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.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Gator runners still making their mark

Xavier Prep’s cross-country teams had a lot of royal blue-clad athletes running all over the place on Saturday (Sept. 15).

A group of the team’s top runners had 6th- and 10th-place finishes in the Sweepstakes and Varsity A divisions in the Woodbridge Classic in Norco, Calif., and eight freshman runners had a strong showing in the Ojo Rojo Invitational on Saturday at Tumbleweed Park in Chandler. They led Xavier to the team title, ahead of second-place Page High.

Woodbridge Classic results

Sweepstakes Division (3 miles)

Mia Olsen, Jr., 31st (17:04.4), Jamie Stelnik, So., 38th (17:08.2), Karina Hawkins, Sr., 67th (17:42.9), Sammy Braun, So., 82nd (17:52.5), Helen Innes, Sr., 86th (17:55.8), Grace Valandra, Jr., 137th (18:39.9) and Karli Baker, Sr., 150th (18:52.8).

Blue Division Varsity A (3 miles)

Karina Smith, Sr., 23rd (19:02.1), Ansley Burns, Fr., 34th (19:17.3), Johnnie Mitchell, Sr., 61st (19:51.2), Josie Venezia, Sr., 72nd (20:03.0), Sophia Healy, So., 103rd (20:44.1) and Megan Woodbury, Sr.,  145th, (22:00.9).

Ojo Rojo Invitational results

Freshman Division (5K)

Maria Benitez, 3rd (21:59.9), Karime Morales, 5th (23:07.9), Ellie Higgins, 7th (23:51.5), M.K. Fairbanks, 9th (23:52.7), Hannah Wheeling, 11th (24:24.6), Erika Germinario, 12th, (24:30.4), Catherine Devine, 13th (24:48.6) and Lulu Fischer, 20th (22.03.0).

Next up

Xavier will run in the annual Doug Conley Invitational at the Shalimar Golf Course in Tempe on Sept. 22. Races begin at 7:15 and 8:15 a.m.

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