Thatcher boys earn Tombstone meet title, Safford second, Morenci fourth

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Morenci freshman Keaton Jasso, along with seniors Conrad Aguallo, Damien Billy, and T.J. Lee run some timed laps during a recent cross country practice session. The Wildcats placed fourth in Tombstone on Sept. 11. Morenci’s second meet will be in Gilbert’s Freestone Park on Saturday, Sept. 19.

By Raymundo Frasquillo

TOMBSTONE – The Chris Cook-coached Thatcher cross country boys earned the team title in the Tombstone Yellow Jacket Southeastern Arizona Multi meet Sept. 11. The Eagles tallied 21 points with all five runners finishing in the first eight.

Safford edged Benson 67-68 for second, Morenci was fourth (92), and Willcox fifth (113). Host Tombstone and Saint David both had two entrants and San Simon one.

Thatcher junior Joby Rojas set the pace for 43 entrants in 16:29, junior Derek Beringer-Smith second (16:55), junior Dean Haller fourth (17:49), junior Dathan Kartchner sixth (18:23), and sophomore Bryce Larsen eighth (18:43). The Eagles’ number sixth and seventh runners, juniors Brigham Waite and Tanner Palmer, were 10th (18:58) and 11th (19:05), respectively.

The rest of the top 10 individual finishers were Safford sophomore Jack Hackett third (17:00), Benson senior Sean Laura fifth (18:13), and junior Zach Laura seventh (18:31); and Saint David senior Elijah Schmidt ninth (18:50).

Safford sophomore Zach Montierith finished 17th (19:37), junior Christopher Vertrees 19th (19:46), junior Timothy Fox 24th (20:03), and sophomore Bronsen Hatch 28th (20:44). Sixth Bulldog junior Van Hargis was 42nd (27:53).

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Eleventh-year Morenci boys cross country coach Kenneth Lester checks the pace of a timed run.

The Morenci quintet included freshmen Keaton Jasso at 16th (19:34), senior Conrad Aguallo at 20th (19:49), senior Damien Billy at 23rd (20:02), senior T.J. Lee at 32nd (21.17), and sophomore Brady Hooper at 40th (23:11).

Benson also had sophomore Joseph Akers at 21st (19:56), freshman Aaric Myatt at 22nd (19:58), and sophomore Max Frost at 37th (21:56). Sixth and seventh Bobcats, freshman Sy Arnold and junior Thomas Caywood, were 38th (22:03) and 43rd (31:11), respectively.

For Willcox, junior Tirso Trujillo finished 25th (20:05), junior Johnny Collins 27th (20:34), freshman M. Lane Whetten 33rd (21:22), senior Nathaniel Clement 34th (21:23), and freshman Jose Pinon 39th (22:26).

San Simon freshman Rafe Heap finished 14th (19:29); Tombstone senior Chris Tinney and junior Devon Mize 29th (20:57) and 41st (23:32), respectively; and Saint David senior Zach Hacker 35th (21:23).

Morenci’s next outing is the Western Equinox Festival at Gilbert’s Freestone Park on Saturday, Sept. 19.