Front-runners: Havasu’s Hansen, Lee Williams’ Bland win Tiger invite
BULLHEAD CITY — Lake Havasu High School Knights junior Joshua Hansen won the boys 5K run and Lee Williams junior Darleen Bland did likewise in the girls competition during the 2018 Kingman Academy Tiger Invitational cross country races at the KRMC Hualapai Campus on Wednesday afternoon.
Lake Havasu head coach Erika Washington said Hansen, who recorded a personal best time of 17 minutes, 15 seconds, won by a little more than a minute over the second-place finisher Zach Tempert from Lee Williams, who ran the course in 18:25.
“He’s been having a great season,” said Washington about Hansen. “He’s won every race this season so far.”
Havasu junior Brody Port placed fourth at 18:47 and sophomore Zachary Hansen came in fifth at 18:51.
Bland led the girls from start to finish with a time of 21:20.
When Lee Williams head coach Joan Abraham was asked about Bland sprinting out to a quick lead almost immediately, she said, “She’s a sprinter, so she knows how to sprint,” Abraham said. “Fortunately, she can sustain it and still finish with a sprint at the end, too.”
Four of the top five runners — Sydney Huffman placed second at 21:46, Alexis Hecker came in third at 22:14 and Alize Hecker finished fifth at 23:13 — were Lady Volunteers.
Abraham said she is very happy with where her runners are right now.
“They’re definitely coming along,” Abraham said. “They worked hard and they’re pretty focused and they definitely want it.”
Havasu’s Dailynn Evans ruined the Lady Volunteers’ party by placing fourth at 22:41.
River Valley High School Lady Dust Devils sophomore Sarahi Gingrich finished eighth at 23:44.
“She surprised me and she was not doing her best from last year and I knew she could do better,” Dust Devils head coach Elizabeth Queen said. “I put her feet to the fire today, and I’m buying her lunch today.”
“She did awesome and I have faith in her.”
Lady T-birds junior Elena Rodriguez finished 10th at 24:18.
“It was a good run for her,” Mohave head coach Casey Amann said.
The Lee Williams boys had a runner in the top five, as Elijah Davis came in third place at 18:29.
Dust Devils junior Ulyssis Short finished in sixth place at 18:52.
“I think they gave it their all,” said Queen about her boys. “There’s 66 runners and one of mine, Ulyssis, came in sixth. I don’t doubt that he’ll be in the top three by the end of the year.
“He’s improving; every race he’s improving.”
T-birds junior Andrew Graham came in eighth at 18:59, and junior Jaime Lozoya finished 10th at 19:33.
“I think they ran a really good race,” said Amann about his boys. “They paced themselves and I had one or two of them get their (personal best times), so I think it was a good race for them.”
UNOFFICIAL FIRST-PLACE TEAM RESULTS: The team results were unavailable by Wednesday night’s deadline; however, the Lee Williams girls and the Lake Havasu boys appeared to be a lock for their respective team competitions.