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, October 1, 2016

Runners perform well at Desert Twilight

Xavier Prep cross-country runners had a good performance at the Desert Twilight Invitational on Friday night (Sept. 30) in Casa Grande.
The Gators finished fourth in the Sweepstakes Division, the top group of runners in the meet. They trailed winner Phoenix Desert Vista, Air Academy of Colorado Springs and Peak to Peak of Lafayette, Colo.
XCP was fifth in the Large School Open Division and 10th in the Large School Freshman Division on the 3.1-mile course at the Arizona Grande Sports World Complex.
Xavier’s top runner in the Sweepstakes Division was Sarah Carter, who finished 18th. Last year’s Division I state champion had a time of 18:26.1.
Caroline McClelland was 21st at 18:41.1. Other Xavier runners – Mia Olsen 29th (18:46.1), Helen Innes 40th (19:05.2), M.J. O’Gara 58th (19:34.5), Carolina Liddy 73rd (19:57.7) and Kate Straneva 78th (20:06.0).
Xavier was well represented in the Large School Open Division with nine runners.
Karina Smith ran an outstanding race, finishing third at 20:15.2.
Other Gators – Natalia Hiler 20th (21:18.0), Pamela Ebenroth 36th (21:52.1), Annika Nielson 38th (21:54.5), Katherine Thomas 72nd (22:59.0), Josie Venezia 119th (24:18.8), Karina Hawkins 146th (24:56.4), Aspen Schaffer 192nd (25:47.6) and Arden Smith 193rd (25:47.7).
The five XCP freshman runners were led by No. 10 finisher Kristen Keeble at 21:57.4. Other Gators – Hannah Phillippi 28th (23:51.7), Grace Valandra 58th (25:32.6), Mikayla Chavez 125th (28:40.7) and Isabella Risser 135th (29:56.5).
Xavier’s next meet is Oct. 8, the Thunderbird Invitational, in north Phoenix.

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