Friday, October 13th, the Campo Verde HS boys and girls cross country athletes took part in the 4th Annual Titan Invitational at Crossroads Park in Gilbert. A loaded field of Division I and Division II teams. 3.0-mile and 5km school record-holder Rylan Stubbs got his chance at redemption against last year's winner, Perry's Anthony Haren and Brophy's Drew Burns. The threesome ran stride-for-stride on the hilly course for 2.5 miles at roughly 5:05 pace. With a little more than half mile remaining, Stubbs rounded a turn and surged ahead of the pack, pressing the pace with a kick that neither Haren or Burns could match. Rylan Stubbs set a new course record of 15:45 on the challenging 5k course. The boys varsity team finished 4th this year with a 10th place finish from sophomore Kenny Edwards (16:39), Zac Whaley finished next for the coyotes (17:18) followed by Zack Prusse (17:39), Christian Tamura (17:44), Avree Anderson (17:59), and Ben Reidhead (18:59). While the outcome was not what the team was hoping for, the race provided a great proving ground for the boys to learn the course and the challenges that lie ahead in their next couple of match-ups, as both the City Championships and the Sectional Championships will be contested on this course in the next couple of weeks.
In the varsity girls' race, 5k school record-holder Alaina Kautz ran an incredibly redemptive race. In 2016, Titan was Kautz's first race back from an injury that interrupted her junior season. At that time, her somewhat limited fitness produced a 5k finish just over 20-minutes. This year, however, has been a very different story-line for Kautz. Running incredibly well, and coming off of a record-setting 3.0-mile run at the famed Woodbridge Classic, Alaina was in the hunt to finish among the top-3. Kautz maintained contact with Chander's Becca Taylor throughout the race and worked to close a 12-second gap by running two very well-executed downhills in the final half-mile. With a decisive burst of speed, Kautz overtook Taylor to finish 2nd in 19:15 behind Catalina Foothills' Richelle Sandin, who Kautz will face again in two weeks for the Sectional Championship on the same course.
The morning began with freshman athletes. In the boys race, the coyotes had a number of other stand-out performances with medals going to freshman Wyatt Hanson, who finished 2nd in his race in 18 minutes 15 seconds (the 7th fastest time of the day for the coyotes), and to freshman Anthony Cox in 13th with a time of 19:57. Freshmen Luke Wybourn and Timmy Willcoxon ran personal best times of 28:04 and 28:48, respectively. The freshmen girls earned three of the twenty medals with performances lead by Kaitlyn Bowe who finished second in 21:47, Bradyn Riggs 10th in 23:19, and Ellie Brooks 12th in 23:28. Freshman Liz TIngey finished 35th with a time of 28:20.
In the open races, sophomore Mac Jones produced a 16th-place finish in the field of 193 athletes, with a time of 18:30; the 8th fastest time of the day for the coyotes. He was followed by Cade Martinez who rounded out the top 50 in 19:23. In the girls' open race, sophomore Olivia Callaghan took home a medal finishing 11th in 23:17, Taytum Coons had a strong performance finishing in the top-25, and Farrah Ashcraft ran a personal best 5k time of 26:49, an improvement of more than a minute and a half over her previous PR of 28:25 from 2016.
The CV cross country team will compete at the Gilbert City Championships on Thursday, October 19th at Crossroads Park, where the boys will go virtually head-to-head against an outstanding Highland boys team, racing to defend their championship title from last year. The girls team will attempt a runner-up finish behind a very talented Highland girls team. The races begin at 1:00pm with the freshmen athletes, with each subsequent race beginning 35 minutes later. Medals go to the top-10 in each race.
The following photos are courtesy of Michael Bowe, Jenna Marsh, and Josh Applebach.