Sports

Veteran core mixes with underclassmen on cross country team

By Michael Moroney ’13
THE ROUNDUP

Photo by Spencer Lund '13 - The Cross Country team practices by running down Central Avenue Sept. 11.
Photo by Spencer Lund '13 - The Cross Country team practices by running down Central Avenue Sept. 11.

The 2012 Brophy cross country team has been running since July 16, when the squad started meeting at 6 a.m. to beat the blistering Arizona heat.

This year’s team loses four of its top six runners from last year’s team that finished fourth overall in Arizona Division I.

However, the team does return three runners that competed in the 2011 state meet, including Jack Rubenzer ’13, Marco Ruiz ’13 and Ben Sacks ’14.

“I was very happy with the team’s performance in 2011,” said head coach Mr. Mike Keahon ’73. “The team finished in fourth place out of 25 teams that qualified for the cross country state championship.”

Rubenzer finished first on the team and 19th overall in the state with a time of 16:40.5 in 5 kilometers.

“Personally, I’m hoping to finish as well in the state as I did last year,” Rubenzer said. “But as a team I think we can end with a state championship.”

Ruiz is considered the team leader for 2012 after he finished fifth on the team at state in 2011.

“Veteran senior runner Marco Ruiz is our definite team leader,” Mr. Keahon said. Marco stepped up to that role years ago and we are expecting him to have an outstanding cross country and track season.”

Mr. Keahon also said that Duke Burr ’15 is the “big surprise” for this season after he ran more than 500 miles this summer.

Fellow underclassmen Jake Ghelfi ’14, Ryan Opila ’14 and Steven Casillas ’15 are expected to be top runners, according to Keahon. Ghelfi will replace his older brother Brock Ghelfi ’12 in the team’s top seven.

The Broncos started their 2012 season with the Sole Sports Invitational in Scottsdale Saturday, Sept. 1. Rubenzer finished fourth overall with a time of 15:49.5, while Ruiz placed 22nd, Burr was 29th, and Ghelfi was 32nd.

Other significant races include Queen Creek’s Desert Twilight evening race on Friday, Sept. 28 and the Saturday, Oct. 13 Doug Conley Invitational.