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.

Friday, April 15, 2022

Younger track & field athletes shine in Fr. Olivier

 Xavier Prep’s freshman and sophomore track and field athletes had a strong effort in the Fr. Olivier Friendship Invitational at the Brophy Sports Campus on Wednesday (April 13).

Xavier finished No. 1 in the freshman-sophomore team race with 119 points, followed by Waddell Canyon View at 101.

The Gators also had some event winners among freshmen and sophomores  – sophomore Bella Gomez (200-meter dash), freshman Marley Stoller (400-meter dash) 4x800-meter relay (Jimena Gutierrez, Julia Russo, Sophie Corona, Lily Bourque).

Xavier’s upperclassmen (mainly seniors and juniors) also competed in numerous events, and the team had a handful of participants in various heptathlon events.

In that Open division, Xavier won the 4x100-meter relay with Cierra Gonzalez, Marley Stoller, Julianne Veloria and Madigan Moran. The Gators also crossed the finish line first in the Open 4x400-meter relay with Julianne Veloria, Mia Stoller, Marley Stoller and Bella Gomez.

Seniors Cierra Gonzalez and Ellie Higgins were fourth and sixth, respectively, in the heptathlon, and sophomore Illiana Kockinis was 11th.

Xavier returns to meet action on April 25, 27 and 29 with the annual Northeast Valley region event at Phoenix Horizon.

Xavier freshman-sophomore results

@ Brophy Sports Campus

Frosh-soph 100-meter dash – Marley Stoller, Fr., 2nd, 12.90; Maya Ofori, So., 5th, 13.11; Mia Stoller, Fr., 6th, 13.24.

Frosh-soph 200-meter dash – Bella Gomez, So., 1st, 26.34; Lucy Benjamin, Fr., 4th, 27.10; Maya Ofori, So., 27.67.

Frosh-soph 400-meter dash – Marley Stoller, Fr., 1st, 59.64; Bella Gomez, So., 3rd, 1:01.24; Mia Stoller, Fr., 4th, 1:02.02.

Frosh-soph 800-meter run – Julia Russo, So., 5th, 2:38.61; Jimena Gutierrez, So., 8th, 2:41.74.

Frosh-soph 1,600-meter run – Maggie Mostoller, Fr., 4th, 5:57.37; Caroline Vietor, Fr., 7th, 6:03.61; Karina Zavieri, Fr., 16th, 6:30.67; Susan Findlay, So., 19th, 6:35.84.

Frosh-soph 3,200-meter run – Sofia Maroufkani, So., 3rd, 13:48.77; Ellie Hilsabeck, Fr., 4th, 13:53.56.

Frosh-soph 100-meter hurdles – Annette Gbekia, So., 3rd, 18.68.

Frosh-soph 300-meter hurdles – Kaira Burrage, So., 2nd, 50.07.

Frosh-soph  4x400-meter relay – Xavier 2nd, 4:19.32 (Vivian Amoia, Lily Beaver, Lucy Benjamin, Kaira Burrage).

Frosh-soph 4x800-meter relay – Xavier 1st, 10:45.26 (Jimena Gutierrez, Julia Russo, Sophia Corona, Lily Bourque).

Frosh-soph shot put – Lis Montoya, So., 7th, 25-03 ½.

Frosh-soph long jump – Vivian Amoia, Fr., 3rd, 15-10; Gabriella Isaac, Fr., 7th, 14-03.

Team scores

Xavier Prep 119, Waddell Canyon View 101, Phoenix Desert Vista 80, Phoenix Mountain Pointe 63, Tempe Corona del Sol 62, Gilbert Williams Field 51, Queen Creek 47, Tucson Sabino 35, Tempe McClintock 35, Surprise Shadow Ridge 25, Cottonwood Mingus 8, Phoenix Barry Goldwater 8, Phoenix St. Mary’s 8, Coolidge High 6.

Xavier Open results (upperclassmen)

100-meter dash – Julianne Veloria, Jr., 2nd, 12.67; Madigan Moran, Jr., 7th, 13.25.

200-meter dash – Julianne Veloria, Jr., 2nd, 26.45; Madigan Moran, Jr., 3rd, 26.95.

400-meter dash – Vivian Amoia, Jr., 6th, 1:03.02; Lucy Benjamin, Fr., 7th, 1:03.03.

800-meter run – Kylie Graf, So., 5th, 2:31.06; Naomi Young, Jr., 6th, 2:31.13.

1,600-meter run – Alma Melendez, Jr., 6th, 5:58.04; Emily Manuelito, Jr., 7th, 6:05.60; Maya Nagaraj, So., 13th, 6:38.09.

3,200-meter run – Nora Hinkle, Jr., 2nd, 11:59.49; Alma Melendez, Jr., 9th, 13:30.14.

100-meter hurdles – Annette Gbekia, So., 3rd, 18.68.

300-meter hurdles – Morgan Finch, Jr., 10th, 53.69; Mia Portillo, Sr., 12th, 54.91.

4x400-meter relay – Xavier 1st, 4:07.10 (Julianne Veloria, Mia Stoller, Marley Stoller, Bella Gomez).

4x800-meter relay – Xavier 5th, 11:40.69 (Elle Houle, Adelaide Luna, Blakely Anderson, Zoe Lopez.

Shot put – Elena Soderstrom, Sr., 2nd, 31-10 ½; Callie Ehmann, Jr., 11th, 25-02 ½.

Discus – Elena Soderstrom, Sr., 3rd, 95-06; Lis Montoya, So., 8th, 74-05.

Long jump – Riley Ward, Jr., 3rd, 16-00.


Cierra Gonzalez, Sr., 4th, 2,457 points; Ellie Higgins, Sr., 6th, 2,046; Illiana Kockinis, So., 11th, 1,654.


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