TRUSTED NEWS LEADER FOR COTTONWOOD, CAMP VERDE & THE VERDE VALLEY
Thu, Feb. 20

Mingus girls cross country 3rd, boys 10th at Four Corners Invitational (UPDATED)

Freshman Makena Bliss once again led the way for Mingus with a sixth-place individual finish. Bliss covered the 3-mile Buffalo Park course in 20-minutes, 4-seconds. VVN/Dan Engler

Freshman Makena Bliss once again led the way for Mingus with a sixth-place individual finish. Bliss covered the 3-mile Buffalo Park course in 20-minutes, 4-seconds. VVN/Dan Engler

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Junior Jehiah Rogers was Mingus’ top finisher, 44th overall among 165 runners in 18:13. VVN/Dan Engler

FLAGSTAFF – The Mingus Union girls finished third in a field of 16 teams while the boys were 10th among 25 squads in Saturday’s Four Corners cross country invitational.

The Mingus girls scored 90 points overall to finish one spot and 40 points behind Division 3 sectional rival Ganado. Division 2 defending state champions Flagstaff High School won the meet with a near-perfect low score of 19 points.

In a field of 114 runners, the Mingus girls placed all five of the team’s scoring runners among the top 41 finishers. Freshman Makena Bliss once again led the way for Mingus with a sixth-place individual finish. Bliss covered the 3-mile Buffalo Park course in 20-minutes, 4-seconds.

For Bliss, her time made her the fastest Mingus freshman ever over three-miles, according to athletic.net, erasing the prior best of 20:52 by Sydney Alexander in 2014.

For all classes combined, Bliss’ time was the third best ever over 3 miles by a Mingus runner, according to athletic.net.

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Sophomore Aubrey Peterson and freshman Maisie Babcock finished in the 22 and 23 slots with near-identical 21:49 clockings. VVN/Dan Engler

Mingus’ other scoring runners Saturday include sophomore Claire Peterson in 19th place (21:40, a new sophomore class record for Mingus and No. 8 all time for all classes combined); sophomore Aubrey Peterson and freshman Maisie Babcock finished in the 22 and 23 slots with near-identical 21:49 clockings. No. 5 Keeleigh Kreiner, a senior first-year runner for Mingus, was 41st overall in a season’s best 22:49 clocking.

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No. 5 Keeleigh Kreiner, a senior first-year runner for Mingus, was 41st overall in a season’s best 22:49 clocking. VVN/Dan Engler

On the boys side, junior Jehiah Rogers was Mingus’ top finisher, 44th overall among 165 runners in 18:13. Junior Riley Bliss was 10 spots back in 18:26. Freshman Keenan Brekke was Mingus’ No. 3 runner, finishing 61st in 18:41. Sophomore Isaac Reynolds (76th in 19:01) and senior Taylor Capite (80th in 19:12) rounded out Mingus' scoring effort.

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Juniors Riley Bliss and Jehiah Rogers. VVN/Dan Engler

In the boys open race, freshman Cesar Diaz finished 11th among 165 runners in 19-minutes flat. Saturday’s performances by Brekke and Diaz make them the two fastest Mingus freshmen ever over 3 miles, according to athletic.net.

Also competing in the open race, seniors Christian Maciel and John Capite tied for 35th place in 20:10 while sophomore Retief Tapija was 37th in 20:16.

Friday, the Mingus runners will compete in the Desert Twilight meet in Casa Grande, which is one of the premier high school cross country meets in the nation.

Marauders earn top 10 finishes at Camp Verde

Saturday, Sept. 21, Mingus Union sent a contingent to the Camp Verde Cross Country Invitational and had some top finishes.

Senior Silas Willoughby led the way for the Marauder boys, finishing 10th in 19:36. Next was junior Ashton Bialek-Kling, 19th in 21:11. Bialek-Kling was the fifth best junior and Willoughby the fifth best senior.

Senior John Valentine came in at 29th with a mark of 22:18. Freshman Avery Whitesitt was 34th and junior Michael Ault 36th.

Sophomore Ivan Castillo finished in 41st place while senior Kris Capite was 43rd. freshman Ryan Pry was 54th.

On the girls side, sophomore Brooke Leake took seventh, in 24:44. Sophomore Brianna Casimir was 19th with a time of 27:44 and in 21st was sophomore Aine Khin in 28:08.

Sophomore Rylee Culver was 27th and junior Grace Sauer, took 28th.

Leake was fifth for sophomores and Sauer was the fourth fastest junior.

-- James Kelley

UP NEXT

The Marauders head to Casa Grande for the Nike Desert Twilight XC Festival on Friday.

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