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, September 8, 2019

XCP cross-country team finishes 3rd in Peaks

Xavier Prep’s cross-country team had a solid showing in its first meet of the year on Saturday (Sept. 7), finishing third out of 14 teams in the Peaks Invitational at Flagstaff’s Buffalo Park.

Competing in the top 5,000-meter Summit division, the Gators were at 105 points, behind winner Flagstaff (53 points) and second-place Tucson Salpointe Catholic (68).

Host Flagstaff, very familiar with the course in its home territory, had the top individual in Hana Hall, who at 19:30.29 was the only runner to finish below the 20-minute mark.

Xavier had two runners finish in the top 10 of the 97-runner field. They were sixth-place junior Jamie Stelnik (20:43.01) and eighth-place senior Mia Olsen (21:24.72).

Other Xavier runners: senior Grace Valandra (28th, 23:11.35), freshman Reyna Silva (29th, 23:11.46), sophomore Maria Benitez (34th, 23:22.91), sophomore Erika Germinario (37th, 23:28.45) and freshman Emily Manuelito (74th, 25:28.06).

Xavier will head north again on Sept. 14, this time to Prescott for the Ray Wherley Invitational at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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