The last time Coronado’s girls lost a Sunrise Region cross country championship, Sara Dort was in the fourth grade.
The petite Cougar junior defended her region title from 2011 with an easy win over the 3.1-mile course Friday at Veterans’ Memorial Park in Boulder City.
Running a brisk 6 minutes, 2 seconds for the first mile in cold, windy conditions, Dort led from the start and was never challenged, finishing in 20:08.4, well ahead of runner-up Jessica Raymond of Basic (20:51.6). The Cougars placed all five scoring runners in the top 10 for a team total of 28 points.
Foothill (65) was second and Green Valley (72) finished third. All three teams advance to state next Saturday at the same course.
“It was hard, but it was great,” Dort said. “The wind didn’t bother me that much; I’m small.”
Rounding out the top four individual scoring were a tightly-bunched trio of Coronado’s Logan Lucas (21:01.2) and Foothill’s Ryanne Bailey (21:01.8) and Alyse Vanek (21:03.5).
It was a good day for Coronado coach Mark Tondryk, whose boys also won.
“The girls ran well,” he said. “They did what they’ve been doing all season.”
Individual qualifiers besides Raymond are Basic’s Alexandra Acosta and Megan McCarthy, Valley’s Eyerusalem Betemariam and Liberty’s Kayla Herrera.
In the Sunset, Centennial repeated as champions, thanks to dominating performances by Sydney Badger and Katie Gorczyca. The Bulldogs (43) outscored Arbor View (61) and Palo Verde (79).
Badger ran not only the fastest time of the day (18:50.2), but it was the fastest time on the course since Mel Lawrence of Reno ran 18:22.5 at the 2006 state meet and the first time a girl from Southern Nevada has run sub-19 on the course.
“I was ready for this,” said Badger. “We’ve (Gorczyca) trained really hard for this all season. I wanted to break 19 and I finally did it, so I’m happy with that.”
Gorczyca finished second (19:15.6), also a personal best for her on the course. Marissa Suan of Palo Verde finished third (19:59.4). Arbor View’s Zanae Jones (20:35.9) and Arden Holden from Centennial (20:49.2) completed the top five.
The five individuals from the Sunset who qualified state are Clara Jackson (Shadow Ridge), Julianna Brooks and Tiana Callejo (Cimarron-Memorial), Emily Adams (Bonanza) and Brooke Locey (Desert Oasis).
The girls Division I-A Southern Region race was dominated by Faith Lutheran, winners of the team race (59) over Desert Pines (99) and Clark (100). All three teams qualified for state.
The race for the individual I-A title produced the closest finish of the day. The trio of Hannah Pavlov (Faith Lutheran), Jessica Tobler (Boulder City) and Ebonique Diaz (Sunrise Mountain) ran away from the field early and were bunched together until the last half mile. Tobler broke away first, building up a seven-second cushion over Pavlov, but the Crusader sophomore was not to be denied, overtaking the Eagle senior in the final straight and winning by just over three seconds: 20:37.1 to 20:40.6. Diaz finished a close third in 20:49.8.
“It was tough. It was a really hard race for me,” Pavlov said. “I was afraid I left it too late, but I caught her on the uphill (just prior to the final straightaway).”
Faith Lutheran’s Caitlyn Orne (21:47.6) and Chaparral’s Linda Sue Luchsinger (21:51.3) finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
Qualifying for state as individuals were Tobler, Diaz, Luchsinger, Taylor Coss (Tech) and Kacy Udall (Moapa Valley).
The Division III Southern Region girls race was won by The Meadows (29), the sole qualifier.
The individual winner was Jeneke Heerema of The Meadows in a time of 21:10.4.
Individual qualifiers were Taylor Soderborg of Lincoln County and four runners from Laughlin: Kemberly Majia, Joslyn Rea, Brittany Schelper and Siearra Padilla.