The Chandler Hamilton junior continued her impressive season with a win at the Thunderbird Invitational held at Phoenix’s Mountain View Park last weekend. Cole finished the race in 17:12, which was 15 seconds better than the runner-up.
Athlete of the week
Taylor Cole: The Chandler Hamilton junior continued her impressive season with a win at the Thunderbird Invitational held at Phoenix’s Mountain View Park last weekend. Cole finished the race in 17:12, which was 15 seconds better than the runner-up. “She gets stronger every race,” Hamilton coach Norris Thomas said. “She keeps building off of each meet. She is capable of a top-five finish at state.” Cole placed ninth at last year’s 5A-I state meet and is one of five returning runners in that class. “You want to do your best at every meet, but the focus is always on state,” said Cole, who also plays club soccer. “A top-five would be a great way to finish the season.”
Week in review
The Mesa Mountain View boys team is quietly putting together a solid, there-they-are-again season. The Toros are the top-ranked team in 5A-I in the latest coaches poll and are fourth overall in the state. Yet the team does not have that one runner who wins every meet or even places in the top five. “The guys definitely put in the time and work this summer,” first-year coach Kris Alexander said. “They go into every meet knowing they can compete with any team there. We really concentrate on running together. We call it, 'Running with red.’” Senior D.J. Johnson is the team leader after placing fourth at last season’s state meet. But this season, different runners such as Tyler Bingham and Clint Brady have stepped to the front in different meets. “I think the guys saw what D.J. was able to do and said, 'Why can’t we do that, too?’” Alexander said. The Mountain View girls team is not far behind. The Toros are the second-ranked team in 5A-I and are also fourth overall.
Newport news: Chandler Valley Christian senior Sean Newport has been running with a new sense of purpose this season, and it shows in his results. Newport recently placed 10th at the Thunderbird Invitational in Phoenix and also has a 17th-place finish at the Doug Conley Invitational this season. “We always knew he had the capabilities, we just didn’t know how much he wanted it,” Trojans coach Erin Botma said. “He came into the season with a new focus. He has become a leader in meets and in practice.” Newport finished eighth at last year’s 2A/1A state meet, and Botma feels a state title is within reach this year. “No doubt about it,” she said. “If he stays focused he can get that state title.”
A few individuals will head to Walnut, Calif., this weekend for the Mount SAC Invitational, a large meet composed of athletes from all over the country’s western region. For those taking the weekend off, the next events will be the respective region meets. The Fiesta Region meet is scheduled for Oct. 30 at Gilbert’s Freestone Park. The Central and East Valley regions will meet on Nov. 1 at Mesa’s Red Mountain Park.
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