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Desert Vista has one of the top boys and girls cross country programs in Arizona, and it proved it last Friday at the Desert Twilight Cross Country Festival.
It was his, and then in the time it takes to go one more step, it wasn’t.
In Division I, the boys team race is wide open, which favors the traditional power teams that have a large number of athletes in the program. That means look for Desert Vista, Highland, Mountain View and Corona del Sol to occupy spots in the top 5 this year. Individually, Corona del Sol’s Marcus Wheeler is the top returner. It’ll be interesting to see how Wheeler adjusts to running solo after a year of running with (or just behind) teammates Nathan Rodriguez and Ryan Normand. The trio finished 1, 2, 3 at the state meet a year ago, and Wheeler gained a lot from training and competing with his older teammates. Can he match that this year as he takes over the helm of the favorite? That’s the biggest question going into the season.
Abdullah, Na'imah Muslimah
Paul Lucas hit the weight room for the first time, produced a national-best time and in the process raised expectations if that is possible.
2013 Tribune Boys Runner of the Year – Nate Rodriguez, Corona del Sol
Desert Vista junior Dani Jones finished fourth overall at the NXN Southwest Regional recently to qualify for the 10th annual Nike Cross Nationals. She will get the chance to compete against the nation’s best in Portland, Oregon on Saturday, Dec. 7 at Portland Meadows racing facility.
The Desert Vista boys cross country kept their pack mentality even defeat.
The first of three rounds went to Corona de Sol.
For the first time in three years, there will be a new king and queen of high school cross country in Arizona.
The Desert Vista boys cross country team had a motto of “All In” a year ago.
Xavier Esparza, of Desert Vista, finishes 34th in the Boys Division I Cross Country State Championships at Cave Creek Golf Course on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012.
Running is mostly seen as a solitary endeavor.
The Desert Vista team, from left, Tyler Bonebright, Xavier Esparza, Jacob Walimaa, Ryan Dykstra (with Alec Hoyt behind him), Zach Smith and Ryan Smith walks to the start line before the beginning of the Division I Boys Cross Country State Championships, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012 at the Cave Creek Golf Course in Phoenix. The Thunder won the team championship. [Tim Hacker/Tribune]
Minutes before toeing the starting line on Saturday, Dani Jones will take a moment, unfold a piece of paper and try to fill the void.
The cross country schedule essentially has an invitational meet every weekend, but there are some circled in red.
There is no questioning of Desert Vista’s status in the cross country circles of Arizona.
The high school cross country season opened up last week for most teams in the state.
The Tempe Corona del Sol baseball team didn’t waste any time getting its offense on track Tuesday.
It was little more than a beauty contest, but it was a beauty of a contest. Tempe Corona del Sol edged Mesa Red Mountain 190-188.5 Saturday in the 5A-I team wrestling standings that went down to the final match.