It was difficult to miss the Albuquerque Academy presence at the front of their own invitational on Friday. Photo by Rod Stanopiewicz.
It's time again to take a tour, a circuit of the entire Southwest region, and see what happened in the last week of cross country.
If you're going to get anything useful out of the Falcon Invitational from Henderson this past weekend, you need to throw all the results into one basket and see who comes out smelling like a rose. I've tried to do that for you here with the following:
Falcon Invitational Merged Results
What this tells us that wasn't readily apparent by looking at the official meet results is that, in boys, Green Valley and Centennial stood well above the field and, in girls, Centennial and Arbor View enjoyed a similarly dominating position. That isn't so easy to see when you look at just FR/SO and JR/SR results.
And that about wraps it up from the Silver State, but I should note that the Douglas girls and the McQueen boys ran at Stanford over the weekend. And, frankly, both teams did well. Here's a snapshot of the team performances there (more helpful in this case than merely pointing you at the meet results):
Douglas girls (four under 20 minutes)
McQueen boys (four under 16 minutes)
Since Stanford is a well-known course, those results don't require a lot of explanation.
Doug Conley was the big-deal meet in Arizona this past weekend. Only the DC was missing a high-profile team that was off racing elsewhere.
Among the individuals, and more especially the teams, who were there, Corona del Sol beat the boys field into submission, but Page did manage a very strong second in the meet. Hamilton finished third to continue a string of solid performances for that team. The pack time of 1:41 for CdS may, however, be a little disconcerting--particularly so given the fact that they seem to have run their top five.
In an interesting turn of events, Highland took out Xavier College Prep in the girls race, 73 to 90. And, it would appear XCP was running a regular varsity squad. So, we'll pay a little more attention to Highland moving forward from here. The rest of the field followed at some distance from the leaders.
The team off racing elsewhere was Desert Vista. DV was located out in Portland, scoping out the NXN course at Nike Pre Nationals. Evidently, they scoped it out pretty well, taking second (to who else but Great Oak?) in the championship race. That performance speaks for itself and requires no editorial embellishment. Clearly, the DV girls are running very, very well right now. The DV boys didn't make the trip to Portland, but ran a sub-varsity squad at Doug Conley instead.
The Glendale Showcase turned out to be the Mesa Mountain View showcase, as MMV stomped all over the field in both the boys and the girls races. Okay, maybe Pinnacle was kind-of-sort-of close in the girls race.
Zuni (New Mexico) slipped across the border for the Shane Morris Invitational and dominated both the boys and girls races at that event. The times for the Zuni boys were, however, somewhat more regionally competitive than the times for the Zuni girls.
In the Land of Enchantment, all eyes were on the Albuquerque Academy Invitational on the last weekend in September. And the home team was up to the task. Adam Kedge's Red Army easily disposed of NM boys notables such as Los Alamos, La Cueva, and Cibola. The AA girls, however, did not fare quite as well. Rather, it was a surprisingly strong Eldorado team taking the win over very good teams from La Cueva and Los Alamos. It's been turbulent waters this fall in the ordering of New Mexico girls. Rio Rancho has run pretty well to date, but RR wasn't at this meet. We'll wait to see what the next few weeks tell us about that order of things in New Mexico girls cross country.
My hunch is that Rio Rancho was up at the New Mexico Highlands (the alma mater of Coach Sal Gonzales) meet in Las Vegas, but I haven't seen high school results from that one yet. Officially, the high school event goes by the name of Meadow City Invitational. I've been to Las Vegas a few times and have yet to view the namesake meadow, but I'm taking them at their word that it's there somewhere. In any case, if anyone has those results, please send. Typically, Rio Rancho rolls the field pretty severely at this meet.
Late word: I'm told Rio Rancho ran at Santa Fe this past weekend, roughly an hour closer to home than Las Vegas. I'll go looking for those results!
Onate's girls came close to winning their division of the Las Cruces Public Schools Invitational, but in the bigger picture (both boys and girls) it was visiting El Paso Eastwood that stole the show there. Onate's front three easily ran well enough to win, but the 3-4 gap is going to have to come down for the Knights to take success to the next level.
Over in Lubbock, Texas, the Hobbs boys administered an old-fashioned thrashing to the field at the Lubbock Invitational. Results have traditionally been hard to come by for Hobbs, but this is a team we need to pay more attention to. If they can adjust to the Rio Rancho altitude on November 9, they're fast enough to create some problems there. The Clovis girls won their side of this meet, but not quite with the kind of exclamation points that Hobbs added to their triumph.
Piedra Vista's boys stayed at home this weekend and took apart everyone who came to the Piedra Vista Totah Invitaitonal.
The meet of single greatest importance in Colorado this weekend was the Dave Sanders Invitational. There, Fort Collins assembled their full varsity boys team and quelled all resistance. Palmer Ridge would finish second and Mountain Vista a somewhat surprising (though not in a positive sort of way) third. MV's usual #1 was well back in the field. We may not see the Mountain Vista regulars this weekend, so it may take a couple of weeks before we know what this all means. In any case, Fort Collins is now officially for real, and Palmer Ridge remains for real.
On the girls side, Cherry Creek didn't need Jordyn Colter to take home the team title from this one. Backing up the Bruins was Mountain Vista in what was easily their best performance of the season. Fort Collins, running a full varsity, finished third and a better-than-you-might-have-thought Palmer Ridge team came in fourth.
While Monarch sat their regulars at the Pat Patten Invitational, Fairview swept the team titles, but not before Niwot made it interesting--in both cases. Niwot is a team rapidly earning more attention.
Pine Creek traveled to the Rim Rock Classic in Kansas, where the PC girls tamed the talents of the Platinum field (the first-ever 5K girls race at Rim Rock). The order of finish was not, however, the usual order of finish for Pine Creek, which could be construed to suggest there are some aches and pains that must be tended this week.
Chaparral's boys, down their top runner, managed a win on a tie-breaker at the Castle View Sabercat Invitational. Rock Canyon dominated on the girls side.
At the Nebo Invitational, it was all American Fork. And who else were you thinking it might be? Desert Hills ran a distant, but respectable, second. AF's girls were not in attendance, which left a door open for Bonnevile to claim the girls team title.
The bigger Utah news took place outside of the borders of Utah, at the Bob Firman Invitational in Idaho. Davis brought their wrecking ball and leveled both the boys and girls fields at Bob Firman. Timpanogos, something of a burr under Davis's saddle this season, at least made it interesting on the boys side. You begin to wonder how many defeats of Timpanogos Davis has in this year's tank and if they're getting close to the line on that. Moving beyond the Davis-Timpanogos rivalry, Ogden's boys finished a solid third. North Central (yes, that North Central) was fifth.
Davis was a little more comfortably ahead of American Fork on the girls side. For reference, in you follow California teams at all, Trabuco Hills finished fourth in the same race. Herriman was fifth and Ogden sixth.
For all the Utah domination of this meet, they oughta just move the meet to some course around a lake in Utah and spare the top teams all that extra travel. The Great Salt Lake is a little too big (and pungent) for a decent 5K, though.
Weber edged Cedar in the Wasatch Rendezvous boys. Cedar returned the favor in the girls race.