Freshmen, sophomores start cross country season

Sophomore Jeremiah Weaver leads freshman teammate Simon Della Ratta around one of the turns midway through the three-mile run at the Wickenburg Country Club course in the Wranglers’ first cross country meet of the season. Weaver ended up finishing 19th place in the field of about 30 runners, Della Ratta finishing 22nd.

By Kevin Cloe

Sun Correspondent/Photographer

Imagine running three miles for 30 to 45 minutes in 105-degree heat.

That’s what six Wickenburg High School cross country members and about 50 other runners from three other schools did last week in the Wranglers’ first meet of the season at the Wickenburg Country Club golf course.

Inexperience and the 100-plus-degree heat the past couple weeks that limited practice sessions for the half dozen Wrangler runners led to less than stellar performances, according to Coach Doug Clementz. Four freshmen and two sophomores make up two partial teams (three boys and three girls) for the Wranglers. A minimum of five runners are needed in each gender race to earn team points, so the six participating Wranglers focused on their individual efforts.

Sophomore Jeremiah Weaver led the trio of boys in the purple and gold colors with a 19th-place finish in 25:26 minutes over the three-mile course. Freshmen Simon Della Ratta (22nd in 28:42) and Collin Hackett (29th in 37:16) rounded out the Wrangler representatives.

Freshman Cailin Almstedt placed fifth in the girls race with a time of 30:03 minutes to lead the Lady Wranglers’ threesome. Sophomore Madison Roddy (14th in 41:32) and freshman Natalie Maley (15th in 46:22) wrapped up the Lady Wranglers’ efforts.

“Hopefully we will improve on our performances both in practice and on the race course,” noted Coach Clementz. “Cailin had a good opening meet performance as she dueled the whole race with the (sixth-place) Camp Verde girl.”

The Wranglers will next compete at the Fountain Hills Invitational meet beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 14.

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