Desert Vista's Dani Jones comes in first during the D1 girls state cross country meet at Cave Creek Golf Course on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013.

David Jolkovski/AFN

The stages of cross country season have reached its final kick as the area’s top runners head to the NXN Cross Southwest Regional.

The event is Saturday at Toka Sticks Golf Course in Mesa and involves teams and individuals from Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Nevada in addition to Arizona.

The Desert Vista boys and girls teams both qualified as did Horizon Honors senior Mikaela Martin.

The races, including a citizen’s 5k, begin at 8 a.m.

The Regional Championships will serve as qualifiers into the Ninth annual Nike Cross Nationals event, scheduled for Saturday, December 1st at Portland Meadows racing facility.

In the championship race at the Southwest Regional, the top two teams and top five individuals will automatically qualify, and the third and fourth place teams will be considered for an at-large berth.

For more information including the entire schedule,  go to: http://nxnsw.runnerspace.com/eprofile.php?do=title&title_id=214&event_id=302

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