KINGMAN - Last year at the Ray Wherley Invitational in Prescott, the Kingman High girls cross country team finished in eighth place with a team time of 2 hours, 22 minutes.
This year, the Lady Bulldogs bested it by three spots, finishing the meet in fifth place and a time of 2 hours, 12 minutes - 10 minutes faster then last year.
"Last year, we were almost the bottom of the barrel at this meet," said KHS coach Anne Bathauer.
The success comes on the heels of a first-place finish by the boys team and a second-place finish for the girls team at the Peaks Invitational in Flagstaff on Sept. 1.
"We are not peaking at the wrong time. It's just every meet, we are getting a little bit faster," Bathauer said.
Paige Cardiff finished eighth overall out of 150 runners with a time of 16:49 on the 2.5-mile course to lead the Lady Bulldogs.
Other KHS placers included: Amanda Williams, 19th (17:33); Paulina Delgado, 59th (19:12); Mindy Bardin, 63rd (19:17); Olivia Anderson, 69th (19:38); Alexis Bathauer, 71st (19:44); and Hanna Olney, 75th (19:50).
"The numbers seem high, but in the scheme of things, when you are running against 150 runners, overall for our team to be running 19 (minutes) or less - that says something big about our team," Bathauer said. "We have a very good girls team."
On the boys side, the Bulldogs finished in eighth place with a team time of 2 hours, 11 minutes. Despite falling four places from last year's fourth-place finish in the meet, KHS actually was five minutes faster, according to Bathauer.
Patrick Webb led the Bulldogs by placing 26th out of 156 runners with a time of 17:35.
Other KHS placers included: Ethan Swenson, 35th (17:53); Preston Hammond, 74th (18:51); Shaun Wooten, 77th (18.54.44); Jesse Marquez, 78th (18:54.99); Tanner Cardiff, 79th (18:55); and Dominic Dubay, 111th (20:01)
"I'm excited for both sides," Bathauer said.
KHS will travel to the Four Corners Invitational Saturday in Flagstaff. The boys team will be without the services of Webb, who will be swimming at the Chandler Invitational with the KHS swim team.
Despite Webb's absence, Bathauer is still very hopeful for Saturday's meet: "If we can have some good performances there and place close to the top at 7,000 feet (elevation), then we are looking forward to that next meet in Lake Havasu."