CASA GRANDE, Arizona – Thanks to posting the fastest-overall team time at the Division 3A Nevada State Cross Country Championships, the Spring Creek girls extended their season – earning a spot in one of the most prestigious competitions the sport has to offer for high school runners.
On Nov. 17, the Lady Spartans – competing as the Ruby Mountain Running Club – took part in the Nike Cross Southwest Regional, at Grande Sports Academy, in Casa Grande, Arizona.
Competing in the Open-Small School division (1-999 students), the Ruby Mountain girls placed third out of 13-qualified teams with a total score of 97 points, only trailing champion Jaguar Running (78 points) and second-place Vail Valley Running Club’s total of 88 points.
With 158 runners crossing the finish line, only two finished ahead of senior Rylie Lusk – who placed third with a time of 18:41.1 – trailing first place by less than 10 seconds, less than five seconds away from second place.
Sophomore Kendra Lusk followed quickly, crossing four seconds later in 18:45.1 for a top-five finish.
Junior Rosemary Little ranked 41st with a time of 20:06.5, and her teammates packed up for a three-in-a-row flurry from 47th through 49th.
Sophomore sister Emma Little crossed with a time of 20:17.2, sophomore Grace Florence posting an even 20:18, senior Mikkala Perchetti darting across the line immediately after in 20:18.3.
Sophomore Emma Campbell closed out Ruby Mountain’s squad in 20:41.3, placing 61st.
The Spartans’ cross country team also made the trip, running under the Ruby Mountain label.
As a unit, the boys finished mid-pack in 10th place out of 20 teams, scoring 256 points.
Individually, senior George Skivington paced the effort – crossing 24th of the 235-runner field with a time of 16:25.1.
Senior Noah Mahlke placed in the top-fourth of the field in 16:47.8 for 51st place.
The boys grouped together in the final pairings.
Sophomore Secody Charley rounded out the top-100 with a time of 17:25, senior Logan Allen taking 102nd in 17:26.3.
Back-to-back at 143rd and 144th; sophomores Jess Marin and Harrison Walund finished in 18:05.8 and 18:06.4, respectively.
Congratulations to the Ruby Mountain girls on their top-three team score, Rylie Lusk for her third-place run, Kendra Lusk for her top-five finish at the Nike Cross Southwest Regional and the Ruby Mountain boys for their performances at one of the biggest meets in the area.