th in 20:09 and Jeff Caceres was 84th in 22:43.

The varsity boys took 16th out of 24 teams – behind GCR rivals Flagstaff (first), Payson (sixth) and Sinagua (12th) but just ahead of Coconino (17th).

“We have a lot of work to do,” Bostwick said. “We will do better when I run a full seven-man team. I just wanted to field two full teams, so with only five runners (in the varsity race), there is no room for a kid to have an off day.”

Senior Jamie Jacobs paced the Marauder boys with a 20th-place showing in 17:16. The top 20 out of the field of 160 earned a medal.

Shane Logan took 34th for Mingus, just 27 seconds behind his teammate. Phil Van Gorp placed 98th (19:22), followed by Cam Peek in 106th (19:43) and Kellan O’Connor in 131st (20:35).

Desert View’s Victor Zazueta won the boys race with a time of 16:01.

The Marauders had two runners in the JV girls race. Abbie Staffnik, a freshman, placed 33rd out of 121 with a time of 24:28. Evelyn Caceres was 66th in 26:17.

Page is the top-ranked boys cross country team in the state, according to the latest rankings. Flagstaff is fifth and Chinle is ninth.

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