Schmidt and Magnuson master rolling hills of the Conley

    Sarah Schmidt and Brianna Decker were
able to focus on the up-and-down hilly terrain they had to navigate
while challenging each other for the lead on this year’s Doug Conley
Invitational course. For a change, they didn’t have to look over their
shoulders for Jessica Tonn, the state’s top girl cross country runner who was not entered this year.
Schmidt was the eventual winner on the Rolling Hills Golf Course, where
the event orginated before moving to Kiwanis Park in Tempe for many
years.  The name of the golf course says it all, with lots of small
hills to overcome.
    The Mountain View HS sophomore finished in
18:40, about three seconds off Tonn’s winning time last year of
18:36.89 on the Kiwanis course.  So it would have been an interesting
race between the two this year.  Decker finished second in 18:44.08, as
Schmidt, her cousin and teammate, stretched out the margin of victory
in the final mile and had to hold off Kylee Kieser from Casa Grande HS who finished in 18:44.10 for a photo finish.
    On the boys side, Steve Magnuson from Ironwood Ridge (Tucson) crossed the line first in 15:43, ahead of Jorge Martinez from
Alhambra HS (15:57)  Martinez was hoping to repeat after winning last
year’s Conley, sprinting ahead in the last 40 yards of the race to win
in a time (15:38.9) that might also have won this year.  Instead, he
had everything he could do to hold off Ryan Yazzie from Tuba City HS, who finished third in 15:58.04.
    Team winners also changed hands this year…
Mountain View HS (in photo) won the boys team title this year with 104 points,
replacing Shadow Mountain HS which won last year.  On the girls side,
it was Pinnacle HS in first with 131 points, as last year’s winner,
Ironwood Ridge HS (Tucson), finished in fifth.
    Mountain Ridge placed all five of their participants in the top 30, led by Tyler Bingham in 4th (16:05.91).  The others: Ben Williams in 17th, Blake Cowan in 26th, Spencer Frame in 27th, and Monson Cowley in 30th.
    For the Pinnacle girls, Christen Collins finished in 4th (18:41.78) and Lacey Kalinen followed in 5th (18:42.29) to lead the charge. Teammates helping with the win: Kyndal Sorenson finished 29th, Sydney Mierau in 42nd, and Nicole Zampino in 53rd.
    Individual top finishers: (Girls) 1) Schmidt 2) Decker 3) Kieser 4) Collins 5) Kalinen 6) Kerri Lenihan (18:43.77)  7) Zahira Jimenez (18:52.16)  8) Christina Price (18:59.45)  9) Taylor De Laveaga (19:04.17)  10) Ashley Hatch (19:07.35).  (Boys)  1) Magnuson 2) Martinez 3) Yazzie 4) Bingham 5) Edgar Duarte (16:07.83)  6) Will Firth (16:10.16)  7) Rex Woodbury (16:11.42)  8) Billy Orman (16:12.28)  9) Jeffrey Segovia (16:13.22)  10) Garrett Baker-Slama (16:17.45).