PHOENIX — Saturday, it was better to be good than Lucky.
Just ask Harvey Nelson.
Catalina Foothills’ senior standout beat Gilbert Campo Verde’s Lucky Schreiner in the 3.1-mile race by less than half a second to take home the Division II individual state title. His time of 15 minutes 25.64 seconds was the best of the day at Cave Creek Golf Course.
“Right at the end, the nerves were going off in my head,” Nelson said. “I was like, ‘Did I win it? Did I win it?’ ”
“It was really just super exciting and super nerve-racking at the same time.”
Nelson said he thought Schreiner was pulling away during the race but noticed the junior started to falter as they neared the final stretch.
“I was like, ‘This is my chance. I’m going to push it real hard here,’ ” Nelson said.
Nelson was able to push past his pain and edge Schreiner for the first time in three tries this season. His individual title propelled Foothills to the team championship, as the Falcons (148 points) edged Phoenix Greenway (157) and Mountain View (183).
“We came into the race projected to lose against Mountain View, and we beat all the odds,” said Emilio Vasquez, who finished sixth overall with a time of 16:01.16.
The Foothills girls finished second to Flagstaff after Tatiana Gillick (18:28.96) won her third straight individual title. Junior Hannah Whetzel (19:36.02) was the first Falcon to finish and placed seventh overall, one spot behind Desert View freshman Savannah Imes, the top Southern Arizona finisher in Division II.