Bradshaw distance runners bring home medals
The top 10 finishers in each level medaled at the 31st annual Ray Wherley Invitational Saturday. Five of Bradshaw Mountain's girls and three boys came home with hardware.
The invite's format is unique from others in that it has separate flights for seeded runners, with the numbers six and seven boys and girls running together, then fourth and fifth, second and third, and finally, the No. 1-seed race. To compile team scores, race officials total up times from each team's seven participants.
On the girls' 2.5-mile course, Flagstaff had four runners place in the top 10 overall and all seven in the top 25, with an average time of 18:05.26 for first place out of 16 teams.
Second was Mountain Ridge, followed by Prescott, Shadow Mountain, Mingus Union, Sunnyside and Bradshaw Mountain, in 7th with an average time of 20:12.
For Bradshaw's Lady Bears Shelby Meinhardt had the top time of 18:34.59, which placed her 7th in No. 1 race and 17th overall.
Courtney Roybal, running in the early varsity race for 6&7 because of a family commitment on Saturday, placed 30th overall in 19:09, a time good for 3rd in her flight.
Cierra Winter placed 9th as a 3-seed, 42nd overall, in 19:57.
Sarah Ashburn was 44th in 20:20, but 8th among 2-seeds.
Lacy Grovenstein was 67th in 21:04 and 6th in the 7-seed flight.
Christina Marin and Raini Irwin, running in the 4-5-seed race, respectively placed 73rd and 76th overall, in 21:14 and 21:26, out of the 126 runners in four flights.
The boys covered a 3-mile course, with Mingus Union coming out on top. Mingus boasted the 1st, 5th and 6th runners overall, with two more in the top 20, for an average time of 17:06. Mingus' top two boys rank among the top 25 in a region including the Western states, said BMHS coach Mike Simon.
Bradshaw was 11th of the 19 teams, averaging 19:14.
Andrew McKinzie, top placer for the Bears, was 21st overall out of 120 runners and just missed a medal, placing 11th in the No. 1 race with 17:23.
Jesus Escalera, 2nd in the No. 4-seed race, was 22nd overall with 17:25.
Ryan Madler ran a 17:59 for 8th as a No.3-seed and 43rd overall.
Jesus Meza placed 74th in 19:03.
Tyler Roach, 79th overall with 19:16, placed 9th in the No. 5 race.
Rounding out the seven were Estabon Morales, 98th, 20:52 and Cody McGiffen, 115th, 22:38.
"I was very pleased with the performances," said Coach Simon. "The underclassmen performed very well considering it was the first time they had competed on that challenging course."
Simon noted the runners had to navigate two lengthy hills - twice. He ran the course himself the next day.
"The first time is no problem, but the second time just takes it out of your legs," Simon said.
For those who like to compare to cross-town rival Prescott, Simon said if the meet was scored in the traditional manner, the Bears would come out 75 points ahead of the Badger boys.