The Desert Vista girls cross country team started the year in an impressive fashion as the Thunder won the Sole Sports Cross Country Invitational at Silverado Golf Course in Scottsdale last weekend.

The Thunder bested six-time defending state champion Xavier (second) and Mesa Mountain View (third) as new coach Jeff Messer was able to guide the Thunder past the Gators, where he severed as co-head coach the last several years.

The varsity team was led by Dani Jones, who took first, her freshman sister, Baylee, was second, while Nicole Hicks (sixth), Emily Smith (12th), Sabrina Camino (13th) and Maddi Bucci (18th) all finished in the top 20.

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