The Flagstaff ROAM Running Club participated in the USATF National Junior Olympics Cross Country Meet in Madison, Wisconsin, on Saturday, and five of its runners came away with All-American honors despite battling the conditions.
Competing in cold, blistery weather, with the final 800 meters of the 5K course presenting the challenge of a strong headwind, ROAM's Sayti Plank, Shaelyn Honahni, Hope Saxton and Alexandra Zavala finished as All-Americans on the girls side, with teammate Burlander Kee garnering the recognition on the boys side.
The wind didn't slow down the Flagstaff-based runners, as several crossed the finish line with personal or season bests.
Kee clocked a PR of 16:46.9 for a 22nd-place finish in the Boys 15-16 Division race. Plank led the way for ROAM in the Girls 17-18 Division race as the team took third, crossing the finish line in 20:48.1 for ninth place, and Honahni came through with a season-best time of 21:28.7 for 14th.
“All of our competitors ran very hard and competed well," ROAM head coach Gary Plank said in an email. "I felt badly for our younger athletes that had not experienced foul weather running before. Our older runners performed extremely well and several had lifetime personal bests, which is amazing considering the weather conditions. However, nobody ever thought that Madison, Wisconsin in December would produce great weather."
A total of 14 athletes qualified for the national competition and 12 made the trip.
Teams from around the country participated in the event, including Hawaii and Alaska. Each age group featured between 200 and 500 runners.
Saxton had a season-best outing, taking 21st with a time of 22:33.8 in the 17-18 division.
"It makes me sad that all of those All-American girls are seniors and I won’t be coaching them anymore; they all ran exceptionally well," Planks said. "I’m just very proud of the way all of our runners competed in such poor weather."
He added: "Also, every high school runner represented a different high school, from here and across the reservation, which I really enjoyed watching."
Also representing ROAM were: Cole Troxler; Tyler Troxler; Kyler Kee; Haley Johnson; Andrew Finney; Jonah Brandt; and Ryan Kee.
BEARS 54, EAGLES 47
Nick Sneezy had a team-high 15 points, Christian Lancaster added 10 and Flagstaff lost in its return to regular-season action after taking third place at its Pepsi Holiday Tournament over the weekend, falling to host 4A Bradshaw Mountain on Monday.
Tyler Centner finished with eight points for the 4A Conference Eagles, who entered halftime tied up at 27-all with the Bears in the game between the two Grand Canyon Region teams.
Bradshaw Mountain (4-1, 1-0 Grand Canyon) won its second straight with the Monday victory.
Flagstaff (2-3, 0-2 Grand Canyon) faces Lee Williams on the road Friday and then will take a break from the power-points schedule until the new year.
PANTHERS 56, VOLUNTEERS 50
Coconino kept its momentum from a runner-up finish at the Pepsi Holiday Tournament with a close win over region rival Lee Williams.
The 4A Panthers rallied from a 22-21 deficit at halftime and being behind 17-13 after the first. Coconino outscored the hosting Volunteers 19-15 in the third and 16-13 in the fourth.
Preston Olney had 24 points to outpace Lee Williams' leading scorer, Kade Juelfs, who put up 19 in the loss.
The Panthers, now sporting a 3-2 overall and 2-0 Grand Canyon Region record, host Bradshaw Mountain Friday at 7 p.m.
EAGLES 52, BEARS 34
Three was the key number for the Eagles on Monday in Prescott Valley.
Flagstaff recorded five of its eight 3-pointers in the third quarter on the way to a road win over Bradshaw Mountain, piecing together two straight regular-season victories for the first time this season.
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Flagstaff's Gracelyn Nez had 12 points and three 3s, one in the third quarter, and Emma Doskicz tallied two of her three treys in Flagstaff's 17-point third quarter that ended up being the team's highest of the night.
Miyah Verse led the way in scoring with 16 points for the Eagles, who spoiled the Bears' Grand Canyon Region opener. The freshman took over in the fourth quarter and scored 10 of 4A Flagstaff's 13 points in the final eight minutes.
Flagstaff (2-2, 2-0 Grand Canyon) was coming off a championship victory Saturday over Winslow in the Pepsi Holiday Tournament. The Eagles had to overcome turnover issues for the title and the mistakes continued into the restart of the regular season as the team had 30 against the Bears (2-3, 0-1 Grand Canyon).
Flagstaff plays Lee Williams for another Grand Canyon Region contest on Friday in Kingman at 5:30 p.m. before entering the holiday break.
PANTHERS 59, VOLUNTEERS 26
Make it three in a row for Coconino.
The Panthers held the Volunteers to single-digit scoring in each quarter in a dominant win over Lee Williams Monday night in Kingman. Coconino won its fifth game of the year and improved to 5-2 and 2-0 in the 4A Grand Canyon Region.
Kiana Manuelito scored 15 points and Mahala Long had 10 points and eight rebounds to pace the Panthers. Coconino committed single-digit turnovers for the first time this season en route to the win.
Coconino hosts Bradshaw Mountain Friday at 5:30 p.m.
EAGLES 3, MATADORS 2
Flagstaff got three goals from as many different players on the way to edging Shadow Mountain in a non-region match between the 4A clubs Monday in the Valley.
Alex Grieder, Nicholas Theimer and Trenton Campbell each found the back of the net for the Eagles, who remained undefeated with the victory at 4-0 overall. Flagstaff has played four games over an 11-day span.
After defeating the Matadors (1-1-1), the Eagles have one more match on the power-points slate before entering the break. Flagstaff will take on 4A Peoria on Friday at 3 p.m.
PANTHERS 4, DEMONS 1
Coconino improved to 2-0 with a win Monday at home against Greenway, which also resides in the 4A Conference with the Panthers.
The Panthers will be in Tempe to take on the Buffaloes on Friday for a 6 p.m. soccer match.
EAGLES 8, MATADORS 0
The 4A Eagles recorded their third shutout of the first four matches of the season, blanking the 4A Matadors in Flagstaff on Monday to keep Shadow Mountain undefeated at 0-3.
Mayrin Soto scored the first goal off a free kick, Maya Shearon finished with a hat trick and the Eagles have outscored their first four opponents by a combined score of 25-2. Soto ended up with another goal, and Keira Robertson also notched two of her own.
Assists came from Audrey Hutton, Taylor Begley and Karina Fuhrmann. Hailey Schlenker also got a goal.
Flagstaff will take a break from the power-points schedule until the new year, picking things back up on Jan. 7 with a road game.
PANTHERS 5, DEMONS 0
Coconino moved back to an above-.500 team with a Monday victory on the road against Greenway, riding two goals apiece from Wheaten Smith and Cate Donaldson in the win between the 4A clubs.
Toni Gonzales added a goal for the Panthers (2-1), helping keep the Demons (0-2) without a win or a goal scored to start the season.
Smith, Izzy Fierro and Alondra Carbajal-Pettry tallied an assist, and the Panthers scored five goals in a power-points contest for the first time since late January of 2018.
The Panthers will be off until the new year.