Scottsdale Christian cross country runner Jillian Klassen said she wasn’t planning to peak in the state championship race.
By preparing for the Border War Invitational — a race in Albuquerque, N.M., later this month that pits the top 25 boys and girls from Arizona against those from New Mexico and Nevada — as well as the Foot Locker Western Championships in December, Klassen has a lot on her plate.
Peaking or not, she outran the field in the 1A/2A state championship at Cave Creek Golf Course, winning her second straight title with a 20:23 time on the 3-mile course.
"It definitely feels good. It feels like all your work is paying off," Klassen said. "I wasn’t peaking for this race, so it was a little different."
Valley Christian led all East Valley teams in the meet, finishing fourth with five runners in the top 37, including Callan Smith and Jillian Lewis, who finished 24th and 25th. Yuma Catholic won the girls title.
The boys race was dominated by three teams that had all 25 of their combined runners finish in the top 30: Northland Prep of Flagstaff, St. Michael and Scottsdale Christian (third), the highest East Valley finisher. The Eagles had four runners in the top 16, led by Calvin Drenth’s 11th-place finish.
"We’ve been training hard," Drenth said. "Most of us have been running since June."
Fountain Hills senior Megan Anne Perrin closed out her prep career with an 11th-place finish in the state meet, leading the Falcons to a seventh-place team finish.
Perrin finished in 21:39, just four seconds from a top-10 finish. Ganado won the team title with 61 points, followed by Window Rock (90) and Winlsow (90). Janeen Yazzie of Winslow won in 20:20.
The top East Valley finisher in the boys race was Seton Catholic’s Andrew Belus in 28th and Fountain Hills was the top team with its seventh-place effort.
Keams Canyon Hopi won its 16th straight state team title and Lakeside Blue Ridge’s Matt Rowell was the individual champion.