Missing two varsity runners, Xavier Cross Country still takes third at State Meet
Defending State Champion Xavier College Prep entered the State Cross Country Meet ranked #2 based on season performances and very thoughtful and thorough meet projections by Coach Van Sickle and Mr. Stelnik (Jamie's dad). However, the Gators found it difficult to overcome the untimely absence of two of their top 5 runners and, consequently, finished 3rd.
Still, Xavier (106) finished just 7 points behind the actual #2 finisher, Highland Hawks (99). Desert Vista (49), as expected, took home the championship trophy with five runners in the top 21.
The Gators were led by the ever-consistent duo of SR Mia Olsen (6th) and JR Jamie Stelnik (7th). Last year, they finished 5th and 7th.
SO Ansley Burns finished 20th, earning a medal as one of the top 21 runners in Division I State.
Xavier's #'s 4 and 5 runners were SR Grace Valandra (35th) and SO Maria Benitez (46th). FR Reyna Silva (67th) and SO Hannah Wheeling (94th) finished as Xavier's #'s 6 and 7 runners.
There were 141 runners in the Division I Girls race.