Rincon/University swept the individual titles at the 10th annual Valerie McGregor Rattler Invitational with Ryan Silva winning on the boys side and Emily Page taking the girls championship, but they did it in opposite fashions.
Silva, a junior, was in the thick of the pack with Rangers teammate Noah Kenyawani for the first mile Saturday, but he pulled into third place shortly after on Marana's 3.1-mile course.
"Our plan was to go out fast through the first turn and then run our own pace," Silva said. "I wasn't feeling any pressure that I was so far back. I had them in my sights."
With about a mile to go, Silva pulled into the lead and never gave it up. He won in 16 minutes 7.5 seconds, about 30 yards ahead of Sabino's Tyler Stamp (16:13.4).
"Last year, as a sophomore, I don't think I fulfilled what I wanted to do that year," Silva said. "To come out here and do what I've wanted to do for all of high school is really exciting."
Kenyawani, a senior, also rallied to a third-place finish in 16.26.9 just ahead of Rio Rico's Robert Contreras (16:27.3).
"I told Ryan if he won it I would be in the top three," Kenyawani said. "I think this was my best finish of the year. All the other races I've looked like garbage."
Unlike Silva, Page took a huge lead early and never let down.
The senior easily won in 19:25.2 and 12 seconds ahead of Rio Rico's Marley Henson (19:37.4) and Salpointe Catholic's Zoe Urcadez placed third in 20:00.6.
"In the beginning I just deceived to get out of the back," Page said, "but I didn't push it too hard, and I paced it, so I decided to run as fast as I could.
"It definitely boosts my confidence."
Canyon del Oro (80) topped the Rangers (86) for the boys team title. CDO's Lucas Rischar placed ninth (16:54.3), ahead of two consecutive teammates.
"We're trying to prepare for regional to get a team score instead of an individual," Rischar said. "Everything's falling into place, and it's all under control."
Ironwood Ridge (61) won the girls title with five runners in the top 25.
The Nighthawks' Emily Wilkinson, who is coming off an injury, led the pack, finishing fifth in 20:11.5.
Mountain View hosted the meet, although for the first time it was held on Marana's course, so more teams could participate. Also, it gave most of the 24 teams that attended a practice run on the same course where sectionals will take place later this month.
Rincon will travel elsewhere for its sectional meet, which may be a good thing for everyone else.