Sand Devils cross-country to compete at sectionals and state

Back row: Sophia Cambridge, Cody Slim, Joel Beard, Quentin Davis, Trevor Walker, Tanner Dugi, Rex Martin, Gavyn Begay, Shaydon Begay, Coach Theo Martin. Front row: Jade Reid, Grace Barney and Jaddah Whitehair. Not shown: Hunter Jensen, Trent Holiday, Colton Yazzie.

PAGE – Page High School’s cross-country team got an October surprise this year. They learned there would be sectional, and state meets this year.

Sectionals will take place Thursday, Nov. 5, in Rose Mofford Sports Complex in Phoenix.

The Running Devils learned they were going to sectionals on Oct. 21.

“It was a real shock when Ernie Rivers called and told me the news,” said PHS Cross-Country Head Coach Theo Martin.

Every two weeks Martin sent his team members workouts to do on their own. He increased that to twice a week after school started in August with the hopes that his team might be able to compete for part of the season. Martin also called his team members every couple weeks – just to check in on them.

Mile Split has the Running Devils ranked third behind South Point Catholic and Prescott.

“I think we have several runners who kept in shape and will do well,” Martin said, “but we also have a few who didn’t think we’d have a season this year, and they haven’t kept up with their training like they would have during a normal year.”

Eleven Running Devils competed in a club race, Desert Twilight, earlier this season. “It was a good chance to see where our fitness level stood,” Martin said.

Senior runner Rex Martin was also happy to hear the news that there would be a sectional and state meet. “I’m pretty excited about going to state one last time,” he said. “For a while I didn’t think I’d have that chance.”

Rex has been training all summer and into the fall just in case part of the season was salvaged. He hasn’t competed in any high school meets but has ran in several 10K and 5K races.

The state cross-country meet will be held in Crossroad Park in Gilbert on Oct. 11, and Coach Martin expects several of his runners to qualify.

The Running Devils cross-country team has taken first in state for the last six years straight.

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