Three of the four cross country individual state champions on Saturday in Division III and IV came from East Valley schools.
Walking away as state champs from the Cave Creek Golf Course in Division III were Jake Wynn from Saguaro and Diana Garcia from Tempe. Scottsdale Christian's Anna Long won the Division IV girls individual title.
Wynn won his second straight championship in 15 minutes, 58 seconds. He repeated, which is no easy feat to do in cross country.
"It's kind of sad, coming down the stretch realizing it is over, but I am looking forward to running in college," said Wynn, who noted he has offers from BYU and the University of San Francisco. "I would consider the Arizona schools if any offers came in. It was a little harder and slower than last year. I like to make it a race and have fun."
Saguaro finished strong with a third place team finish as sophomore Alex Stevens finished 14th.
"Jake has been a great teammate and it's nice that he has track left (in spring)," Stevens said. "I just had a bad start and got caught up in the pack."
Rio Rico had five top-ten finishes to easily win the Division III boys team crown.
In Division III girls, Garcia became the first female cross country champion in school history for Tempe. The soft-spoken Garcia said she was ill, but you could never tell as she finished 32 seconds ahead of the runner-up.
Garcia who was second last year as a senior was not to be denied as she won in 18:39.19 seconds.
"I didn't know I was the first (at Tempe High to win state in cross country). That is pretty cool," said Garcia, who's looking to run in college at San Diego, Xavier, Texas or Cal State-Chico. "Girls were staying with me, so I went out too fast. I don't think I was as focused last year, so I put in the time in running in the summer."
Tempe, whose team also included Diana's sister, Brenda, had a solid fifth place team finish.
"Team-wise we were shooting for Page (who won the title), it comes down to who runs the best on that given day," Tempe coach Eric Smith said. "After finishing second last year her goal was to be the champion. Nobody stayed with her in that last mile and she dominated. She had a different confidence this year, to be our first girls state champ in school history there is nobody better than Diana to represent us that way."
A young Saguaro team had a seventh place finish overall, led by sophomore Jelani Huma in 13th and freshman Hayley Prestwood at 14th.
A great story at the meet was Campo Verde, led by Gabby Ybarra who finished 16th. The school in only in its fourth year but finished with a strong fourth place. The Camp Verde boys also did well with a ninth place finish as a team.
In Division IV boys, Kyle Cajero of Pusch Ridge won the individual title.
In Division IV girls, Long of Scottsdale Christian knocked off the defending champion and all comers as she blazed through the first two miles in 12 minutes and won easily. This despite her not beating her sectional race time of 18:13.
Long ran track as a sophomore at SCA but was home-schooled as a junior.
"I came back to run track last year and did well and that is what turned things around," Long said. "I wrote down in a book at home the date November 3rd: win the AIA girls state cross country championship, and I did it."
Mikaela Martin of Horizon Honors finished fifth. Hopi won the team title for an amazing 28th straight year.