Originally Published: October 27, 2007 7:26 p.m.
4A-II Grand Canyon Region MeetSaturday, in ClarkdaleForget waiting until this coming weekend, the Bradshaw Mountain High School girls' cross country team has already run with the best in the state.The Lady Bears narrowly missed out on qualifying their entire team for the upcoming 4A-II State Meet after a loaded Grand Canyon Region showdown on Saturday.Flagstaff and Page, which both finished 1 and 2, respectively, at last year's 4A-II State Meet, finished 1 and 2 in the region on Saturday. Coconino, third at State a year ago, took third at regionals.Only the top three teams earn a trip to State, leaving fourth-place Bradshaw Mountain out of a very competitive loop."The most competitive region in the state featuring four of the top five teams at State last year," summed up BMHS head coach Mike Simon, whose own club finished fifth at State last year."This is the closest we've come point-wise. We competed against those schools better than we ever have. It just wasn't quite enough on this day."Shelby Meinhardt was the highest finisher for Bradshaw Mountain, claiming seventh overall with a time of 22:22 on the 3.14-mile course. The top 10 runners qualified for State, and Bradshaw's Cierra Winters (11th, 22:49) missed the cut by a mere second.On the boys' side, the state's top-ranked squad, Mingus Union, dominated. Their score of 19 was way out in front, followed by Flagstaff in second place (92) and Bradshaw Mountain in third (96).Mingus Union's Tim Freriks was the region champion, crossing the finish line in a time of 16:44.Omar de los Santos was Bradshaw Mountain's fastest finisher, claiming seventh place with a time of 17:45. He'll be joined at State by teammate Andrew McKenzie, a sophomore, who qualified with an eighth-place finish (18:07).The 4A-II State Meet begins at 1:50 p.m. at Cave Creek Golf Course this Saturday.3A West Region MeetFriday, in ParkerLarry Hermance won the 3A West Region individual title and is looking for more hardware at State.Chino Valley's top runner outran the field on Friday, finishing the 3.1-mile course in a time of 17:39."He ran a really good race. He took it out at the start and had a huge margin," CVHS head coach Marc Metz said of Hermance. "He is ready to go and is peaking at the right time and he could really be a factor in the 3A State Meet."His closest competition was teammate Juan Martinez who clocked in at 18:14, good for second fastest in the region.As a club, Chino Valley, the defending region champs, settled for third place with a score of 60. Sedona dethroned Chino this year (30) followed by Estrella Foothills (56).The Chino girls didn't field a full team but did qualify a trio of runners for State.With the top 15 individuals punching their ticket to the State Meet, Hannah Swope (12th), Sarah Rudiger (14th) and Emily Parsons (15th) will compete when the starting gun sounds this Saturday at 2:05 p.m. at Cave Creek Golf Course.