The Gilbert Perry freshman admitted she didn’t know what to expect when she began her cross-country career. So far, she has looked like a seasoned veteran, winning her past two races, including last weekend’s Ojo Rojo Invite (18:14).
Athlete of the week
Taylor DeLaVeaga: The Gilbert Perry freshman admitted she didn’t know what to expect when she began her cross-country career. So far, she has looked like a seasoned veteran, winning her past two races, including last weekend’s Ojo Rojo Invite (18:14). “I just think about doing my best and see what happens,” said DeLaVeaga, who also won the freshman race at the Chandler Invitational on Sept. 13. DeLaVeaga won the East Valley Region junior high cross-country title last year. But those races were two miles, whereas high school is three-plus miles. “I am very happy I came to Perry. I didn’t know much about the school, and knew the team would be small, but everyone on the team is great and works hard,” DeLaVeaga said.
Week in review
After winning three individual titles and one relay title at last spring’s class 5A-I state track meet, Phoenix Xavier junior Jessica Tonn is continuing her winning ways. In a pair of cross-country meets, Tonn has dominated both fields. She won last weekend’s George Young Invitational by 16 seconds, coming in at 18:06. The previous week, she won the Scottsdale Running Company Invitational by 45 seconds.
Falling in line: The name is familiar, but the face is different. Gilbert Highland sophomore Cory Breinholt is the third member of his family to run for the Hawks, and so far the results are in line with his two older brothers. Cory’s oldest brother, Craig, won a 5A state individual title in 2004. Derek, the middle of the three, finished third at the 5A-I state meet last year. And so far this season, Cory has finished second in the sophomore race at the Chandler Invitational and placed 10th at the George Young Invitational last weekend. “I grew up watching them so it just came natural to want to do this,” said Cory, who added that all three brothers grew up playing soccer. “They have been great influences. We’ve run together all our lives.”
Naming rights: The varsity races at the Doug Conley Invitational are the showcase events, but there will also be nonvarsity races for both boys and girls. And those two events are named after longtime coaches and meet organizers Dave Shapiro and Jim Wehrman. The boys nonvarsity race is named after Shapiro, while the girls race carries Wehrman’s name. Shapiro is the athletic director and cross-country coach at Chandler High, while Wehrman currently guides the program at Chandler Basha. Both men have been instrumental in organizing and managing the Conley meet for better than 25 years.
Teams and individuals who want to see how they stack up against the best in the state will have their chance on Saturday in the 36th annual Doug Conley Invitational. See story at left.
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