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 13, 2021

XCP runners frolic under the fountain

 The fountain in the northeast Valley town of Fountain Hills offers a famous spectacle for all to see, and Xavier Prep’s cross-country team was just as spectacular on Saturday (Sept. 11) withn the Gators competed in the Fountain Hills Invitational meet.

The Gators looked strong in their three divisions, winning the Junior-Senior Girls Open, finishing second in the Freshman-Sophomore Open and seventh in the Varsity race.

Xavier had a combined 32 runners out of the 654 competitors. All races were 5,000 meters.

The top individual finish of the day for XCP was senior Abby Macaluso, who won the Junior-Senior Open with a time of 21:26.07. Junior Emily Manuelito was close on her heels, crossing the finish line in the No. 3 spot at 22:21.24.

In the Frosh-Soph Open, sophomore Bella Gomez was the top Xavier runner, finishing third with a time of 22:14.43.

The Gators had five runners in the Varsity race. Senior Ansley Burns was the team’s top finisher with a time of 20:16.99.

Xavier full results (from

Junior-Senior Girls Open

Abby Macaluso, Sr., 1st, 21:26.07; Emily Manuelito, Jr., 3rd, 22:21.24; Briony Campisi, Sr., 12th, 23:03.33; Alma Melendez, Jr., 23:04.32; Barbara Paez, Jr., 23:16.83; Bella Titus, Jr., 23:27.47; Olivia Charles, Jr., 23:41.05; Calista Flick, Jr., 24:17.30; Arianna Thompson-Bueno, Jr., 25:15.87; Ashley Stelnik, Jr., 25:51. 56; Mk Fairbanks, Sr., 26:08.16; Maia Weingard, Sr., 28:37.70. Top team scores – Xavier Prep 34, Flagstaff High 53.

Frosh-Soph Girls Open

Bella Gomez, So., 3rd, 22:14.43; Maya Nagaraj, So.,16th, 24:01.63; Susan Findlay, So., 17th, 24:02.91; Maggie Mostoller, Fr., 24th, 24:26.49; Ellie Hilsabeck, Fr., 24:27.02; Caroline Vietor, Fr., 25th, 24:27.30; Sophia Corona, So., 36th, 24:56.98; Jimena Gutierrez, So., 45th, 25:22.93; Karina Zaveri, Fr., 56th, 26:00.64; Lily Bourque, Fr., 59th, 26:06.31; Elle Houle, Fr., 61st, 26:08.56; Adelaide Luna, So., 70th, 26:47.21; Zoe Lopez, So., 113th, 28:47.70. Top team scores – Flagstaff High 64, Xavier Prep 69.

Varsity Girls

Ansley Burns, Sr., 26th, 20:16.99; Naomi Young, Jr., 35th, 20:37.31; Erika Germinario, Sr., 70th, 21:26.65; Sophia Maroufkani, So., 84th, 21:37.64; Kylie Graf, Jr., 113th, 22:35.04. Top team scores – Peoria Liberty 58, Flagstaff High 124, Mesa Red Mountain 153, Tucson Salpointe Catholic 175, Scottsdale Desert Mountain 270, Chandler High 279, Xavier Prep 279.

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