Safford boys finish first in Thatcher Cross Country meet

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Runners start thinning out as they enter the course. Safford senior Jacob Urrea (blue shades) finished first and Morenci senior Jordan Mares (dark shades) finished second.

By Raymundo Frasquillo

SAFFORD – Safford edged host Thatcher by one point to capture the Thatcher Invitational at Discovery Park on Sept. 11. The Bulldogs totaled 51 points, Thatcher 52, Morenci 63, San Carlos 114, Benson 122, Tombstone 123, and Miami 154. Saint David had four entrants and Willcox one entrant.

Four Bulldogs and Eagles were each in the top third or 15 of 46 individual entrants. The fifth runner for Safford was 22nd and for Thatcher 16th.

Safford senior Jacob Urrea clocked in with 18:22, 10 seconds ahead of runner-up Morenci senior Jordan Mares (18:32). Safford senior Duncan Walker was third (18:40), San Carlos junior Brian Cassa fourth (18:52), and Morenci senior Cameron Bailey-Garcia fifth (19:07).

Thatcher sophomore Dean Haller was sixth (19:11), San Carlos senior Keshaun Noline seventh (19:52), Thatcher sophomore Tanner Palmer eighth (19:52), Thatcher sophomore Joby Rojas ninth (19:53), and Benson junior Sean Laura 10th (20:02).

Safford senior Sy Hargis came in 11th (20:13), Morenci senior Matthew Webb 12th (20:25), Thatcher sophomore Dathan Kartchner 13th (20:27), Safford freshman Jack Hackett 14th (20:31), and Miami junior Ryan Tidey 15th (20:51).

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: A Thatcher assistant coach sprays water on the runners near the finish line to cool them off.

Senior Talon Brown (21:04) and freshman Bronson Hatch (21:32) were the fifth finishers for Thatcher and Safford, respectively.

The other two scorers for Morenci, senior Dante DeAnda and were 19th (21:18) and 25th (22:03), respectively. Junior Damian Billy was 39th (26:03).

San Carlos also had sophomore Reppert Cassadore at 29th (23:05), junior Maurice Anderson Jr. 37th (24:46), and sophomore Xavier Hooke at 43rd (28:27). Braves number six, junior Gabriel McIntosh was 44th (29:27).

Benson’s quintet also included freshman Joseph Akers at 21st (21:27), sophomore Justice Dallaportes at 28th (22:48), sophomore Jason Marks at 31st (23:24), and senior Kolby Barney at 33rd (23:30). Bobcats number six and seven, sophomore Zach Laura and freshman Max Frost, were 40th (26:18) and 42nd (28:14), respectively.

Tombstone, “The town to tough to die” had five entrants. Senior Michael Zelazny finished 17th (21:09), junior Quinten Palmer 20th (21:25), sophomore Devon Mize 26th (22:04), junior Nate Swearengin 27th (22:38), and junior Mark Moore 34th (23:49).

The Miami Vandals also had freshman Landon Anthony at 24th (22:01), freshman Joaquin Marisca at 38th (24:54), junior Manuel Benedetto at 41st (26:20), and senior Austin Mariscal at 46th (33:02).

Sophomore Johnny Collins of Willcox finished 32nd (23:29).

Saint David junior Zack Hacker was 37th (31:13), junior Jayden Judd 45th (42:25), junior Elijah Schmidt 36th (24:34), and sophomore Alex Chatrakeaw 45th (30:35).

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: From left, Morenci senior Jordan Mares placed second (18:32); Safford senior Duncan Walker finished third (18:40); San Carlos junior Brian Cassa placed fourth (18:52), and Morenci senior Cameron Bailey-Garcia placed fifth (19:07).
Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Safford senior Jacob Urrea (18:22) came in 10 seconds ahead of the runner-up.

Cobre Invitational

Morenci returned from the Land of Enchantment with a third-place finish of five teams running in Bataan Park at Fort Bayard on Sept. 14.

Santa Teresa totaled 21 points, Silver High 54, Morenci 56, Texas-El Paso Irvin 93, and Bayard Cobre 116. Deming had two participants.

Mares clocked in fourth (18:20.99) of 32 finishers, nearly a minute sooner than in 2018 (19:21.00, 3rd of 29); Bailey-Garcia seventh (19:47.03), nearly five minutes quicker than in 2018 (24:00.00, 29th); Webb 12th (20:30.53); DeAnda 13th (20:31.72), bettering his 2018 mark (20:37.00); and Aguallo 22nd (22:12.97).

Senior Phillip Provencio was 27th (23:13.87) and junior Damian Billy 28th (23:23.47).

Santa Teresa seniors Angel Anchondo (17:24.03), Steven Unzueta (18:04.69), and Tristen Gonzales (18:12.66) placed one, two, three, respectively.

Desert Solstice Invitational

Morenci was one of 68 schools represented in Marana Mountain View’s Desert Solstice Invitational at Crooked Tree Golf Course on Sept. 8.

Silver runner Mares came in at 17:33.92 for seventh of 133 finishers, surpassing 2018 (18:21.68) and 2017 (19.33.73) times; Bailey-Garcia at 23rd (18:48.63), better than in 2017 (19:36.58); Webb at 47th (19:22.21); and DeAnda at 98th (21:15.47), slower than in 2018 (18:49.68) and in 2017 (19:49.58);

Morenci is at the Second Juan Reyes Invitational in Laveen on Saturday, Sept. 21, in Willcox on Sept. 24 and in Casa Grande on Friday, Sept. 27, before hosting the Copper Hills Invitational on Oct. 2.