Boys from Catalina Foothills and girls from Ironwood Ridge captured championships Saturday, when the state cross country meet was held at Cave Creek Golf Course.
The Nighthawk girls made it two in a row, winning the 5A-II state championship with a team score of 38 points.
The girls boasted the fourth-, fifth- and sixth-fastest times, thanks to sophomore Sarah Miville, junior Allison Crawford and senior Kat Howard. Sophomores Lauren Cooper and Sam Strange rounded out the scoring for the Nighthawks, finishing ninth and 14th overall.
Ironwood Ridge’s boys team also ended 2008 with a finish equal to 2007, finishing third overall.
Senior Steve Schaefer tallied the boys’ top finish, placing eighth in 17:20.95. Freshman John Winfield gave the team a push, running to a 16th-place finish. Senior Anthony Li (28th), freshman David Olson (49th) and senior Joey Robinson (60th) contributed to a team score of 161 points.
The Mountain Lion girls finished fifth statewide with a score of 146 points on the strength of fleet-footed performances from sophomore Kerri Lenihan, senior Brittny Vaughn and junior Emily Bartz. Lenihan took third overall with a time of 20:00.20, besting fellow Northwest runner and rival Miville for the first time in a state meet. Vaughn finished eighth in a close field, posting a time only half a second slower than Lenihan’s at 20:50.10. Emily Bartz was 36th. Freshman Madison Bell (43rd) and sophomore Gretchen Bartz (56th) also posted scoring times.
After a winning the state championship in 2007, a rebuilding Mountain View boys team wound up 17th. Senior Ray Solis had the top time for the boys at 18:08.75, good for a 33rd-place finish.
A year after finishing second in the state to Sabino, the Falcons triumphed in 2008, hoisting the state crown with a final score of 59 points. Foothills’ five scoring runners all finished in the top 20. Senior Tucker Wiedenkeller led the boys with a fifth-place finish, followed closely by sophomore Max Warneke in seventh and junior Rafael Gomez in 11th place. Also posting top 20 finishes: senior William Harrison at 17th and sophomore Rex Woodbury in 19th.
The Falcon girls, led by 17th-place sophomore Isabel Diamond and junior Neda Behnejad in 25th, were seventh. Senior Cari Alcombright (33rd), sophomore Rose Sanson (62nd) and junior Emily McCaleb (85th) rounded out the 222-point final score.
Canyon Del Oro
The Dorado boys finished 10th, with senior Andrew Palmer (35th) and sophomores Caleb Bruno (38th) and Daniel Wong (40th) all finishing in the top 40. Juniors Charles John (62nd) and Shea Devine (84th) helped gain a final score of 259. CDO’s young girls’ team was 13th overall, with quick finishes by 22nd place sophomore Taylor Stewart and 26th place freshman April Steward as bright spots. Senior Mychal (64th) and junior Nicole Bronniman (74th) contributed to the Dorados’ top-20 finish.
The Lion boys placed fifth in 2A as senior runner Cory Kirk roared to a fourth-place finish. Also scoring for Pusch Ridge: sophomore Caleb Herrera (36th), senior Josh Spegman (42nd), freshman Claydon Torivio (46th) and sophomore Kyle Silas (69th).
Pusch Ridge’s girl runners also finished in the top 10, eighth overall. Top-20 finishes from sophomore Brennan Smith (14th) and senior Naomi Anderson (18th) gave the Lions a push. The rest of the scoring was done by the Lions’ promising underclassmen: freshman Rachel Ward (53rd), sophomore Kevin Tsiniginnie (64th) and freshman Corrie Ward (65th).