DON KETCHUM is a native of Phoenix. He was a sportswriter for The Arizona Republic/The Phoenix Gazette for nearly four decades. He covered high school sports on several occasions as well as the Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona Cardinals and Arizona State sports. From 2008-14, he was a staff writer for, the web site of the Arizona Interscholastic Association.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Gator runners in the peak of condition

The XCP cross-country team made its rigorous preseason endurance work pay off on Saturday (Sept. 5) with a victory in the annual Peaks Invitational at Flagstaff’s Buffalo Park.
Also, junior Sarah Carter was the individual winner in the 5K race at the 7,000-foot elevation, covering the course in 19 minutes, 20.4 seconds. Courtney Lewis of second-place Flagstaff High finished second individually at 19:22.6.
“It was a good win over a motivated hometown team,’’ said XCP coach Dave Van Sickle.
Xavier scored 39 points, Flagstaff 46.
Other Xavier individuals were: senior Jane Miller (fourth, 19:59.8), senior Tessa Weiss (seventh, 20:25.7), freshman Helen Innes (10th, 21:10.7), sophomore Caroline Liddy (17th, 21:50.3), sophomore Caroline McClelland (19th, 22:01.6) and senior Shannan Higgins (21st, 22:23.1).
Xavier also earned the team title in the open/JV division, 20-49 over second-place Flagstaff.
The Gators swept the top three individual places – senior Alley Novacek (22:20.1), senior Kelly Champeau (22:51.9) and junior M.J. O’Gara (22:52.3). Sophomore Kate Straneva was fifth at 22:55.3.
Other Xavier individuals were: junior Pamela Ebenroth (23:23.0), sophomore Abbie Conrad (24:20.1), freshman Karina Hawkins (24:55.8), sophomore Annika Nielson (25:41.8), junior Victoria Amaro (26:05.1), freshman Josie Venezia (26:26.4), junior Elizabeth Hall (26:52.6) and freshman Megan Woodbury (30:15.1).
The Gators will have two weeks to rest up and prepare for their next event, the Woodbridge Classic on Sept. 19 at Orange County Great Park in Irvine, Calif. The meet has a 7 p.m. start.

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