Coaches in all sports preach peaking at the right time of the season.
Green Valley’s boys cross country runners showed Saturday that they’ve been listening.
The Gators — led by a course-record effort from senior Julius Kim — dominated the Southeast League race at Tech, scoring just 20 points and showing they could be in top form for the Sunrise Region meet on Oct. 30.
Coronado won the Southeast girls race. Valley’s boys and girls swept the Northeast races.
Kim ran the 3.1-mile course in 16 minutes, 50 seconds, beating Liberty’s Al Galan by three seconds, and the Gators had five of the top eight finishers Saturday. Tech was a distant second with 79 points, followed by Coronado with 91.
“Our boys had a much better race compared to last weekend at the Lake Mead Invitational, and I am really proud and pleased with their performances today,” Green Valley coach Blaine Thompson said. “These boys work so hard together and have a lot of dedication and motivation.
“They are definitely peaking at the perfect time for the most important final races of the season.”
Jason Ferraro finished fourth in 17:36, followed closely by teammates Matt Campa-Moreno (fifth in 17:39) and D.J. Padilla-Montello (sixth in 17:51). Cagen Combs was eighth in 18:05.
Del Sol’s Colin Smith took third in 16:57.
Kim wasn’t the only runner to break a record Saturday.
Coronado’s Lauren Lucas set a course record by winning in 21:08, beating teammate Kristal Hosaka to the line by seven seconds, as the Cougars breezed to their title.
Coronado had a team score of 21. Green Valley (49) was second, followed by Tech (62).
The Cougars also got solid efforts from Casey Almeido (21:55), Emily Burch (21:57) and Erin Smith (21:59), who took the seventh through ninth spots.
“Even though our team won today, a lot of us have been feeling ill this past week,” Lucas said. “We definitely didn’t run to our highest potential, and we have so much more to prove at regionals in two weeks. Our team will be healthy, strong and energized by then.”
Anne Marie Underwood pulled away to win the Northeast girls race in 21:09, helping Valley to the team title.
The Vikings had 30 points. Las Vegas was second with 40, followed by Eldorado with 74.
Eldorado’s Claudia Gonzalez was Underwood’s closest competition, finishing in 21:31.
“I felt like I had a good race today, but it was difficult to push myself because I really did not have anyone to run with,” said Underwood. “I am excited and ready to race some talented and strong girls from the Sunrise Region at regionals.”
In the Northeast League boys race, Eldorado’s Fernando Duran-Price won in 18:19, followed by teammate Colin Abbott who took second in 18:50.
Valley didn’t have any of the top four runners but used its depth to win the team title with 46 points. Eldorado was second with 50.
Moapa Valley won the small school boys race, thanks in large part to Josh Thompson, who ran away and hid from the field.
Thompson finished in 17:13, 54 seconds ahead of teammate Chase Witter, who was second.
The Pirates had a team score of 24. Boulder City was second with 49.
“I am proud of our boys on our team, and I think they ran smart and strong races,” Thompson said. “I felt like I was running most of the race by myself, and I did not have anyone to pace with or make me work hard.”
Boulder City won the small school girls race with 29 points, 15 better than Laughlin.
The Eagles’ Stephanie Adams was the individual winner in 22:14, beating teammate Jessica Tobler by three seconds.