Devils harriers turn in hot times at Desert Twilight |

Devils harriers turn in hot times at Desert Twilight

Junior Jake Drever is the first Eagle Valley runner to ever finish a 5-kilometer race in under 16 minutes

From left, coach Myriah Blair, senior Samantha Blair, coach Charlie Janssen, junior Jake Drever, and coach Melinda Brandt after Blair and Drever set new school records at the Desert Twilight XC Festival in Queen Creek, Arizona, on Friday.
Courtesy photo


The Eagle Valley cross-country teams traveled down to Queen Creek, Arizona, last weekend to take on some of the nation’s best runners at the Desert Twilight Cross Country Festival and didn’t disappoint.

The Devils harriers ran away with 11 season-best performances, including seven shiny new personal bests competing in the elite sweepstakes division. The biggest of those personal bests were also school records.

Samantha Blair broke her own school record by blazing to a 17-minute, 9-second finish, good for fifth among the large field of runners. Her race currently stands as the 15th-fastest time in the entire country at that distance. Blair continues to impress throughout her senior season while juggling the college recruiting process. Her dedication and strength have been a mainstay with the Lady Devils the past four years.

On the boys’ side, the Devils harriers have been chasing down Gino Giovagnoli’s 16:03 school record that has stood since 2014. Many excellent runners have pursued and come very close, but junior Jake Drever will get to see his name at the top of the record books.

Drever is the first Devil to ever run under 16 minutes for a 5K race, coming in at 15:59. Drever was the team’s fastest freshman just a couple of years ago and has had his sights set on this record for a while now. He ran confidently on Friday, hitting his goal splits perfectly and crushing it down the final stretch to secure his goal.

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The Eagle Valley boys also logged two more runners under 17 minutes. Senior Ferguson St. John ran 16:47, while sophomore Cooper Filmore ran 16:48 — both huge personal bests. The Devils forwent the traditional small school division to take on the best and held their own. The boys placed 20th and averaged a 16:53 for their scoring bunch, one of the best in the team’s history.

On the ladies’ side, Jordan Neifert turned in a solid performance as the Devils’ No. 2. She ran a personal best at 19:19 and showed that offseason training will help you crush your former times. The Lady Devils placed 21st overall as a team.

Hoss award winners were St. John and Neifert.


43. Jake Drever, 15:59

115. Ferguson St. John, 16:47

116. Cooper Filmore, 16:48

148. Charlie Schafer, 17:15

166. Lukas Bergsten, 17:38

177. Steven Manzo, 17:51

203. Charlie Callis, 18:25


5. Samantha Blair, 17:09

66. Jordan Neifert, 19:19

161. Ellie Shroll, 21:29

184. Anastacia Baker, 23:34

185. Hayley Bates, 23:39

186. Karelly Gallegos, 23:57

187. Lucy McCann, 24:50

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