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.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Carter runs to state win while Gators finish 2nd

Xavier Prep’s excellence in fall sports continued on Saturday morning (Nov. 7) as the cross-country team finished within a whisper of winning the Division I state championship.
Junior Sarah Carter was the event’s individual champion with a time of 18:08.6 over 3 miles, helping the second-place Gators score 51 points. Chandler High won the team title with 46 points.
Carter won with a strong finishing kick to become the 10th runner in Xavier history to win an individual title.

The race between Xavier, Chandler and favored Phoenix Desert Vista was so close that it took 45 minutes after the race was concluded to sort out all the runners and determine the team scores.

Xavier runners celebrate their second-place finish. (XCP photo).

Division I state cross-country champ Sarah Carter (XCP photo).
The cross-country effort came on the heels of state-championship performances by the XCP badminton and golf teams.
Xavier had four runners finish in the top 11, while Chandler had four runners in the top nine. A team’s top five runners figure into the team scoring.
"The 12-mile runs and the hundreds of hill repeats paid off,'' said XCP coach Dave Van Sickle.
Xavier’s strong finish was foreshadowed by a productive push in last week’s Division I Section II meet. Carter also won that event.
Seniors Tessa Weiss and Jane Miller were close behind Carter, finishing in fourth and seventh, respectively. Weiss had a time of 18:33.2 and Miller 18:45.6.
Rounding out the top five XCP runners were sophomore Caroline Liddy, in 11th place at 19:06.7, and freshman Helen Innes, at 19:51.1.
Two other runners competed for the Gators – sophomore Caroline McClelland and senior Shannan Higgins. McClelland was 37th at 20:02.8 and Higgins was 38th at 20:03.2.
Van Sickle said every girl ran a personal record.

Team scores – Chandler 46, Xavier Prep 51, Phoenix Desert Vista 56, Gilbert Highland 166, Mesa Mountain View 182, Phoenix Sandra Day O’Connor 197, Scottsdale Chaparral 237, Sierra Vista Buena 255, Glendale Mountain Ridge 261, Tempe Corona del Sol 276, Scottsdale Desert Mountain 294, Phoenix Mountain Pointe 327, Mesa Red Mountain 349, Phoenix North Canyon 365, Chandler Hamilton 389, Gilbert Perry 422, Anthem Boulder Creek 437, Phoenix Pinnacle 487.

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