Havasu harriers compete at state meet
PHOENIX — The Lake Havasu girls finished 17th as a team and the boys 22nd at the Division II state cross country meet on Saturday at Cave Creek Golf Course, the best marks in nearly a decade.
The girls, led by a 58th place finish from Isabella Sloma in 22 minutes, 1.0 seconds, kept its scoring runners in a tight pack, with all five finishing within a three-minute window.
Sydney Huffman finished 66th in 22:09.3, just eight seconds back of Sloma, and Dailynn Evans in 90th in 22:33.6. Zoe Dondero was 141st in 24:01.8 and Alyssa Musselman 170th in 25:16.3. Joslyn Redman (187th, 27:02..6) and Citali Centeno (188th, 27:13.3) finished in order to round out the team.
The meet, which featured about 200 runners in each race, the competition was much more crowded than most of the Knights have run. Havasu had four of 14 runners making a return trip to the state meet.
“They ran according to our plan,” Havasu coach Erika Washington said. “They focused on their strategy and didn’t let the excitement of the day change that. It was a good day for us.
“Battling the crowd the whole way for the entire 3.1 miles was a different experience for them.”
Knights junior Josh Hansen led the Havasu boys by finishing 30th in 17:04.8, just 10 seconds off earning all-state honors. The top 21 runners receive medals.
“He’s been winning his races all season long, but not in a field of that size,” Washington said. “It was great to have that caliber of athlete surrounding him to help push him along the way.”
Zachary Hansen led the second wave of Knights, finishing in 117th in 18:27.4. Joshua Lumpkin finished in 151st in 19:00.3, Brody Port in 155th in 19:05.0 and Spencer Marino in 170th in 19:15.17 to round out the scoring group. Leyton Schrotberger finished 206th in 20:22.0 and Ryan Balboni 213th in 20:57.7.
The girls team mark is the best finish since placing seventh in 2013, led by all-state runner Katie Baker. It’s the best boys team finish since a 16th place finish in 2008. The team also placed 22nd in 2009.
Flagstaff won its fourth straight Division II boys and girls titles, the Eagles girls edging North Canyon by two points by placing three runners in the top 17, including state champion Hana Hall, who won in 18:07.5. The boys placed three runners in the top 16 to leg out Queen Creek Casteel for the title. Cienega’s Ayden Schilb won the boys individual title in 16:07.5.