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, September 10, 2016

Spotlight shines on Xavier runners

After darkness descended on the course on Friday (Sept. 9), Xavier Prep runners lit up the night with strong performances in its first races of the season at the Desert Solstice Invitational at the Crooked Tree Golf Course in Marana.
It started with senior Sarah Carter.
The Division I state champion in 2015 finished second in the top division (5K Gold) with a time of 17:19.8. Rio Rico’s Allie Schadler blew away the field at 17:01.8.
Other Xavier finishers in the Gold were sophomore Helen Innes at 19:02.2 (13th), junior Kate Straneva at 19:40.9 (22nd) and junior Caroline Liddy at 19:51.7 (26th).
Xavier runners also were solid in the 5K Blue division. Junior Caroline McClelland at 18:33.6 (fifth), senior M.J. O’Gara at 19:45.0 (12th), sophomore Karina Smith at 20:09.4 (18th), and freshman Kristen Keeble at 20:27.6 (21st).
There was a Junior-Senior 5K division. Xavie senior Pamela Ebenroth led the way at 21:19.5 (seventh). Right behind her was junior Abbie Conrad at 21:19.9 (eighth). Junior Annika Nielson was at 21:21.8 (10th).
As a team, Xavier finished second in the Freshman-Sophomore 5K division. The Gators had 83 points, with Phoenix Desert Vista taking the top honors with 25 points.
Freshman Mia Olsen was the top runner with a time of 19:45.4. Other Gators were sophomore Karina Hawkins at 21:13.5 (sixth), freshman Hannah Phillippi at 23:14.1 (23rd), sophomore Katherine Thomas at 23:35.4 (29th), sophomore Josie Venezia at 24:31.2 (43rd) and sophomore Aspen Schaffer at 27:19.7 (114th).
Next up for the Gators is the annual Doug Conley Invitational on Sept. 24 at the Shalimar Golf Course in Tempe.

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