A sister act showed at Saturday's Peaks Invitational that it's ready to take on the state and help lead the Flagstaff Eagles girls side in its effort to match a historical mark this season.
Division II Flagstaff's Hana Hall won the Summit division race of the annual meet at Buffalo Park and sister Mia claimed third place, pacing an Eagles team looking to reach five straight state titles for the second time ever. Flagstaff won the Peaks title by a low score of 63 points.
A year ago, Hana was the runner-up at the meet that really gets the cross country season going in full stride. This year, the Eagles senior clocked a 19:30.3 on the 5,000-meter course for the gold. Mia, a freshman, crossed the finish line in 20:14.7, with the second-place finisher from Chaparral, Tiaree Towler, hitting 20:01 flat.
Two other Eagles girls finished in the top 10 to help Flagstaff win the Summit race for the first time since 2017, with Anna Harmon taking ninth and Allie Thurgood 10th.
Meanwhile, the Flagstaff boys came up short in winning the meet also for the first time since 2017, taking second place with 95 points behind D-I Brophy's 73. Gabrial Harju led a tight pack of three Eagles across the line on a time of 17:53.4 for eighth place, while teammates Max Davis and Riley Human claimed ninth and 10th place respectively.
After training during the offseason, Flagstaff's runners were hungry for competition.
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"We train and that's fun, but racing is really the fun part of doing cross country, and so they are all super excited that we are finally here racing," longtime Eagles head coach Trina Painter said Saturday. "It's a different flavor for them to be out racing."
Last year's victors on the boys side of the Summit race, Page finished third as a team as it too is working toward making more history. Rex Martin registered a time of 17:41.1 for sixth place overall to lead the D-III Sand Devils, who are seeking a sixth straight state title in 2019.
The Page girls competed in the Ascent race and took second place at 49 points behind only Coconino's 41 points, with Lashawnda Yazzie clocking 22:49 that earned her a seventh-place result for the Sand Devils.
Meanwhile, the Basis Flagstaff boys won the Ascent race with 129 points, beating Winslow's 139 points and Greenway's 155 as the Yeti continue to build their young program to great heights. Although the Yeti didn't have a top-10 finisher in the event, a pack of three claiming three top-25 spots pushed the team to the victory.
Colm Cawood crossed the finish line first for the Yeti in 19:23.0 for an overall finish at 12th place. His teammates Brian and Evan Hofstetter came through in 15th and 25th place, respectively.
The boys side of the Northland Prep Spartans program finished in 14th place as a team in the Summit division, led by a 12th-place finish from senior Brandon Bounds in 18:07.58.
Flagstaff is scheduled to run the Ray Wherley Invite on Saturday, Sept. 14. Basis Flagstaff, on the other hand, has the next Buffalo Park meet, the Four Corners invite on Sept. 21, on its lineup.
Mike Hartman can be reached at 556-2255 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @AZDS_Hartman.