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The Sedona Red Rock High cross country team boarded a bus headed south on Wednesday, Sept. 24, and participated in the Fountain Hills High Invitational, which took place at Desert Canyon Golf Course.
By Brian Bergner Jr.
Larson Newspapers
The Sedona Red Rock High cross country team boarded a bus headed south on Wednesday, Sept. 24, and participated in the Fountain Hills High Invitational, which took place at Desert Canyon Golf Course.
When the Scorpions returned to that big purple and silver bus a few hours later, two first place trophies were placed carefully in the front window for all to see during the long drive up the hill.
For the first time in school history, the boys and girls took first place overall at a meet, running away from any competition that stood in their path at Fountain Hills.
What may be most important about this run to glory for Sedona was the girls actually having enough runners to place in the team standings, something that has been hard to come by in recent years with injuries and participation problems.
This season, first year Sedona head coach Bill Bunker said the girls are taking massive strides and their hard work is paying off because of it.
With a 3.1 mile distance ahead of them at the invite, Sedona finished first overall, scoring 32 points. That’s 11 points lower than second-place host school Fountain Hills, who scored 43.
Safford High scored 69 points for third place, Tempe Preparatory High scored 73 for fourth place and Florence High finished in fifth with 85.
One of the top runners for Sedona was Sophia Zeno, who ran her heart out and finished second overall for Sedona with a 21:33 time, only nine seconds behind the eventual winner.
In fourth, Hope Goimarac ran a 22:07, and to wrap up the top five, Yara Denninger ran across the finish line for fifth place with a 22:34 time.
Other standouts for the Scorpions included Rita Clancy, who finished 10th with a 24:28 time, and Faith Goimarac, who finished 11th overall with a 24:32 time.
“These girls have really come together so far this season. This is one of the best finishes we’ve ever had here at Sedona, for girls cross country,” Bunker said.
The girls have medaled only one other time, but not in first place.
For the boys, Sedona scored 37 points with four finishing in the top 10 out of eight teams and over 100 runners.
Scorpion standout Brian Hoyer led the pack for Sedona, finishing third overall with an impressive 18:02 time.
Teammate Garrett Debs finished only seconds behind him with an 18:16 time, good enough for eighth place.
Junior standout Jesus Rivera, who could very well be one of the top runners in the state, finished ninth overall with an 18:17 time.
Wrapping up the top 10, Chris Lloyd finished 10th overall with an 18:18 time, one of the better finishes this season so far for him.
Dylan George-Sills finished in 12th for Sedona with a 19:08 time, wrapping up the top five runners for Sedona.
“If our boys continue to improve the way they have, they could be one of the better teams in Arizona,” Bunker said.
Other standouts included freshman Jorge Rivera who ran a 19:27 time, good enough for 14th overall. Graham Greenfield was 17th overall with a 19:49 time, and Allan Meyer was 25th with a 21:09 time.
“This was an excellent meet. Everyone ran well for Sedona,” Bunker said.
Next up for the Scorpion runners will be the Orme High Invitational on Wednesday,
Oct. 1.
Start time is scheduled for 2 p.m.
The Scorpions will use the meet at Orme to prepare themselves for one of the more grueling meets in the state when they travel 15 miles to Cottonwood and participate in the Mingus Union High Invitational.
The Saturday, Oct. 4, meet will feature runners sprinting up, down, around and sometimes even sideways at the Mingus Mountain trail.
Start time is scheduled for 9 a.m.

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