The past week of our Gladiators HS Cross Country team has been a mix of team bonding, learning, and racing. It was a long week but one that has produced a multitude of impressive results. They started things off last Friday by heading out of town to Mingus Mountain for the AZ Distance Camp that is put on annually by James Bonnett (Professional Ultra-Runner and Coach). At the camp they learned about the sport of running from those that have been part of high school, collegiate, Olympic, and professional programs. It was a great learning experience and a time for the team to bond with each other. As part of the camp, they had the opportunity to take part in the Jerome Hill Climb which is hosted by the Arizona Road Racers. The Jerome Hill climb is a 4.4 mile uphill challenge. Our athletes performed at a very high level with Jordan Black winning his age group and coming in 6th overall, Thomas Koska winning his age group and coming in 7th overall, and Juliana Baltram also winning her age group and coming in 46th overall. Full Results are posted here and here.
Once they returned to school after the holiday weekend, the team had their first official meet of the season; Northwest Christian Multi. The meet took place on Wednesday at 4pm in 100 degree plus heat which is part of the appeal of this meet. The purpose is to measure whether your summer training is working and how the athletes can handle the elements. Our team had in incredible meet. Our boys team won their race coming in 1st (Jordan Black), 3rd (Richie Johnston), 4th (Thomas Koska), 7th (Rocco Berbetti), 8th (Sammy Johnston), and 13th (Aidan Davis). NPX 23, Northwest Christian 32, Arizona Lutheran 100. Scoring is based on each teams top 5 runners finish placement in the race. In the girls race, we did not have a full 5 person team competing but those that ran all performed really well. Juliana Baltram placed 3rd, Sabrina Kloft 15th, Alina Boorse 24th, and Dagny McCrory 40th (first 5k race). Results posted here.
And then the week continued with another meet this Saturday, the Fountain Hills Invitational. This was the first opportunity for a few of our athletes to compete this season as they were not able to make it to the Wednesday meet. Three of our athletes competed in their first ever HS XC meet; Cora Moore, Katie Herrington, and Dae Han Youn. The Fountain Hills Invitational was another big showcase for our team as the athletes ran in either the Freshman/Sophomore Race or the Junior/Senior Race. To start things off in the Boys Junior/Senior Race, Jordan Black took first in 16:31, Rocco Berbetti 2nd in 17:45, and Aden Webb 9th in 18:55. In the Girls Junior/Senior Race, Katie Herrington placed 15th in 25:38 and Sabrina Kloft 18th in 25:51. In the Boys Freshman/Sophomore Race we had 5 entries which allowed us to score as a team. The team placed 3rd with Richie Johnston winning the race in 17:31, Thomas Koska 4th in 18:12, Sammy Johnston 12th in 18:59, Aidan Davis 18th in 19:11, and Dae Han Youn in 154th in 25:24. In the Girls Freshman/Sophomore Race we had Alina Boorse finish in 40th at 26:32, Cora Moore 79th in 29:32, and Dagny McCrory 141st in 37:04 (2:28 improvement in her 2nd race). Overall we had 10 of our 13 athletes receive medals for the race. Current race results are posted here and will be here in the future.
Our next meet will be in Flagstaff, Buffalo Park this coming Saturday, September 15th at the Four Corners Invitational.
Be sure to check out our Photo Galleries throughout the season as new pictures are uploaded weekly.