Desert Twilight Cross Country Festival 2017

author Web Master - DVCC (Sep, 30 2017)

Total Domination


DVCC Varsity runners celebrate a victory in the Sole Sports Sweepstakes Race at the Desert Twilight Cross Country Festival in Casa Grande.

[This article is courtesy of Senior Runner Nick Thatcher]

The Desert Vista Thunder once again asserted their dominance at the Desert Twilight Cross Country Classic, held on the evening of September 29th in Casa Grande. This meet is especially beloved because of its fun and exciting atmosphere (the meet features a special area with bass-heavy dance music, DJ, and strobe lights) and the opportunity it brings to run a blistering fast 5k time. The course is held on soccer fields and a golf course so there are almost no inclines whatsoever. Under these conditions this year’s Twilight was a remarkably successful night for the Desert Vista Thunder.

The entire DVCC team was represented at this meet, running in the Large School Freshman, Large School Open, and Sole Sports Sweepstakes races.
The first race of the evening was the Boys Large School Freshman, where the DVCC boys posted a commendable 5th place finish. Leading the team of freshmen was Martin Fuller (17:39.3) in 4th place, followed by Luke Nagli (18:59.8) in 20th, Chris Broze (19:51.3) in 39th, Justin Perillo (20:02.7) in 44th, and Connor Donihi (20:40.3) in 82nd.

Following the Freshmen race was the Boys Large School Open, which the DVCC boys won convincingly with a score of 50 points. This race saw Desert Vista nab the first two places, with junior Lee Nasewytewa winning in a time of 16:09.4 and fellow junior Travis Kearney finishing second in 16:25.4. They were followed by senior J Iannone (16:46.7) in 4th, senior Michael Tuli (16:59.7) in 10th, and senior Jack Willems (17:11.7) in 18th.
The final race of the evening was the extremely competitive Sole Sports Sweepstakes race, which featured teams that had travelled from Colorado, Texas, Washington, Nevada, California, New Mexico, and even Hawaii. The wide range of teams combined to form a formidable field; nevertheless, the Thunder Varsity triumphed over all, including last year’s returning champions from Eastwood High School in El Paso, TX.

The victorious DVCC squad was led by senior Reece Donihi who once again set a new school record, this time in the 5k. He ran a 15:18.4, which placed him 13th and broke the previous school record of 15:20 set by 2015 Arizona D1 Boys State Champion DJ Harris (Class of 2016) on the same course in 2015. He was followed by senior Habs Cheney in 14th place in 15:19.8, which also would have been a new school record. Shortly after came super-sophomore Sammy Van Alstine (15:21.4) in 16th, senior D’Angelo Piasecki (15:29.0) in 21st, senior Bryce Schmisseur (15:36.2) in 28th, senior Aksel Laudon (15:36.3) in 29th, and senior Nick Thatcher (15:43.1) in 38th.  The cumulative time of 1:17:04 also set a DVCC school record for the 5k. All seven runners finished under 15:45 for the first time in DVCC Program history. 
Scoring 71 points to Eastwood’s 107, the top-5 scoring DVCC Varsity runners ran an average of 15:24.8. This is the fastest average 5k time in the nation and is 4 seconds faster than Loudoun Valley, who just so happen to be the #1 ranked team in the nation at this time. While it is worth mentioning that it is hard to compare times between different meets and different conditions, this still shows how formidable a team Desert Vista is. DVCC is one of the best teams in the entire nation.
Thank you to all the coaches and parents for your time and effort, the whole team appreciates all that you do.

The next meet will be the October 13th Titan Invitational, held at Crossroads Park in Gilbert. GO THUNDER!!!!

Related Information:

  • Meet website can be found here.
  • Race Results can be found here.
  • Pictures can be found here.
  • Videos can be found here.

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