DOUGLAS — Douglas High School’s cross country team hosted Sahuarita in a dual race Sept.10.
Sahuarita won both races, recording a perfect score of 15 in the boys race. The Bulldogs did not score, with just four runners competing.
Sahuarita’s Steven Passement was first overall in a time of 21:34. In second place was teammate William Keith in 22:06.
Juan Valenzuela was the first Douglas runner to finish, coming in third at 22:56. He was followed by Jorge Rodriguez and Mario Villalobos, who finished fifth and sixth, respectively, in 27:02 and 27:03. Milan Hunt was the final Bulldog runner to finish, coming in 13th at 34:43.
The Sahuarita girls beat Douglas 20-39, taking first, third, fourth, fifth and seventh place. Mercedes Rangel led the DHS runners, coming in second in 29:30. She was followed by Arianna Tovar in sixth in 35:28; Celia Rascon, ninth in 38:01; Karina De La Vega, 10th in 38:27; and Emma Valdevia, 12th in 42:35.
Douglas' home course this year has again been changed.
For years, Bulldog runners ran along the U.S./Mexico border, but when razor wire was added followed by construction of the border wall, the course was changed to the Douglas Golf Course for safety reasons.
Douglas coach Maria Sexton felt the course golf course was not challenging enough and laid out a 3.1-mile course that begins and ends at Airport Park.
“The golf course is beautiful, but it was not challenging enough for our runners,” she said. “There’s no hills or inclines. I wanted something a little more challenging. Since we run and practice here, we know the area pretty well and felt this would be a good course to have our races on. Today (race day) is the first time we are using it in a race.”
According to Sexton, the first mile of the course is fairly uphill before it begins a downhill decent.
Sexton said she was surprised by the times her runners turned in.
“They didn’t do as well I expected,” she said. “The times were slower than they were in Nogales, and they were slower today than they have been in practice on this same course. I don’t know what happened to them. There is room for improvement.”