Oree Foster
Staff Writer, AZPreps365.com

Being together as a team is the key to Page's state championship

November 12, 2018 by Oree Foster, AZPreps365

Page's boy's cross-country team members keep each other accountable by spending time with one another.

First-year Page cross-country head coach Tim Martin said the key to earning its first state championship under him and fifth state title in a row is 'team'.

Former Sand Devil head coach MacArthur Lane guided Page to four straight state championships.

"The key (to winning the state championship) is 'team'," Martin said. "These kids spend more time together than they spend with their own families during the season. So they keep each other accountable. So they perform for each other."

Page placed its first three runners in the top three positions and followed with 13th and 18th places for 37 points en route to earning the Division III boy's state championship at Cave Creek Golf Course in Phoenix this past Saturday.

Prescott finished a distant second place, finishing with 114 points.

"(It) feels great," said Martin, after guiding the Sand Devils to the state title. "There is so much build up to this point, with high expectations. It's almost a relief that it's over and the boys accomplished what they set out to do. But at the same time, coaches (Theo and I) mill over how we can and could have done better. So it's a mixture of feelings when the season comes to an end."

Martin said the team's race plan was to 'race like normal', and 'hammer the last mile'.

Page senior Bowen Martin claimed the individual state championship, touring the 5K course in 16:02.

"We knew if they felt good it was possible to go, first, second and third and put two to three more (runners) in the top 10," Martin explained. "So they were comfortable starting the race. The plan was for them to feel out the first mile and get in a position to where they could run down opponents over the last mile."

Martin continued, "Trent did that perfectly. We knew Bowen and Morgan would out class the field. Morgan was even running with a quad issue, where he could not run without minor pain the prior three days. But Morgan is so mentally strong that he powered through the race as usual."

Martin's Sand Devil teammate senior Morgan Fowler garnered state runner-up, negotiating the terrain in 16:19.

Sophomore Trent Holiday copped third place, turning in a 16:37 time.

Junior Skyler Sandoval clocked a 17:03 for 13th place.

Freshman Lance Harris rounded out Page's scoring, finishing 18th place, with a 17:15 showing.

Senior Kaipo Uejo was timed in 17:17 for 19th place. Sophomore Rex Martin postted a 17:55 for 39th place.

Page could add another state title next year, as the Sand Devils return four runners from its state championship team next year. Returning are Holiday, Sandoval, Harris and Rex Martin.

Martin said Page's future looks good. He said returning four runners from a state championship team is an excellent core.

"Plus we add Colton Yazzie, who is only a few seconds back from Rex," he said. "Then we are adding an excellent group of upcoming 8th graders. Plus, our young junior varsity runners are all eager to make the jump to varsity. We will be probably 10 to 14 deep again next year."