The Mingus Union Cross Country teams are shaping up. Last season the boys' team was edged by just one point by Tucson Catalina, 66-65 to take third at State while the girls were unable to field a team for the State meet. Instead individual runner, Emma Schraner did well by finishing 19th overall and earned a medal and All State honors.
This year's girls' team is small, maybe the smallest in the 4A with just five runners on the team as of the first week of practice. If the girls team does pick up newcomers, the five that are there will probably have to take a lead, with the most experience and conditioning already under their belts.
"I would be happy with these five, even if I had 20 girls out and they should definitely be an upper echelon team," said coach Jim Bostwick.
The team is led by Mingus' lone senior captain, Staci Hewitson with three years experience. Junior Erin Freriks returns to the team as a three-year runner. She earned Honorable Mention All Region in her first two years and is also participating on the Mingus swim team. Sophomore Emma Schraner joins the team again this year. Last year she was Honorable Mention All State and 2nd team All Region. Sophomore Alex Henley in her second year on varsity and gained a lot of valuable experience last track season as a member of the Marauder State finalist 4x800 relay team. Mingus' lone freshman, Skyler Storie is the new face on the team and is having no trouble handling the varsity workouts so far.
The boys team has been a powerhouse over the past four years and this year's team is shaping up to be another exciting group.
"Hopefully we have a great bunch of sophomores coming up to fill the holes left by departing seniors, Alex Stratz, Tim Freriks and Daniel Jaimes," said coach Bostwick. "The core of our team the last few years."
This year's team is led by senior captain Wilson Cutbirth (3-time Second Team All State runner/3-time 1st team All Region). Junior Hunter Rauch also had varsity experience last season earning 2nd Team All Region/Honorable Mention All State. The team also has two sophomores who made the varsity squad last year as freshmen: Juan Well (Honorable Mention All State/Honorable Mention All Region) and Chris Ortiz.
Other runners expected to have an impact are the cross country team's other sophomores, Colin Garttmeier, who made huge gains during Mingus' last track season and Pal Scott. Other runners looking to make the jump to varsity are juniors Tanner Johnson who has been paying his dues on JV over the last two years, junior Travis Roske and junior Austin Covey who gained experience in track last season as a member of Mingus' State finalist 4x800 team. He, like Freriks, will attempt to compete as part of the cross country and swim teams this fall.
"Both teams have a good mix of experience and youth and we should see them both lining up at the starting line at the State meet in Phoenix on Nov 7th," said coach Bostwick.
Schedule DAY DATE TIME HOSTING SCHOOL PLACE
Wed Sep 9 5pm Payson (A) Payson High School
301 S. McLane Road
Payson, AZ 85547
Sat Sep 12 9:00am Ray Wherley Invite (A) Embry Riddle University
Sat Sep 19 9:00am Four Corners Invite (A) Buffalo Park
2400 N. Gemini Road
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Sat Oct 3 9:00am Mingus Invitational (H) Clarkdale Elementary
1615 Main Street
Clarkdale, AZ 86324
Wed Oct 7 TBD Thunderbird TBD
Fri Oct 16 3:00pm Bud Davis Invite Tuba City High School
Tuba City, AZ 86045
Thu Oct 22 3:00pm Yavapai County Multiple Antelope Golf Course