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2014 Girls Cross Country Capsules

ARBOR VIEW

Head coach: Tyrel Cooper

Returning letter winners: Five

Top athletes: Maddie Fletcher (Sr.), Bella Sakai (Sr.), Nicole Snow (Jr.)

Outlook: The defending Division I state champions were set up for another huge season, but lost their top two runners, Zanae Jones and Morgan Anderson, to what Cooper called “medical reasons.”

Fletcher, Sakai and Snow all finished in the top 15 in the Sunset Region meet last year.

“We had a really good junior varsity team last year that won every invite so we will need those girls to push up into our top seven and keep that group competitive and motivated,” Cooper said.

“As a team, we are still looking to win our first regional championship and then have a strong showing at state. The girls teams in the Sunset are really tough. With Centennial and Palo Verde, nothing will be easily won or taken for granted. The Sunset graduated a lot of really good runners, so the dynamic of the region remains to be seen.”

BASIC

Head coach: Teresa Gallegos, second season

Returning letter winners: Two

Top athletes: Payge Farewell (Jr.), Stephanie Gutierrez (Jr.)

Outlook: The Wolves are hoping to improve throughout the season.

BONANZA

Head coach: Bruce Eubank, sixth season

Returning letter winners: Five

Top athletes: Esmerelda Hinojos (Jr.), Marielle Reilly (Sr.)

Outlook: The Bengals are hoping to improve throughout the season.

“The kids are working hard, and individually will be competitive, but we don’t have much depth,” Eubank said.

CANYON SPRINGS

Head coach: Freddie Thompson, 11th season

Top athletes: Katie Stauch (Jr.), Joanna Graber (Jr.)

Outlook: The Pioneers are hoping to be a threat by the end of the season.

“We’re looking to add more runners and improve,” Thompson said.

CENTENNIAL

Head coach: Roy Sessions, fourth season

Returning letter winners: 10

Top athletes: Kayla Roberts (So.), Marieta Wright (Jr.), Addie Hall (Jr.), Alexa Willeford (Jr.), Gabby Altmannsberger (Sr.)

Outlook: The Bulldogs reluctantly said goodbye to one of the best runners in the state’s history when Sydney Badger graduated.

But the team has plenty of talent still on board with five runners from last year’s state meet returning, including Roberts, who placed 12th in the state.

The squad has won the last three Sunset Region titles and finished second in the state each of the last two years.

“As a team, these girls improve each year, and the coaching staff is again expecting team improvement for this season,” Sessions said. “This definitely will be a season to develop the young runners we have, but this team is hungry for a fourth region title and to compete at the state championship in 2014.

“The loss of individual state champions Sydney Badger in 2013 and Katie Gorczyca in 2012 is significant, but this young group of runners is eager to step up and run at the next level.”

CHEYENNE

Head coach: Scott Thrasher, 13th season

Returning letter winners: Four

Top athletes: Jazmine Moore (Sr.), Dominique Hudson (Jr.), Starr Hawkins (So.), Camryn Wojtowicz (Jr.)

Outlook: The Desert Shields qualifed for last year’s state meet and return two of the top 12 finishers in last year’s Division I-A Southern Region meet in Moore (sixth) and Hudson (12th).

“The team will be looking to replace their number three and four runners from last year, so we need to find quality replacements and depth,” Thrasher said. “The goal is to still try to qualify as a team for the state meet.

“Jazmine Moore is the top returner and looks to improve on her sixth-place regional finish.”

CLARK

Head coach: Jillian Sesto, first season

Returning letter winners: Five

Top athletes: Chelsey Noorda (Sr.), Marisa Black (Sr.)

Outlook: Noorda and Black are expected to be among the leaders on a team that hopes to be competitive in the Southern Region.

CORONADO

Head coach: Mark Tondryk, ninth season

Top athletes: Ally Danlag (Sr.), Dani Greene (Jr.), Jessica Attebury (Jr.), Sam Conaway (Sr.), Tristin Sanders (Jr.), Sierra Javanovic (Sr.), Megan Denter (Jr.)

Outlook: Greene finished 12th, Danlag 16th and Attebury 17th in last year’s Sunrise Region meet.

They’ll be expected to be among the leaders on the team.

“We lost our top four girls, so we will be looking for a lot of new girls to step up and replace them,” Tondryk said. “We have seven hard-working girls who group up well.

“We lack a little depth, but hopefully we make a run for the top three teams in the region and qualify for the state meet.”

DEL SOL

Head coach: Jennifer Powell, second season

Returning letter winners: Seven

Top athletes: Ingrid Zarate (Jr.), Sayanna Roy (So.)

Outlook: The Dragons are a young squad with only one senior in the program.

“We are excited about the potential that our young athletes have, and we are looking forward to seeing how our athletes compete against the Division I-A athletes this season,” Powell said.

DESERT OASIS

Head coach: Jim Dinkel, seventh season

Returning letter winners: Eight

Top athletes: Brooke Locey (Sr.), Alexandra Myers (Sr.), Ellie Tchernogorova (Sr.), Delaney Paul (Sr.)

Outlook: After finishing second in the Southwest League last year, the Diamondbacks are primed for a big season.

“The girls team returns their top six runners off of last year’s squad, led by senior Brooke Locey,” Dinkel said.

DURANGO

Head coach: Jim Holben, 15th season

Top athletes: Ojesa Kwong (Fr.), Courtney Lugo (Sr.), Andrea Lopez (Jr.), Nicole Romero (So.), Sarah Taing (So.), Eyerusalem Ashenafi (So.), Erin Clayton (So.), Anna Ward (Sr.)

Outlook: With only two seniors among the expected top eight runners, the Trailblazers are young and have room for improvement.

“The Blazers had good summer training and are looking to improve their regional finish from last year,” Holben said. “I’m hoping to finish somewhere in the middle of the teams this year with some young runners.”

ELDORADO

Head coach: Josh Wertheimer, seventh season

Top athletes: Karen Gonzalez (Sr.), Alannah Atherton (Sr.), Brianna Mathre (Jr.)

Outlook: The Sundevils are hoping to grow throughout the season.

“We are pretty young and very thin,” Wertheimer said. “Hopefully we will stay healthy and continue to improve throughout the season.”

FAITH LUTHERAN

Head coach: Jeff Edwards, fifth season

Returning letter winners: Three

Top athletes: Jessica Scamman (Sr.), Eryn McCoy (Jr.), Kendall Larson (Fr.)

Outlook: Scamman was fourth in the Division I-A Southern Region meet and 20th in the state meet, and McCoy placed sixth in the Sunset League meet last year.

They lead a list of three returnees.

“The team looks to repeat as Sunset and Division I-A region champions and hopefully move up from finishing fourth at state from the past two years,” Edwards said.

FOOTHILL

Head coach: Natalie Thomas, 15th season

Returning letter winners: Five

Top athletes: Aine Jones (So.), Amber Risheg (So.), Airyanna Medina (Jr.), Morgan Dennett (Sr.), Charleigh Allen (Jr.)

Outlook: Jones (eighth) and Risheg (15th) both finished in the top 15 in last year’s Sunrise Region meet.

They lead a list of five returnees who hope to help the Falcons to a successful season.

GREEN VALLEY

Head coach: Blaine Thompson, 12th season

Returning letter winners: Four

Top athletes: Sara Braverman (Jr.), Ashley Sands (Sr.), Amy Amezcua (So.), Cassandra Palor (Jr.), Milena Palor (Jr.), Marly Welton (So.), Sariah Vogl (Sr.), Julia Sands (Jr.)

Outlook: The Gators have some spots to fill after losing six of their top 10 runners.

Braverman finished third in last year’s Sunrise Region meet and is the region’s top returnee from that meet.

“We want to win the Sunrise Region championship and contend for the state championship,” Thompson said.

LIBERTY

Head coach: Pam Schultz, third season

Returning letter winners: Three

Top athletes: Sydney Groom (So.), Skyler Free (So.)

Outlook: Groom qualified for state as a freshman and will be among the team’s leaders this year.

“I have a strong feeling that both Sydney and Skyler will qualify for state this year,” Schultz said.

THE MEADOWS

Head coach: Charles Bernick, 11th season

Returning letter winners: Seven

Top athletes: Jeneke Heerema (Sr.), Bailey Gosse (Sr.)

Outlook: Heerema was the Division III Southern Region champion and state runnerup, and Bailey Gosse finished second in the region and third in the state meet last year.

They lead a list of seven returnees that also includes Delaney Gosse (sixth in state meet) and Krista Thompson (eighth in state meet).

“The Meadows girls team returns every runner from last year’s Division III state championship team,” Bernick said. “Joining this group is promising freshman Ellen Hirsberg.”

MOJAVE

Head coach: Brenner Green, second season

Returning letter winners: Two

Top athletes: Karlie Omer (Jr.), Serina Martinez-Lovett (So.)

Outlook: Coming off their first dual-meet win in more than 10 years last season, the Rattlers are hoping to keep improving.

“The women’s cross country team is in the works of building the program from the ground up,” Green said. “The team is looking to continue this progress and create a cross country legacy at Mojave.”

PALO VERDE

Head coach: Robert Davis, 15th season

Top athletes: Samantha Reintjes (Sr.), Carolina Cleland (Sr.), Bailey Dunlap (Sr.), Kate Vanderstelt (Sr.), Tori Landers (So.)

Outlook: The Panthers return five runners who competed in last year’s state meet, and all five finished in the top 18 in the Sunset Region and top 44 in the state meet.

“Palo Verde is confident it will be a contender in the Sunset Region this year and be able to qualify for the state meet for the third straight year,” Davis said. “Complementing the top five returners this season will be sophomore Emma Wahlenmaier, junior Kelsey Lamph and senior Caitlan Shaw.”

SHADOW RIDGE

Head coach: Sheina Torres, first season

Top athletes: Jessica Graf (Sr.), Alex Terry (Sr.)

Outlook: Graf and Terry are expected to be among the leaders on a team that has high hopes.

“With some very talented freshmen, sophomores and juniors on the team, the coaches are gearing up for a promising season,” Torres said.

SILVERADO

Head coach: Barry Whitaker, 17th season

Returning letter winners: Two

Top athletes: Magdalena Mitic (So.), Hannah Mohler (Sr.), Alexis Reynolds (So.), Alicia Sullivan (Jr.), Kaili Moreno (Fr.), Katherine Dimaya (Fr.)

Outlook: The Skyhawks have just two returning letter winners.

“It’s a team filled with newcomers to the sport,” Whitaker said. “Our goal is to improve every day and be at our best for the region race.”

TECH

Head coach: Cathy Meyer, third season

Returning letter winners: Six

Top athletes: Carla Gatson (Jr.), Abbie Torres-Jimenez (Sr.), Katie Pena (Sr.), Kassandra Torres (So.)

Outlook: The Roadrunners won the Sunrise League and finished fourth in the Southern Region last year. They return six letter winners from that squad, including four top-25 finishers in the region meet in Torres-Jimenez (11th), Pena (17th), Torres (21st) and Gatson (23rd).

“Several talented first-year runners join the returning letter winners to form a very competitive team,” Meyer said. “We plan to defend the league championship and hope to qualify for the state meet.”

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