Rio Rico boys earn team championship

Hawks stick together in top 10 to win first crown since 2008
2012-11-04T00:00:00Z Rio Rico boys earn team championshipDaniel Gaona Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
November 04, 2012 12:00 am  • 

CAVE CREEK - On paper, Rio Rico had the best boys cross country team in the state this season.

The Hawks proved that on Saturday.

Rio Rico ran away with the Division III title at Cave Creek Golf Course with its entire top five finishing in the top 10 for a stunningly low 29-point team score. Tuba City placed second with 73 points.

The individual winner was Scottsdale Saguaro's Jake Wynn who ran 15 minutes 58.51 seconds over 3.1 miles.

Rio Rico's Robert Contreras finished second (16:02.47).

"I love seeing that we put it together on the day we wanted it to," Contreras said. "The pain is paying off now from all that hard work this summer.

"We were ranked No. 1 with stats, but today was the day to prove it and nothing can be said now."

Rounding out the Hawks were Ben Noriega (fourth in 16:17.22), Lee Jones (sixth in 16:22.49), Oscar Amaya (seventh in 16:25.34) and Braulio Lopez (10th in 16:36.03). They helped secure the team's first state title since 2008.

"This race was all about being the top team," Noriega said. "Not just in the division but in Arizona and we proved we are a team to beat. But if a team wants to beat us they're going to have to work hard."

This is Rio Rico coach Steve Schadler's second title with the team. He won one in 2000 but is in his first season back as head coach.

"Our goal was to make it so no one had to calculate the score," Schadler said. "It was to make it so visually people knew who won."

Contreras admitted it would have been nice to win an individual title, but he said the team title made it much better.

In the girls race, Rio Rico finished sixth as a team but was the top unit from Southern Arizona. Sophomore Jackie Giron led the Hawks, placing 28th overall in 21:09.33.

Sahuarita senior Melissa Williams, the top Southern Arizona finisher, placed 10th in 20:20.66.

"It was nice because I improved from last year but I wanted to do a lot better," Williams said. "My time was kind of slow, but this course was really hard."

Rincon's Silva 2nd in Div. I

For the second straight year, Rincon/University senior Ryan Silva was second in the Division I race behind Yuma Cibola's Bernie Montoya.

"He's just fast," Silva said. "There's no doubting that he's fast. He's got tons of talent."

Silva's time of 15:50.70 was the fastest of the day in any race by a Southern Arizonan.

Silva said he is ready to prepare for track season, especially after injuries caused him to miss the first half of cross country season.

Rincon senior first-year runner Kendra Knittel was the top finisher from Southern Arizona in the Division I girls race, placing 16th in 19:29.60.

Daniel Gaona

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