Carson High's Sparks wins state Cross Country Championship title

Shanna Sparks is the type of athlete that's never satisfied with her performance - even after winning a state title.

The Carson High sophomore won the NIAA/U.S. Bank State 4A Girls Cross Country Championship, finishing the 3.1-mile course at Boulder City in 19 minutes, 37.9 seconds. Sparks placed second in the state last year.

"She was hoping to P.R.," Carson Coach Jason Macy said. "We convinced her that a state championship is good enough for this year."

Sparks led the Carson girls to a fourth place finish behind Centennial (58 points), South Tahoe (60) and Green Valley (66). Carson finished with 84 points to outdistance Reno, who placed fifth with 99 points.

Carson's Daryl Nourse also had an outstanding effort in the boys meet, placing third in 16:59.5 behind state champion Dan Wolf of Reno (16:34.2) and Basic's Kolby Campbell (16:35.7). Galena's boys had an outstanding meet as well, finishing third behind South Tahoe (83 points) and state champion Reno (47). Galena finished with 96 points.

"She wasn't feeling good today," said Macy about Sparks. "She was still able to win. She's been on and off the whole year."

Macy said he thought his team could have contended for the state title. "We definitely had a chance at it," he said. "South Tahoe and the two South teams just outran us."

Carson still had an impressive meet, with six runners placing in the top 50. Other top finishers for the Senators were:

Sarah Shaw, 21st, 21:32; Meghan Zahnter, 24th, 21:36; Lindsay Dorio, 30th, 21:58; Cassia Roth, 31st, 21:59; Amy Martin, 40th, 22:17; Janeen Stone, 48th, 22:39.

Two other area runners had outstanding meets. Galena's Abigail Parker placed fifth in 20:11.3 and Taryn Joyce-Mendive finished 10th in 20:38.1.

Nourse said he wasn't feeling good and he cramped up during the race. He was still able to pull away for third in the last 300 yards.

"Daryl did outstanding," Macy said. "It was a tough race the whole way. He held tough the whole way."

Nourse said he was surprised by Campbell's performance. "He ran a lot better than I though he was going to run," he said. "I'm happy with my performance."

Galena's boys had five runners place in the top 40, led by Chad Sanada, who took fourth (17:01.4). Other performances for Galena were:

Geoff Casazza, 22nd, 17:52.7; Tim Koepsell, 25th, 17:59.1; Joe Bentel, 26th, 18:03.9; and Stephen Pottey, 40th, 18:33.

Two Douglas runners placed in the top 40: Mike Hacker, 29th, 18:06.4; and Robby Miller, 32nd, 18:20.1.

In addition, Carson can claim to be the state's top academic cross country progam. The Carson boys won the state academic title with a 3.76 grade point average while the Senator girls was edged out for the state title by Galena, finishing second with a 3.78 G.P.A.

Six Carson girls have 4.0 grade point averages: Heather Beaudette, Martin, Jackie Nourse, Roth, Sparks and Stone.

Four Carson boys have 4.0 G.P.A.s: Andrew Peterson, Jeffrey Martin, Matty Henry and Brett Anderson.

3A

Dayton's Mick Pribila placed 22nd in the 3A boys race in 19:07.2. In the girls race, Dayton's Michelle Hulme placed 25th in 24:07.9 and Fernley Elizabeth Ashley finished 33rd in 24:53.6.

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