GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY: Basic’s Raquel Chavez overcomes wind, foes to earn Southeast League title

Basic’s Raquel Chavez wasn’t going to let a thing like strong winds cost her a chance at a Southeast League cross country title.

Chavez passed Green Valley’s Mia Smith’s at the 300-meter mark of the 3.1-mile race and never looked back, cruising to the girls individual crown Saturday morning at Basic.

Chavez finished in 20 minutes, 8.6 seconds, and while the wind picked up considerably during her race, it didn’t seem to affect the sophomore all that much.

“I felt great during the race,” Chavez said. “It was windy, but I was able to push myself and I knew I could win. (Smith) was in front of me in the beginning, and I knew I had to keep up with her. I passed her in the first 300, and I led the rest of the way.

“Normally, I try to keep up with the front group, and if I have the ability to move up and pass them, I pass them. If I’m not fast enough to pass, I just try and stay with the pack.”

Chavez will now turn her attention to the Sunrise Region meet Oct. 28 at Craig Ranch Park.

“She’s one of the hardest working athletes we’ve ever had, and she’s hungry,” Basic coach Duane Graham said. “When she goes out and works out, she always wants to improve and do better. Even when the workout is over, she wants to keep doing more. We have to tell her she needs to calm down and rest a little bit. She’s one of those special athletes you like to have on your team.

“As far as regionals, for Raquel, her biggest issue is rest. Can she get enough rest between school and all the extracurricular activities she goes to and doesn’t burn herself out?”

Liberty’s Skyler Free was second in 20:22.7, and Smith was third with a time of 20:28.4.

In the team competition, Foothill won the Southeast League with 48 points. Green Valley was second with 59 points, and Coronado was third with 67 points.

Sierra Vista’s Baileigh Sundin won the Southwest League race, finishing in 20:49.3. Clark’s Sandybell Avila (21:29.3) was second, and Desert Oasis’ Madelyn Doerr (22:31.5) was third.

Desert Oasis won the team title with 39 points. Bishop Gorman was second with 60 points, and Sierra Vista was third with 67 points.

In the Northeast League, Valley swept the top three places led by Isabella Davis, who won the league crown in 22:20.1. Emily Baker (23:02.2) was second and Angelique Laizure (23:03.8) was third.

Valley also won the team title with 17 points, and Las Vegas was second with 38 points.

In the Northwest League, Centennial dominated as expected, placing four girls in the top five. Alexis Gourrier claimed the league title, finishing in 19:21.5. Karina Haymore (19:59.6) was second and Delani Dietrich (20:31.9) was third.

As a result of those finishes, Centennial won the team title with 21 points. Palo Verde was second with 40 points, and Shadow Ridge was third with 81 points.

In the Class 3A Sunrise League race, Diamond Morris of Tech was the top finisher, posting a time of 21:19.2. Eden Tesfay, also from Tech, was second with a time of 21:56.0, and Boulder City’s Jaqueline Canas-Rodriguez (22:05.0) was third.

Tech won the team title with 19 points. Boulder City was second with 56 points, and Virgin Valley was third with 68 points.

In the Class 3A Sunset race, Nayeli Perea-Barco of Desert Pines was first in 21:43.8. Yanin Perez, also of Desert Pines, was second with a time of 22:53.7, and Pahrump Valley’s Grace Plumb (23:52.8) was third.

Cheyenne won the team title with 36 points. Desert Pines was second with 40 points, and Pahrump Valley was third with 44 points.

In the Class 2A race, Ellen Hirsberg from The Meadows won the crown, finishing in 22:16.0. Ashley Lee of The Meadows – was second with a time of 23:02.8. Aaliyahjean Villalba of Lake Mead was third, finishing in 26:57.2.

The Meadows won the team title with 19 points, and Coral Academy was second with 36 points.