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, October 30, 2016

Cross country captures sectional championship

Xavier Prep’s cross-country team appears to have set itself up nicely for a good run in the Division I state meet on Nov. 5 at the Cave Creek Golf Course in north Phoenix.
The Gators had six runners finish in the top 21, including three in the 4-5-6 spots, to claim the Division I, Section II title on Friday (Oct. 28) at the Rose Mofford Sports Complex in north Phoenix.
Xavier (49 points) and second-place Phoenix Sandra Day O’Connor (73) were the only teams to finish in double figures.
Other teams were Glendale Mountain Ridge (104), Mesa Mountain View (106), Mesa Skyline (114), Mesa Red Mountain (150), Anthem Boulder Creek (195), Phoenix Horizon (195), Scottsdale Desert Mountain (242), Phoenix Pinnacle (270), Mesa High (274), Mesa Westwood (393) and Mesa Dobson (403).
Junior Caroline McClelland was the top XCP finisher in the 5,000-meter event with a time of 19:27.41, good enough for fourth place. Freshman Mia Olsen was right behind in fifth with a time of 19:28.33 and sophomore Helen Innes was sixth with a time of 19:31.66.
The other three Xavier finishers were senior MJ O’Gara in 18th at 20:13.83, sophomore Karina Smith in 19th at 20:17.18 and junior Carolina Liddy in 21st at 20:24.39.
Sandra Day O’Connor’s Jesselyn Bries was the individual section winner at 18:07.59.
The girls’ varsity race for Division I at state will begin at 8:55 a.m.

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