Maricopa junior Jesse Gaines (front center) leads the Rams in a rapid start at the Division II State Cross Country Championship. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Maricopa High School’s boys’ cross country team finished 24th in the state championships Saturday.

Amid 31 Division II teams on a hot day at Cave Creek Golf Course in Phoenix, the Rams were swallowed up in a shockingly fast start. Maricopa ran seven runners in the 5-kilometer race, with the top five scoring points for the team.

Junior Jesse Gaines led the Rams by finishing 50th in a field of 228 runners on a difficult course.

It was not a day for personal best times. Gaines clocked in at 17:36, his fourth fastest result of the season.

Sophomore Alec Kramarczyk was again the No. 2 runner for Maricopa, finished 114th in 18:26. Senior John Blodgett ran 131st in 18:36.

Junior Sam Coles ran 153rd in 18:59. Senior Mark Mwangi, like Blodgett finishing his high school cross country career, was 161st in 19:06.

Also running were Brady Hunsaker, a junior who finished 218th in 21:15, and junior Giovanni Hernandez, who was 224th in 21:36.

Three teams were packed tight at the top of the leader board. Flagstaff High School won Division II, with a combined time of 1:24.10. Campo Verde was second and Buena third.

The individual champion was Buena senior Manuel Olivo-Quinones, who won easily in a blistering 15:41.