Cross Country sectional meet outlooks (Friday) - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Cross Country sectional meet outlooks (Friday)

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Posted: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 7:59 pm | Updated: 2:03 pm, Thu Oct 31, 2013.

Division I, Section I

Race times: Boys - 11:30 a.m.; Girls – 12:05 p.m.

Where: Crossroads Park, Gilbert (Greenfield Road and Knox Road, just north of Ray Road)

Teams competing (in starting box order): Hamilton, Tucson, Chandler, Sunnyside, Corona del Sol, Mountain Pointe, Ironwood Ridge, Rincon, Perry, Basha, Marana, Mesquite, Desert Vista, Buena.

Boys favorite: Corona del Sol has been the class of the state all season and if the Aztecs don’t hold any runners out they should win yet another meet title. Individually, Corona del Sol senior Nate Rodriguez has been unbeaten in invitationals this year and unless his coaches decide to rest him, Rodriguez will be who everyone is chasing. After Rodriguez and teammate Ryan Normand, things should bunch up and the rest of the top 10 could be very bunched up.

Girls favorite: Desert Vista, although the Thunder will likely rest junior Dani Jones, who is a clear favorite to win the state individual title, and possibly her freshman sister Baylee Jones. Even without the Jones sisters, Desert Vista would be the favorite. Individually, after the Jones sisters its pretty wide open, with Desert Vista’s Nicole Hicks and Chandler’s Alexis Nichols leading the list of other contenders.

Teams most likely to advance to state: Boys: Corona del Sol, Desert Vista, Ironwood Ridge, Perry, Buena, Hamilton, Mesquite. Girls: Desert Vista, Corona del Sol, Buena, Hamilton, Ironwood Ridge, Basha, Perry.

Division I, Section III

Race times: Boys – 1:55 p.m.; Girls – 2:30 p.m.

Where: Crossroads Park, Gilbert (Greenfield Road and Knox Road, just north of Ray Road)

Teams competing (by starting box order): Brophy/Xavier, Horizon, Desert Mountain, Mesa, North, Mountain View, Gilbert, Red Mountain, Desert Ridge, Chaparral, Skyline, Dobson, Highland, Westwood.

Boys favorite: Mountain View, but not by a lot. The Toros have a tightly-bunched group of runners and that gives them the slight edge over Highland. Individually, there is no clear favorite. Among the top contenders are Desert Mountain’s Jonathan Stern, Red Mountain’s Jacob Kretinger, Brophy’s Duke Burr, Mountain View’s Jacob Toller and Highland’s Weston Jones.

Girls favorite: Xavier will be the team to beat, depending on if the Gators run their ‘A’ team. If not, Highland and Mountain View will be in the mix. Individually, Xavier is led by sisters Shelby and Sierra Brown, who will likely run in the front if they are not resting up for the state meet. Highland’s Lauren Ellsworth is also a favorite, along with Mountain View’s Huston Jones and Red Mountain’s Taryn Estavillo.

Teams most likely to advance to state: Boys: Mountain View, Highland, Brophy, Desert Mountain, Red Mountain, Chaparral, Skyline. Girls: Xavier, Highland, Mountain View, Red Mountain, Chaparral, Skyline, Desert Mountain.

Division II, Section I

Race times: Boys – 1 p.m.; Girls – 1:35 p.m.

Where: Skunk Creek Landfill: 3165 W. Happy Valley Road, Phoenix

Teams competing (in alphabetical order): Apollo, Arcadia, Goldwater, Bradshaw Mountain, Cactus Shadows, Camelback, Central, Deer Valley, Flagstaff, Greenway, Kingman, Liberty, Notre Dame, Paradise Valley, Prescott, Saguaro, Shadow Mountain, Sunnyslope, Sunrise Mountain, Thunderbird, Washington.

Boys favorites: This meet shapes up to be a close one, with four teams capable of winning with a strong performance (and a little help). Greenway enters as the favorite thanks to a solid 1, 2, 3 punch of David Borja, Austin Lavin and Richard Delara. But if the Demons falter, Cactus Shadows, Deer Valley and Prescott would swoop in and win. Individually, Notre Dame’s Jack Hovland enters with the best 5K time of 16:05.60 with Arcadia’s John Reniewicki close behind at 16:06.70. Cactus Shadows’ Erik Oswald and Keith Durkin should also with or near the front pack.

Girls favorites: The team race (if everyone is running at full strength) should come down to Flagstaff and Arcadia. Flagstaff has the defending state champion in Tatiana Gillick leading the way, but Arcadia’s Megan Reniewicki enters with the second-best time in the field. Flagstaff, however, counters with Alix Manci and Fiona Nicholson, who enter with the No. 3 and 4 times, respectively, giving the Eagles the edge heading into the race.

Teams likely to advance to state meet: Boys: Greenway, Cactus Shadows, Deer Valley, Prescott, Saguaro, Flagstaff, Arcadia, Liberty, Sunrise Mountain, Shadow Mountain. Girls: Flagstaff, Arcadia, Cactus Shadows, Prescott, Saguaro, Sunrise Mountain, Liberty, Greenway, Deer Valley, Apollo

Division IV, Section II

Race times: Boys – 12:40 p.m., Girls – 1:15 p.m.

Where: Crossroads Park, Gilbert (Located at Greenfield Road and Knox Road, just north of Ray Road)

Teams competing (by starting box order): Veritas Prep, Arizona Lutheran, Salt River, Valley Christian, Glendale Prep, Northwest Christian, Scottsdale Christian, Valley Lutheran, Paradise Honors, Gilbert Classical, Rancho Solano, Yuma Catholic, Chandler Prep, Horizon Honors, Tempe Prep, Sequoia Charter, Joy Christian, Arizona College Prep, Scottsdale Prep, Phoenix Day School for the Deaf; Mesa Prep.

Boys favorites: Glendale Prep has a solid squad that will be in the trophy hunt in Division IV. Led by a strong top three runners of Isaac Martinez, Chase Chittester and Keaton Rich, the Griffins will be tough for the rest of the field to catch. Individually, Arizona Lutheran’s Josh Hoskinson is the favorite, not just in Section II, but in all of Division IV. He comes in with a best 5K time of 15:35, 75 seconds better than the next best time, posted by Veritas Prep’s Brandon Corke.

Girls favorites: Scottsdale Prep, with four runners seeded in the top six coming into the meet, is the clear favorite. The Spartans’ top four of Charlotte Moore, Amber Miller, Madison Babione and Haley Everroad lead the way. Individually, Horizon Honors’ Mikaela Martin is the only runner in the field to break the 20-minute mark for a 5K, with a best time of 19:11, 49 seconds better than Moore’s best time this season.

Teams most likely to advance to state: Boys (based on 16 teams fielding full squads): Glendale Prep, Valley Christian, Northwest Christian, Veritas Prep, Arizona Lutheran, Scottsdale Prep, Paradise Honors, Yuma Catholic. Girls (based on 16 teams fielding full squads): Scottsdale Prep, Northwest Christian, Glendale Prep, Paradise Honors, Valley Christian, Veritas Prep, Horizon Honors, Yuma Catholic.

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