KINGMAN - The goal for the Lee Williams High boys cross country team today at the Division III, Section II championship races in Holbrook is to maintain its ranking.
The top nine teams out of 18 advance to the state championship race Nov. 7 at Cave Creek Golf Course in Phoenix, and the Volunteers are ranked sixth in section and 10th in state.
"I'm really excited about the boys' chances of making it to state," said LWHS cross country coach Joan Abraham. "We have done a little running in the Hualapais to prepare for the elevation difference in Holbrook."
Lee Williams is led by senior Brendon Allred. He enters sectional ranked No. 11, but only falls two spots to No. 13 for all of D-III. That illustrates the difficulty of running in Section II.
"Most of the best teams in our section are the best teams in the state," Allred said. "Others in different sections have it a little easier and we're going up against the best."
The top five out of seven runners from each squad score team points. Allred, who advanced to state as an individual runner last year, leads the Vols team that includes Zach Moyd, Peyton Cardiff, Cayden Robles, Zack Tempert, Tyson Spencer and Colby Robles.
"If we push our hardest, we should qualify," Allred said. "We don't have too much breathing room, but our fifth (Tempert) and sixth (Spencer) guys are pretty close usually, so that may give us a little bit of breathing room."
The Lee Williams girls team enters the sectional ranked No. 14, led by Hallie Powell at No. 55 individually.
Kingman boys are ranked No. 16, led by Christian Barrios at No. 88. The Lady Bulldogs are ranked 16th as well with Christina Thames at No. 98.
In Division IV, the Kingman Academy boys enter the Section I meet today in Holbrook ranked No. 12. Sam Skankey, who ran at state last year as an individual qualifier, leads the Tigers at No. 61. The Lady Tigers don't have enough runners to qualify as a team, but Alexis Whalen is ranked No. 74.
A runner must finish in the top 25 in a section race to qualify for state as an individual runner.