Camp Verde cross country hosts friendship meet with Mingus
The Camp Verde High and Minus Union cross country teams took a break from their late season preparations to compete in a friendship meet on Wednesday afternoon at Camp Verde.
The cross Verde Valley rivals faced each other in a friendly competition starting on the Cowboys’ track, running around the hills near campus and finishing back on the track.
The meet was an idea CV head coach David Castillo and Mingus head coach Dave Moncibaez had to celebrate the sport in Verde Valley. Both coaches are in the second seasons at the schools.
“Coach Moncibaez and I have been talking kinda on and off since this last summer and we’ve just been kinda wanting to integrate the teams and to be able to do that we had to get an official event, an official race going on,” Castillo said. “So we’ve been wanting to try and promote the community of running like we’ve been talking about all year and we have a ton of good runners in the Verde Valley. It’s awesome, I’d love to get everybody together and come and do this more often.”
The coaches hope to make it a traditional that rotates between Cottonwood and Camp Verde.
“We want to bring it to our kids every year now, having that friendship meet and if we can host one and he can host one and we can have that camaraderie between the two teams, it’s just gonna benefit both of us as a program,” Moncibaez said. “So it was really fun, the kids had a lot of fun (Wednesday) and it was a nice day to run and the kids did really well.”
The boys and girls ran together in one race with Mingus Union junior Jehiah Rogers finishing first with a time of 18:56. Mingus Union freshman Makena Bliss was the first girl to finish.
“It went really well,” Moncibaez said. “ I think the kids were running well together and pulling through together and that’s what we’re trying to teach them: run in groups, tight groups and get some good times.”
Castillo said the Cowboys ran well too, focusing on different parts of the race to prepare for Sectionals and they treated it as a competitive practice.
Although the schools are not that far away, they usually don’t compete against each other during the regular season as Mingus Union has a lot more students.
The Marauders meets this year have mostly been in places like Flagstaff or the Phoenix area.
“It’s nice, being that we’re right down the street too, makes it easy for travel, it allows some parents to come see their kids run and that’s a great thing too, for them to get out here and watch them run because they don’t really get a chance to go down to Phoenix or where we go to compete, so being here locally is really a big advantage for us and competitive too,” Moncibaez said.
Castillo said the Cowboys’ last few meets have gone well as they get ready for Sectionals in Holbrook.
“All the kids are starting to hone in on different aspects of the race and times are coming down like they were earlier in the season but we’re trying to fine tune and just get each different part of the race where we can improve on, which should all come together during Sectionals,” Castillo said.
The Cowboys close out the regular season at the Holbrook Invitational at Hidden Cove Golf Course on Friday at 1 p.m. On Nov. 8 the Cowboys will contest the Division IV Section III meet also at Hidden Cove.
“It’s awesome, I mean we didn’t do that last year and I saw that as an opportunity this year,” Castillo said. “So it will give the kids an opportunity to actually see the course and for all intents and measures see the competition that they’re going to be running at during Sectionals because all but — when I looked (Tuesday) night — all but one school from our section is in this race on Friday.”
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