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.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Victory by Gomez pushes Gator frosh-soph runners

 Led by individual winner Bella Gomez, Xavier Prep’s freshman-sophomore cross-country group finished first in their category, and the varsity group was third in its category at the annual Dave Doerrer Thunderbird Invitational on Saturday (Oct. 2) at Thunderbird Park in north Phoenix.

Gomez, a sophomore, covered the 2.8-mile distance in 20:08.25.

Other frosh and soph Gators adding to the mix were sophomore Maya Nagaraj (11th, 21:27.41), sophomore Adelaide Luna (13th, 21:44.19), sophomore Sophia Corona ((14th, 21:51.86), sophomore Jimena Gutierrez (17th, 22:12.02), freshman Maggie Mostoller (18th, 22:19.88), freshman Karina Zavier (19th, 22:45.35) and sophomore Zoe Lopez (36th, 24:32.81).

The top Xavier finisher among the varsity runners was senior Marissa Mansour, who was ninth at 20:32.15.

Other varsity participants were junior Barbara Paez (16th, 21:12.43), junior Alma Malendez (17th, 21:12.66), junior Calista Flick (22nd, 21:35.75), junior Bella Titus (24th, 21:37.07), sophomore Arianna Thompson-Bueno (25th, 21:39.78), junior Olivia Charles (26th, 21:59.95), junior Ashley Stelnik (29th, 22:17.22), senior Maia Weingard (40th, 24:42.06) and senior Grace Teevan (41st, 24:55.07).

The runners will be back in action on Friday (Oct. 8) with the Titan Invitational at Crossroads Park in Gilbert. Freshman race is at 8 a.m.), JV at 8:35 and varsity at 9:40.


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