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 5, 2016

Xavier runners finish 4th in state meet

It was difficult for anyone to defeat a dominant Phoenix Desert Vista team in the Division I girls cross country state championship meet on Saturday (Nov. 5) at the Cave Creek Golf Course in north Phoenix.
Xavier Prep’s Gators did their best to stay close, finishing fourth with 142 points. Desert Vista had 20 points, 2015 champ Chandler High at 105, Gilbert Highland 112 and Xavier. The Gators were state runner-up a year ago.
Desert Vista runners finished 2-3-4-5-6.
Freshman Mia Olsen was the top individual for Xavier, hitting the finish line in the 5,000-meter event in a time of 19:16. Other Gators were junior Caroline McClelland, 15th at 19:22, junior Caroline Liddy, 41st at 20:23, junior Kate Straneva, 42nd at 20:26, senior MJ O’Gara, 46th at 20:34, and senior Karina Smith, 50th at 20:41.
Xavier’s Sarah Carter, who won last year’s individual title, did not compete due to a leg injury suffered about halfway through this season.
Phoenix Sandra Day O’Connor junior Jesselyn Briles was this year’s individual winner with a time of 18:03. Junior Haley Wolf finished second at 18:30, the first of five consecutive finishers for Desert Vista.

Team scores
Phoenix Desert Vista 20, Chandler High 105, Gilbert Highland 112, Xavier Prep 142, Phoenix Sandra Day O’Connor 153, Mesa Mountain View 220, Glendale Mountain Ridge 220, Mesa Skyline 255, Phoenix Mountain Pointe 271, Mesa Red Mountain 294, Gilbert Perry 300, Chandler Hamilton 316, Tucson Rincon 334, Anthem Boulder Creek 348, Yuma Cibola 378, Phoenix Maryvale 400, Tolleson High 449, Phoenix North 466, Phoenix Trevor Browne 545, Avondale La Joya 574, Goodyear Millennium 582 and Surprise Valley Vista 607.

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