Peaking for the cross country postseason is a process.
The tapering must be done just right after the last important regular season meet of the year.
How much is too much downtime? When is the best time to crank it back up?
The East Valley Region is filled with experienced coaches who know how to maneuver through the final month of the season before sectionals and state qualifying just right so as to be at their best when the times are most important.
The last run of the before sectional qualifier on Oct. 26 at Rose Mofford Park in Phoenix was Tuesday at Red Mountain Park.
It is clear some of the area teams are ready to take on the rest of the state.
The Red Mountain girls and the Mountain View boys won the Mesa City Meet with a little drama mixed in with boys race.
Mountain View and Skyline tied at 40 through the top five runners with the Toros coming out on top when the scoring went to the sixth runner.
The Toros’ sixth runner was Matt Judd, who finished in 14th place with a time of 17 minutes and 40.9 seconds, while Skyline’s sixth was Carter Giambri, who was in 16th place in 18:09.
“It was definitely a close one with Skyline,” Mountain View coach Ronnie Buchanan said. “However, the six boys stayed strong and poised the last kilometer of the race. Matt Judd, our sophomore, came through and secured the tie breaker win which was a great thing to witness.
“The boys were happy to continue the school’s 19th straight Region/City Championships and they don’t take that for granted.”
The medalist honors went to Skyline’s Grant Kennedy in 16:42.2 with Dobson’s Claudio Garcia (16:54.6), Skyline’s Austin Owens (17:03.8), Mountain View’s Zachary Frisch (17:06.1) and Red Mountain’s Broderick Bourgeois (17:08.1) rounding out the top five.
The rest of the boys team standings were Red Mountain (76), Dobson (104), Westwood (129) and Mesa (143).
The girls individual race was nearly as close as the boys team race.
Mountain View junior Kailey Welch finished the 5K run in 20:02.3 with Skyline junior Carlene Hamilton coming in at 20:06.2.
Red Mountain took up the next four spots – led by sophomore Nikki Hemmerlin at 20:36.2 – to lead the Mountain Lions to the team title.
The next three Red Mountain runners were freshman Brenna Bourgeois (21:11.3), senior Jacquelin Santos (21:18.7) and junior Riley Boyer (21:36.1).
Following Red Mountain (29) was Skyline (45), Mountain View (51), Dobson (137), Westwood (139) and Mesa (141).
Check out complete results here.
And now it’s on to the final couple weeks.
“As the team moves forward to the Sectional and State meet were just looking to keep on getting better these last 2.5 weeks,” Buchanan said. “At the end of the day, all I ask from the boys is that they gave it their all and have no regrets.”
– Jason P. Skoda is a senior writer for MyNewsMesa.com. Send Mesa-based story ideas to email@example.com.