Top three, that is the benchmark for the Fallon cross country team.
After slipping past Truckee by one point to nab the final team qualifying spot, the Greenwave runners aim to prove they belong with that state’s best. Fallon gets its chance at 10:40 a.m. Saturday at the Division I-A state meet at Rancho San Rafael Park in Reno.
“It’s always been our goal,” senior Erik Endacott said of qualifying for the state meet. “Tanner Boone’s the guy that actually got us competitive again. It’s really cool to go to state.”
While Spring Creek and Elko ran away from the competition during the regional meet, Fallon coach Mitch Overlie said he wants his club to come out and finish in the top three.
“They are excited,” he said. “We want at least third, but we just want to run our best at state.”
SECTA, the South’s champion, Boulder City and Faith Lutheran also provide stiff competition. The advantage for Fallon, though, is running in cooler weather and at altitude, two variables that typically slow the southern schools.
In addition, the Wave will run the same course for the second consecutive week, giving the runners an edge on course management.
“We just want to do better than last week,” Overlie said. “Traditionally, the South doesn’t come up here and do well. I expect the North to dominate at home.”
Leading the way for Fallon, though, are Endacott, Nathan Schank, Ethan Overlie, Ethan Smith and Tristen Thomson. Also running are alternates Cameron Kissick and Terry White.
Endacott, however, is battling a nagging hip injury and said he did not practice all week opting to let the injury heal as much as possible before Saturday. Nevertheless, his goal is to top Schank, although he hopes for a state title.
“I think that would be cool if I won,” Endacott said. “It’s going to be hard to do well, but I think the rest of us can do well.”
Fallon’s journey to state involved a back-and-forth battle with Truckee during last week’s Northern Division I-A regional. Schank and Endacott placed seventh and 10th, respectively, while Tristen Thomson finished 18th, Ethan Overlie took 24th and Smith nabbed 26th.
The theme surrounding the club during practice has been to run harder than at regionals. Ethan Overlie left it all out on the course last week, as he vomited after finishing.
“I got to run harder,” he said. “I think we can actually place this year, to be totally honest. We’ve run the course already and know where we can sprint. We are good at hills.”
Despite the all-out effort, each runner, coach Mitch Overlie said, has improved throughout the season.
“I don’t know if we can pick off Spring Creek or Elko, but doing the hypothetical, we are third,” Mitch Overlie said. “Anything can happen on that day. I think we just need to continue to talk about the team and how important everyone is.”