TRUSTED NEWS LEADER FOR COTTONWOOD, CAMP VERDE & THE VERDE VALLEY
Sat, Oct. 19

Marauders CC returns to action

Jordan Bramblett. VVN/Travis Guy

Jordan Bramblett. VVN/Travis Guy

After waiting a week-and-a-half after their first meet of the season, the Mingus Union cross-country squads traveled to Embry Riddle Aeronautical University to participate in the Ray Wherley Invite, and placed both teams in the top-10.

The Ray Wherley is a unique race format called a flighted race. A flighted race is essentially seven races all rolled into one, and each school has a representative in each race. For example, Mingus' No. 1 runner, senior Gustavo Banks, ran his race against other No. 1 runners from the other participating teams, No. 2 runner, junior Jordan Bramblett, ran against other No. 2's and so on. Head coach Jim Bostwick said the Wherley takes longer than normal races, but it is a "fun race to go to" and "is worth it." The officials score the race by either adding up the places for all the runners, so a perfect score would be seven, or add the times, with the lowest taking top honors.

"It give some of those unsung heros of our team a chance to win, or at least be up front in a race," Bostwick said. "In some cases just because some of these athletes are up front, they have the race of their lives."

The Ray Wherley was comprised of "easily over 1,000 kids and 32 teams," Bostwick said, including teams from the Valley looking to escape the heat. Some of the teams that attended were Xavier College Preparatory, Brophy Prep, Centennial and Flagstaff High Schools. With some of the top teams in the state attending, the boys and girls were able to see how they stacked up, and were not disappointed.

The boys ran a 5K race and finished sixth with a total time of 2:08.12, about five minutes slower than first place Hopi High School. The girls did not run a full 5K, instead they ran 2.6-miles, and while not finishing as high as the other Marauders, still cracked the top-10 by totaling a time of 2:11.07, good enough to land in ninth, almost 19 minutes after first place Xavier Prep.

"(The boys were) the top D-III school, so although we can do better was very pleased with the effort.," Bostwick said. "(The) girls (were a) carbon copy, almost. Very pleased, top D-III school, but they were upset, as were the boys, as they got beat-up by some other schools in other Divisions."

Banks cracked the top-10 in his race, completing the 5K in 17 minutes even. In the second-to-last race, involving the No. 2 runners, Bramblett finished seven seconds better than Banks, and placed second in his race. Rounding out the top-3 for the boys was freshman Chris D'Angelo. D'Angelo finished his race in 17:31, crossing the finish line fourth.

On the girls' side, the Marauders were led by senior Justine Taylor. The state-placing sprinter edged herself into to the top-10 with a time of 17:25, and placing her firmly at No. 10. The girls had three other runners crack the top-10; senior Sienna Gehl (No. 3 race, finished No. 8), sophomore Kelli Balenski (ran in the No. 4 race, finished No. 8) and freshman Cassia Gehl (finished No. 10 in the No. 5 race).

While the Marauders may not be thrilled with how they finished and believe they can do better, Bostwick said that his runners dropped their average minutes per mile across the board.

"All team member had a better minutes per mile average than last week, so a good week," Bostwick said.

Boys



Top junior varsity runner of day (a separate race ) was freshman Keegan Cain coming in 14th, out of 212 runners in 19:28.

No. 7 Race: junior Keenan  Devore, 7th place in 19:17

No. 6 Race: junior Traygon Ullery, 9th place in 19:06

No. 5 Race: junior Joseph Cook, 17th place in 19:40

No. 4 Race: sophomore Joseph Sandoval, 16th place in 18:43

No. 3 Race: freshman Chris D'Angelo, 4th place in 17:31

No. 2 Race: junior Jordan Bramblett, 2nd place in 16:53

No. 1 Race: senior Gustavo Banks, 8th place in 17:00



Girls



No. 7 Race: senior Kaitlyn Lewis, 12 place in 20;40

No. 6 Race: sophomore Maribel Cruz, 15th place in 19:27

No. 5 Race: freshman Cassia Gehl, 10th place in 19:05

No. 4 Race: sophomore Kelli Balenski, 8th place in 18:12

No. 3 Race: senior Sienna Gehl, 8th place in 18:05

No. 2 Race: junior Anissa Urueta, 13th place in 17:59

No. 1 Race: senior Justine Taylor, 10th place in 17:25
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