Paige Cardiff closed the book on her successful Kingman High cross country career on Nov. 3 by placing 32nd in the Division I State Cross Country meet.
Cardiff, who qualified for the state meet as a freshmen but missed her sophomore and junior years, finished with a time of 20:07.
"She ran a great race - really stuck in the top 30 the whole time," said KHS coach Anne Bathauer. "She was pleased with her finish after she was done. I'm glade she was able to run in the cross country meet because she was recovering from being sick from the week before."
Phoenix Xavier's Sarah Fakler finished first with a time of 18:02. Xavier won the team title with 55 points and had all seven of their runners place in the top 25.
Cardiff was the lone Lady Bulldog to qualify for the meet.
"She had a fantastic cross country career," Bathauer said. "She is one of Arizona's top runners. She is one of the finest runners that we have. You get an athlete like Paige every 10 or 11 years. She is truly one of Arizona's finest."
Besides cross country, Cardiff has excelled in track and field and according to Bathauer, her consistent times are what colleges are looking for in a runner.
"The word is out and once they see her state times, the phone calls will be starting at any time," Bathauer said. "Her time is still fast enough and if you look at what colleges are looking at, she is still going to be right in there. She can run at the D-I level."
As Cardiff departs, Patrick Webb will look to carry the mantle next year. The junior finished 63rd at the D-1 State meet with a time of 17:29 and was the only Bulldog to qualify for the meet.
"He was a little bit off his time," Bathauer said. "For Patrick, he had to peak at the sectional meet just to make it to the state meet, so I can't be upset with that time."
Yuma Cibola's Bernie Montoya took first with a time of 15:14 as Cibola finished seventh as team with 241. Phoenix Desert Vista took the overall team title with a score of 101. They had three runners in the top 25.
"I'm happy that we weren't shut out, that we did have kids go to the state meet," Bathauer said. "I think going down (a division) will help us definitely to our advantage for next year. I think next year both of our teams are going to do fantastic, depending on what section we get placed."
For the past two years, KHS has been competing in the state's top division based on school enrolment for all sports, except for football and wrestling. Next year, the Arizona Interscholastic Association has tentatively ranked KHS as a Division II school in all sports but swimming, where they will still be in Division I.
However, KHS athletic director John Venenga has appealed to the AIA to get that changed from Division II to Division III for all sports except swimming, which he hopes will be Division II.