Who says age and youth don’t mix?

Area cross-country teams begin regional competition this Saturday, Nov. 1, with state competition starting Nov. 8. This 2008 regular season showcased a new trend as team success rested on experienced seniors partnering with a crop of talented freshmen and sophomores.

Teams to watch:

Ironwood Ridge:

The dynamic duo of senior Kat Howard and defending state individual champion sophomore Sarah Miville was so dominant they were often left battling each other for first place, and their contribution was crucial to the Nighthawks’ team victory in the 10-team Rattler Invitational on Oct. 8. Last season, Ironwood Ridge’s girls’ team won the state championship, and it is currently ranked #1 by the Arizona Track and Cross Country Coaches Association.

On the boys side, freshman David Olson and senior Steve Schaefer (sixth place at Rattler) ran impressively throughout the season.

Mountain View: The boys’ season was one focused on rebuilding, as the defending state champion Mountain Lions were unable to reload a squad decimated by graduation. Returning senior Ray Solis put in the best performances for the guys. The girls team, state runner-up last year, had more success, with veteran sophomore Kerri Lenihan and senior Brittny Vaughn (#3 at state last year) giving hope for a 2008 state title run.

Other individuals to watch:


CDO: Andrew Palmer (Sr.), Daniel Wong (So.)

Marana: Zach Schussel (Sr.), Cary Kelly (So.)

Pusch Ridge: Cory Kirk (Sr.), Erick Hawkins (Fr.)


CDO: Nicole Bronniman (Jr.), Taylor Stewart (So.)

Marana: Wendy Craft (Sr.), Catherine Rigby (Fr.)

Pusch Ridge: Naomi Anderson (Sr.), Brennan Smith (So.)

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