Nearly perfect Marauders dominate Titan cross country invite
GILBERT – First, a primer on the sport of cross country.
As in golf, the low score wins. An individual first place is worth 1 point. A perfect team score is 15 points.
That being said, the Mingus Union boys and girls cross country teams weren’t perfect at Friday’s Titan Invitational at Gilbert’s Freestone Park.
They had to settle for being nearly perfect.
Running in the 5,000 Meters Small Schools Open division, both the Mingus boys and girls teams swept the team titles in dominating fashion.
The boys topped 11 other teams with a low score of 22 points to beat the runner-up school, Odyssey Institute, by 51 points.
In the girls race, the Mingus runners used aggressive front-running tactics to break the field early and claim the team title with 17 points, which was 40 points better than the runner-up team, Marcos De Niza.
In the girls race, Mingus’ Claire and Aubrey Peterson, Safiya Sweeney and Josey Valenzuela swept the first four places with sophomore first-year runner Brooke Leake closing out the Mingus scoring with a seventh-place finish.
Claire Peterson’s winning time was 22:47.14, just 49 hundredths of a second ahead of her sophomore twin sister Aubrey. Sweeney was two seconds back in 22:49, a personal record. Valenzuela also ran a personal record with her fourth-place finish, in 23:38. Leake was seventh in 25:15.
On the boys side, Mingus placed all five of the team’s scoring runners in the top eight positions. The Marauders also had six in the top 10 and seven in the top 16.
In all, between the boys and girls teams, Mingus had 12 individual medalists.
Senior Trey Peterson of Benjamin Franklin won the boys race in 18:04, 15 seconds ahead of runner-up Jehiah Rogers, a junior from Mingus. The freshmen duo of Keenan Brekke and Cesar Diaz came in right behind Rogers with respective times of 18:20 and 18:23.
Sophomore Isaac Reynolds was Mingus No. 4 runner, finishing seventh in 18:45. Senior Taylor Capite rounded out the Mingus scoring with an eighth-place finish in 18:53.
Mingus had a 44-second gap between its No. 1 and 5 runners.
Also securing medals for Mingus Friday were senior Silas Willoughby, 10th in 19:42, and senior Chance Densmore, 16th in 20:18.
Mingus travels to the Bradshaw Mountain Invitational Oct. 19. The Marauders’ next meet in Verde Valley is a dual at Camp Verde on Oct. 23.