Division II, Section II
When: Saturday, Nov. 2. Boys race at 11:15 a.m.; Girls race at Noon.
Where: Marana High School (Tucson)
Teams: Campo Verde, Canyon del Oro, Casa Grande, Catalina Foothills, Cholla, Cienega, Desert View, Flowing Wells, Higley, Marcos de Niza, Maricopa, McClintock, Marana Mountain View, Nogales, Poston Butte, Queen Creek, Sahuaro, Salpointe, Vista Grande, Williams Field
Boys favorites: The race should be close between Marana Mountain View and Catalina Foothills, if both teams send their normal squad to the starting line. Individually, Campo Verde’s Lucky Schreiner, Catalina Foothills’ Harvey Nelson and Marana Mountain View’s Josh Fleetwood are the only three in the section to run under 16 minutes for a 5K this year and if they aren’t holding back, those three will be the ones to beat.
Girls favorites: Catalina Foothills is the clear favorite going into this meet and the Division II state meet next week. The Falcons boast a strong top 7, and all of their top five runners come into the sectional meet seeded in the top 11. The top individual coming in is Vista Grande’s Carissa Diaz. Catalina Foothills’ Hannah Whetzel and Queen Creek’s Lucy Hilarides are also contenders for individual honors.
Teams likely to advance to state: Boys: Marana Mountain View, Catalina Foothills, Salpointe, Campo Verde, Vista Grande, McClintock, Higley, Casa Grande, Canyon del Oro, Flowing Wells. Girls: Catalina Foothills, Queen Creek, Vista Grande, Salpointe, Sahuaro, Canyon del Oro, Marana Mountain View, Campo Verde, Flowing Wells, Williams Field
Division III, Section III
When: Saturday, Nov. 2. Girls race at 11 a.m.; Boys race at 11:30 a.m.
Where: Skunk Creek Landfill: 3165 W. Happy Valley Road, Phoenix
Teams competing: Apache Junction, Buckeye, Cactus, Coronado, Cortez, Estrella Foothills, Fountain Hills, Moon Valley, North Pointe Prep, Parker, Payson, St. Mary’s, Seton Catholic, Shadow Ridge, Sierra Linda, Tempe, Wickenburg.
Boys favorites: Based on how the regular season has gone, Tempe and Estrella Foothills are headed for a very close race. Neither team has a standout, but each has a strong top 7 group of runners. Tempe is led by Ramiro Ortiz, Andy Blanc and Jose Garcia and those three could set the pace for the rest of the squad. Also, don’t count out Fountain Hills and Seton Catholic in the team race. The individual race could mirror the team race, with no clear favorite. Grant Navakuku of Cactus enters as the top seed, followed by Fountain Hills’ Scott Jarriel and Shadow Ridge’s Isaiah Petty.
Girls favorites: Tempe has a strong chance of pulling off the team sweep, as the Buffalo girls enter as the favorite. Based on seed times, just 33 seconds separate Tempe’s top runner (Victoria Lebario) and its No. 5 (Sabrina Robles), with Amy Bello, Alexis Blanc and Daisy Lopez in between. Chasing Tempe will be Fountain Hills, led by the top-seeded individual Seirra Jarriel, and Cactus. Individually, seeded after Jarriel are two Payson runners (Erin Huffman and Abby Greenleaf) and Estrella Foothills’ Briana Alverez.
Teams likely to advance to state: Boys: Tempe, Estrella Foothills, Fountain Hills, Seton Catholic, Apache Junction, Shadow Ridge, Moon Valley. Girls: Tempe, Fountain Hills, Cactus, Payson, Estrella Foothills, Seton Catholic, Apache Junction.