Godspeed Wings compete at Cross Country Championships

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The Godspeed Wings returned home with one team championship and a pair of runner-up finishes from the Pacific Association Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships held Sunday in Santa Rosa, Calif.

The Carson City-based youth running club brought home a team championship in the Midget Boys race and runner-up finishes in the Youth Girls and Intermediate Girls divisions during competition that brought runners from Northern California and Nevada to Spring Lake Park.

Patrick Reilly and Travis Airola placed fourth and sixth respectively in the Midget Boys race to lead the Wings to their team title by a 43-47 margin over the Pleasanton (Calif.) Heat. Reilly ran the 3,000-meter course (1.8 miles) in 10 minutes, 25 seconds and Airola ran 10:34. Brendan Rice finished 17th (11:02), Richard Shroy 22nd (11:09) Spencer Brinson 31st (11:40).

The combined Intermediate/Young Women's race featured a fast field. Collier Lawrence of the Striders won the 5,000-meter (3.1 miles) race in 17:22, followed by the Wings' Shanna Sparks in 17:30. Cassia Roth of Carson City and the Silver State Striders was a close third in 17:55. Reno High's Lawrence finished first and Carson's Sparks was third two weeks ago at the NIAA/U.S. Bank 4A State Championships.

The Wings had four other runners crack the top 10: Britney Almagher, an Elko High junior, was fifth (18:36), Sheena Bonaldi sixth (18:43) and Taryn Joyce-Mendive seventh (19:30) and Annie Brinson 10th (21:00). Brinson, a Carson High freshman, returned to run after she missed the regional and state meets due to a broken arm.

Amanda Benson was also 11th (21:05) and Elise Airola 15th (24:53) for the Wings, who finished second in the Intermediate Girls scoring by a 25-30 score to the Striders.

The Intermediate/Young Men's race was fast as well. Jonathan Cardenas of the Striders ran 15:06 to lead a Silver State sweep of the top six places. Teammates Stephen Pottey and Geoff Casazza, both Galena High students, finished second and third with respective times of 15:19 and 15:35. Hudson Wilvers, a South Tahoe High senior who runs for the Wings, was seventh in 16:38.

Sam Saunders finished 17th for the Wings (17:50), Anthony Stewart 18th (17:56), Ryan Woltz 19th (18:47), Sam Pincock 20th (18:51), Matt Marple 21st (18:51) and Blake Weyland 22nd (19:39).

Kelsey McClurg finished fifth for the Wings in the Youth Girls race with a time of 14:16 on the 4,000-meter course (2.48 miles), Tiffany Halen was ninth (14:48), Christa Lynn Casci 17th (15:31) and Lauren Riersgard 18th (15:32).

The Silver State Striders edged the Wings 24-31 for the Youth Girls team championship. Marie Lawrence won the race for Silver State (13:12), Christy Works was eighth (14:34), Daryann Glenn 10th (14:49) and Erica Roth 14th (15:17).

Silver State won the Bantam Girls team title behind a 1-2 sweep by Laken Crowder and Sara Howard, who ran the 3,000-meter course in respective times of 11:23 and 11:51. The Striders won by a 45-52 score over Sacramento's Buffalo Chips.

The Junior Olympic Regional Championships will be held this Sunday at Shadow Cliff Regional Park in Pleasanton, Calif. The top finishers at regionals will qualify for the national finals on Dec. 14 in Carrollton, Ga.


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