Phs Young Guns Off Target At Gcr Finals

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The Longhorns were shut out in their bid to send either a team or an individual to the Class 4A state cross country championship meet.

To qualify for state, teams must finish in the top three in their regional championships. Individual qualifiers must be among the top 10.

Payson had neither at the Grand Canyon regional meet Oct. 30 in Page.

Overall, the Payson boys finished fifth and the girls were sixth in the two, seven-team fields.

The Longhorns did, however, produce a second-team, all-region runner and two who were named honorable mention.

Sophomore Carlan Pontious, the Horns' best runner throughout the campaign, earned second-team, all-region laurels by finishing 14th in the gold-medal showdown. Pontious finished the 5K course with a time of 17:21. The regional champ, Levi Lomeland of Page, was timed at 16:14.

For Pontious, not earning a seed to state was a disappointment, but not a setback.

"I'll just have to work that much harder and make it next year," he said.

For now, however, he'll take a well-deserved rest.

"I'm going to take some time off in the winter and run just for fun," he said.

David Cluff earned honorable mention for his 20th-place showing with a time of 17:38.

For the Lady Longhorns, Alesha Huddlestun received an honorable mention nod after taking 16th in 21:28. The regional winner, Sinagua's Samantha Hatch, turned in a time of 19:41.

Other Lady Longhorn representatives were Samantha Elliott, 27th, 23:16; Lana Cluff, 29th, 23:35; Sarah Agnes, 35th, 24:07; Shanna Coleman, 40th, 24:44; Janet Echols, 42nd, 25:01; and Crystal Sprinkle, 45th, 27:17.

For the Longhorn boys, entrants other than Pontious and Cluff were Carlos Lopez, 22nd, 17:41; Lance Chabot, 30th, 18:24; Erik Monty, 39th, 18:53; Josh Lymer, 40th, 19:41; and Martin Dorris, 41st, 19:42. Johnny Malloy was an alternate.

Page (20), Flagstaff (52) and Chinle (91) were the three boys teams to qualify for the state meet.

Girls team qualifiers included Page (43), Chinle (50) and Flagstaff (51).

Devils on a tear

The Sand Devils advance to state as Arizona's No. 1 ranked team and with the region's first, third, fourth, fifth and seventh finishers in their fold.

Levi Lomeland, the son of Page head coach Mark Lomeland, is no stranger in the Rim country. Aug. 7, he ran his way to a first-place showing in the Monsoon 5K run at Green Valley Park. In winning with a time of 16:38, he outdistanced both Pontious and Lopez.

Lomeland's first-place time in the regional championships was four seconds off the course record set in 1992 by Page twins Theo and Tim Martin.

Mark Lomeland was named the region's coach of the year, but gave the award to his assistant coach, Theo Martin.

The Page girls' championship finish ended the Flagstaff Lady Eagles' four-year reign as GC title holders.

Surprising almost everyone, state 11th-ranked Flagstaff fell to third in the regional championships. Chinle was second with 50 points.

If rankings hold true, Page, Chinle and Flagstaff will probably be the top three teams at the state meet to be held Saturday at Anthem.

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