KINGMAN - Kingman High's Jesse Peterson won the boys 2010 Peaks Cross Country Invitational Ascent run, and Paige Cardiff took second in the girls race in the first competition for the KHS cross country teams last Saturday in Flagstaff.
There were three tiers of races at the Peaks: the Summit, Ascent and Open. The later division was a quasi-JV competition.
"The Summit race was for schools that are expected to win at state and have been top teams in the past," KHS coach Anne Bathauer said. "Had we run there, we still would have done well."
Bathauer said she had the Bulldogs enter the Ascent division because KHS has a roster filled with young kids and she wanted to get them some success.
After Peterson (18:41), sophomore Shaun Wootten (19:34) was 13th, freshman Patrick Webb (20:34) was 33rd, sophomore Preston Hammond (20:55) finished 42nd and senior Jesus Lozoya (21:18) was 52nd in the 89-runner field for the Bulldogs.
KHS finished fifth out of the 12 teams and lost the services of junior David Haun during the race when he had to drop out because of a blood blister on his foot. Haun generally runs along with Peterson.
"I was going, 'Holy buckets!'" Bathauer said. "The boys team is starting to solidify. With this team we can put game plans in like running in packs. It's been a long time since I've had a team that can run so close together."
Girls show promise
Cardiff (22:15.4) finished 32 seconds behind winner Jasmine Zelechowski of Scottsdale Chaparral. Katie Tarr (25:47) was second for KHS in 32nd place, Lexi Bathauer (27:05) came in 48th, Heather Paulsteiner (27:59) was 57th and Vanessa Ozanne (28:40) finished 67th for the Bulldogs out of 88 competitors.
"There is a lot of potential with these young ladies, but they are all young," Bathauer said. "They just need to get some race experience under their belts."
Paulsteiner, a junior, is the oldest of the group. Cardiff and Ozanne are sophomores, and the rest are freshmen. Olivia Anderson, who runs with Tarr and Bathauer, missed the meet and would have helped the Bulldogs finish higher than seventh out of 13 teams.
"Katie, Lexi and Olivia all run the same pace, but they haven't figured it out as freshmen," the coach said. "By the end of the season, they should all be in the 22s and 23s. Once they learn how to race, they will be a powerful group of girls."
KHS is at the Ray Wherley Invitational in Prescott Saturday, which features a unique format. There will be a freshmen-sophomore, Nos. 4-5, 2-3, and No. 1 races.
"It's a fun race for the kids. They don't get to practice their pack work, but they can do some individual work," the coach said. "We should see a turnaround with their times."