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.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

XCP runners win sectional, target another title

The race for the Division I state cross-country championship is on.

Xavier Prep served notice that it will make a strong push for a second straight title after a big finish in the Division I, Section I meet on Thursday (Nov. 7) at Cesar Chavez Park in Laveen.

The Gators had four of the top 10 runners to win the event with 35 points, followed by Gilbert Perry (52), Chandler Hamilton (61), Chandler High (87) and seven other schools.

Senior Mia Olsen led the way for XCP, finishing second in the 5,000-meter race with a time of 18:35.7. Hamilton sophomore Rujuta Sane won at 18:27.4.

Xavier junior Jamie Stelnik was right behind Olsen in third place with a time of 18:43.3. Other Xavier runners in the top 10 were sophomore Ansley Burns, sixth at 19:36.5, and freshman Reyna Silva, 10th at 20:11.7.

In addition, senior Grace Valandra was 14th at 20:19.1 and sophomore Maria Benitez was 23rd at 21:15.4.

The state meet will be held on Nov. 16 at the Cave Creek Golf Course in north Phoenix. Race time for the D-I girls is scheduled for 9:45 a.m.

Team scores

Xavier Prep 35, Gilbert Perry 52, Chandler Hamilton 61, Chandler High 87, Chandler Basha 127, Phoenix Maryvale 189, Phoenix Alhambra 221, Tucson High 223, Phoenix North 250, Laveen Cesar Chavez 258, Phoenix Trevor Browne 279.

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