All Maricopa High School runners competing in Friday’s Nike Desert Twilight Cross Country Festival, a multi-state meet in Casa Grande, posted personal-best times.

Competing in the large-school category against almost 50 teams, the boys’ team brought eight runners while the girls ran four.

Senior Quinton Stapleton again led the squad, finishing the varsity race 237th out of 329 in the 5,000 meters (3.1 miles). At 19:27.95, he knocked 24 seconds off his best previous time.

Sophomore Tanis Palmer finished 246th in 19:34.94 in his first race, and fellow soph Xavier Rose was 270th in 20:00.00, which was 51 seconds faster than his previous best. Junior Jovanni Fentes was 275th in 20:06.61, nearly three seconds faster than his results in last year’s Twilight. Rounding out the team’s top five, sophomore Gabriel Garcia was 280th in 20:10.50, his best time by 29 seconds.

Sophomore Charles Liermann was 323rd in 22:21.02, more than a minute faster than his best time, and sophomore Nico McKinely was 329th in 26:20.30, improving his time by nearly six minutes. Running in the freshman race, Alex Blodgett was 226th in 23:24.10, better than his previous best by 22 seconds.

Centennial senior Alexander Coyle won the boys’ varsity race in 15:37.5.

Among the girls, MHS senior Zanaa Ramirez knocked her time down to 21:40.9, her first time under 22 minutes, in placing 91st among 320 runners.

Junior Stella Richter was 304th in 26:56.25, about 20 seconds better than her best time. Senior Coryuna Mitchell bettered her time by more than five minutes by finishing 309th in 27:50.08. Junior Francis Trast ran 310th in 27:59.14.

Ralston Valley (Arvada, Colorado) senior Elizabeth Schweiker won the girls’ varsity race in 18:23.47.

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