Print Defending Mingus cross country champs eye repeat
Written by Brian Bergner   
Wednesday, 01 September 2010 00:00

The defending 4A-II conference state champions in the Mingus Union High School boys cross country team are primed and ready to make another run for a title in 2010.

Runners on the Mingus Union High School cross country team jog down trails next to the Verde River behind Riverfront Park on Tuesday, Aug. 31 followed by the girls’ team coach, Lisa Rauch, on her bicycle. Boys’ team coach Jim Bostwick rides behind the faster runners.Having lost only one runner in Wilson Cutbirth to graduation in 2009, the 2010 version of Marauders cross country is sure to be fantastic.

“We’ve got a good group of boys back this season. We’re excited to get the year going,” Mingus Head Coach Jim Bostwick said.

The Marauders will depend on a core group of runners this season that should earn them the top spot come November.

Returning in 2010 for Mingus are seniors Hunter Rauch and Austin Covey while juniors Colin Garttmeier, Chris Ortiz and Juan Wells return as well. Junior Lane Gehl is also included in the mix.

Wells finished sixth overall as a sophomore with a 16:40.71 time at state last season while Covey was 12th overall with a 17:16.52 time.

Rauch and Ortiz also finished in the top 20 while Garttmeier was 25th and Gehl was 36th.

Top newcomers in senior Tanner Johnson and junior Pal Scott should push for a top five spot at Mingus this season, making the Marauders cross country team even more dangerous.

On the girls’ side of the hill, Mingus lost three seniors after their sixth-place finish last November at the state championships.

Leading the group of returners is senior Erin Freriks, who took 46th overall at state last season.

If Freriks is anything like her older brother, watch out for a top finish in her senior season.

Other top returners for the Mingus girls team include juniors Emma Schraner and Alex Henley while sophomore Skyler Storie returns as well.

The only newcomer that should make an impact for Mingus this season on the girls team will be freshman Sienna Gehl.

Mingus is scheduled to begin its season on the road where they travel to the Payson Invitational on Wednesday, Sept. 8.

The Marauders will against host the famed Mingus Mountain Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 2, in Clarkdale.

The Division III Sectional Meet is scheduled to take place Saturday, Oct. 30, while the Division III State Championships are the following weekend beginning Saturday, Nov. 6.

The state championships are held at the Cave Creek Golf Course in Phoenix.