Originally published Saturday, November 9, 2019 at 01:40p.m.

KINGMAN – A squad is never guaranteed a spot in the state tournament, especially in cross country where runners sometimes have to qualify on their own.

But that hasn’t stopped Lee Williams High School, as it will make another trip to Phoenix on Saturday for the Division III State Championship at Cave Creek Golf Course.

“We have a week of training left and look forward to taking a group of athletes back to state for the seventh year in a row,” said Lee Williams head coach Joan Abraham.

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Lady Vols senior Alexis Hecker was 10th on Thursday at Cesar Chavez Park in Phoenix. (Courtesy photo)

The Vols made sure to lock up their spot at state with a fourth-place finish on Thursday at the Division III, Section III Sectional Meet at Cesar Chavez Park in Phoenix.

Elijah Davis led Lee Williams in 17th place (18:05.3), followed by Hunter Serrano in 19th (18:07.3) and Cade Cantrell in 20th (18:08.9).

“It was pretty awesome to see Elijah, then Hunter, then Cade cross the line so close together,” Abraham said. “Our total spread for the top five was only 46 seconds. That is a big accomplishment. It was a little warm at race time, so we are looking forward to the slightly cooler temps expected next weekend.”

Meanwhile, Alexis Hecker was the top finisher for the Lady Vols as the senior ran a 21:48.5 for 10th.

Hecker was named to the sectional first team and clinched a spot in the state tournament along with the Vols squad.

Kingman’s Lily Smith finished 23rd (22.36.7) to qualify for state, while Kingman Academy’s Sara Bredenkamp took 26th (22:59.9) and Lee Williams’ Katalina Robinson was 27th at 23:04.6.

“We were sad that the whole girls’ team did not qualify, but we were excited that Katalina Robinson was able to place so high,” Abraham said. “As a freshman that is awesome. I can’t wait to see what the next few years bring for her.”