DHS runners gear up for sectionalsBy Bruce Whetten
Douglas High School’s cross country teams were in action last week running in two separate invitationals all geared towards getting the DHS runners ready for sectionals which takes place this Saturday in Marana.
On Oct. 16 the Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs ran at the Justin Prevatte Cross Country Classic.
The event was sponsored by the Tombstone Lions Club. The course starts at the football practice field, runs through the concourse of the school, through the parking lot and down the hill and off into the desert. Along the way runners are met with the sandy wash bed of Walnut Gulch, 1,000 meters of sandy torture.
Four races were held that day. In the open boys and girls race Douglas had five runners running in the open boys which had 42 runners in it. Manuel Acedo was the first Douglas runner to finish posting a time of 21:52 in 12th place; John Owen followed in 16th place with a time of 22:05; Joshua Lujan, 27th, 23:46; Rafael Carrillo, 31st, 24:31 and Guadalupe Herrera, 37th, 26:24.
In the varsity boys race there were 10 teams competing. Buena was first with a combined time of 90:26; Morenci was second with 97:08, Nogales third, 98:25, Douglas fourth 98:33 and Benson fifth, 99:31.
Seventy-two runners ran in this race and St. Augustine’s Zach Aldarette was the overall winner posting a time of 17:24.
Ricky Larez led Douglas finishing 14th overall with a time of 18:54. Jesus Loreto was 22nd with a time of 19:36; Ricky Melendez finished 26th with a time of 19:45; Alonso Sodari, 30th, 20:03 and Gustavo Melendez, 34th, 20:15.
In the girls race there were six teams and 56 runners.
Buena was first with a combined time of 116:40; Safford second, 117:15; Benson third, 126:53, Thatcher fourth, 130:35 and Bisbee fifth, 143:42. Douglas did not score failing to have the five runners required to score.
Buena’s Andrea Haller was the overall winner finishing with a time of 22:08.
Karla Loreto led Douglas finishing 13th overall with a time of 24:01; Emeri Melendez was 15th with a 24:21, Laura Hurtado, 19th with a time of 24:44 and Laura Blair 34th with a 26:32.
Four boys and three girls medaled for Douglas this race.
“The group had a challenging course to run in Tombstone, one with hills and soft sand, but the athletes pushed themselves,” Douglas’ Cross Country Coach Nicole Gomez Mariscal said. “Seven athletes received medals, so they were happy with their performance. Others had a hard time because they were gone during fall break and missed out on practice. We’re getting ready for regionals/sectionals and excited about the race.”
On Friday the DHS teams were in Benson running at the Benson Invitational.
In the boys race there were 106 runners from 11 different teams. Morenci came in first with 100 points, Tanque Verde was second with 107, Douglas third with 110, Benson fourth with 113 and Thatcher fifth with 134.
St. Augustine’s Aldarette who was the overall winner at the Tombstone race also won the Benson race posting a time of 18:01.
Larez led Douglas with a 10th place finish and a time of 19:43; Ricky Melendez was 20th with a 20:18; Loreto 25th, 20:38; Sodari, 26th, 20:43; Gustavo Melendez, 29th, 20:51; Acedo, 69th, 22:59; Owen, 71st, 23:16; Raul Montano, 90th, 26:01; Carrillo, 91st, 26:37 and Herrera, 103rd, 29:03.
In the girls race there were 57 runners from six different schools.
Safford was first overall with 44 points, Benson second with 105, Thatcher third with 146 and Tombstone fourth with 196. Douglas did not score again.
Pueblo’s F. Cota was the overall winner finishing with a time of 22:53.
Melendez led Douglas finishing 12th overall with a time of 25:04; Hurtado was next in 17th place and a time of 25:34; Loreto, 20th, 26:31 and Blair, 40th, 30:36.
Larez, Ricky and Emeri Melendez, Sodari, Hurtado and Loreto all medaled for Douglas placing in the top six in their grade level.
“It was a tough course and a hot day,” Coach Mariscal said. “The athletes ran at 2 p.m. and the heat really drained a few of them.”
Sectionals will be held at Marana High School this Saturday. The girls run at 9:25 a.m.; the boys 20 minutes later.