Fri, Jan. 17

Mingus runners show improvement From last year to this, Cross Country team excels

On Wednesday at the Payson Municipal Golf Course, the Mingus girls cross country team got some early season exposure to conference teams. An added bonus was the participation by ex-conference member Payson, which did not have five runners to field a full team.

The girls faced two other very competitive teams and finished what coach Jim Bostwick thought to be a very competitive third place. Coconino finished first with 28 points, followed by Sinagua with 47 and Mingus right behind with 48 points.

"I told the girls after race that the boys got 3rd place here last year behind Sinagua by 26 points and beat them at regionals, so we'll see how they respond to the challenge," said coach Bostwick. "The potential is definitely there."

Leading the Marauders in the 35-runner field was junior Nicole Powers in 22:43 with a sixth place finish. Sophomore Carly Blair was seventh in 22:51, freshman Cecelia Abshire was 10th in 23:48, junior Lisa Rauch was 11th in 24:00 and junior Grace Stearman rounded out the pack, scoring in 14th place in 25:38.

"What I was most pleased with is that all the girls that ran the race last year improved their times," said Bostwick. "Nicole by 17 seconds, Carly by 2:13, Lisa by 2:14, Grace by 2:19 and Chelsea Shadrach who didn't count in scoring but improved 5:46. So much more of a competitive team than last year."

The Mingus boys compared to the team of all sophomores and freshmen from last year, which finished in last, have paid their dues.

"They didn't enjoy the experience last year, but basically the same unit came out on top this year," said Bostwick.

Mingus blew away the competition with 20 points, followed by Payson with 65, Coconino with 70 and Sinagua with 79.

Leading the Marauder boys was sophomore Tim Freriks, who won his second consecutive race of the year in 17:04 over the 3.2 mile course, breaking the Mingus record on this course by Colton Noble in 2001 in 18:05 and the overall course record by Eric Dall in 17:28 who is currently a member of ASU cross country team. Junior Sam Hayes was third in 17:35, fourth was junior Bruce Logan in 17:41, fifth was junior Ky Mickelsen in 17:55 and seventh was Mingus' new project freshman Willie Cutbirth in 18:01.

"Like the girls, I was pleased with all the improvement from the athletes from last year. Tim 2:15, Sam 1:09, Ky 1:49, Daniel Jaimes 1:37, Alex Stratz 3:27 and Aaron Neahaus 2:59," said Bostwick.

Coming up next for the Marauders is the Four Corners Invitational at Buffalo Park in Flagstaff on Sept. 16.

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