The Carson High boys cross country team may not be able to claim the title as NIAA 4A State Champions. But Carson's boys can claim the title as being the fastest team in the state.
Despite finishing with the best overall time, Carson was edged out by Centennial by one point for the state title in Saturday's NIAA 4A State meet at Boulder City's Veterans' Park.
Despite the heartbreaking finish (Centennial finished with 56 points, Carson finished with 57), nothing could be taken away from Carson's best effort of the season as it had three runners finish in the top 10 (Richard Shroy, Nick Schlager and Logan Philippi).
Carson had two girls competing as individuals and Amanda Gordan had an outstanding race, finishing 10th overall. Yvonne Hollett also appeared to be on her way to a third place finish when CHS coach Pete Sinnott actually removed Hollett from the course as a precaution.
As expected, the Sierra Lutheran boys led by Wade Meddles dominated the 2A state meet as Meddles had the fastest time of the day on any level to win the individual state crown, leading the Douglas County school to the state team title. Galena's girls also had a banner day to win the 4A state crown.
Reno High dominated last week's Northern 4A meet, finishing with 38 points while Carson took second with 63 points. But for the first time this year, the Senators were able to beat Reno, which finished third with 60 points.
Carson finished with an overall time of 1 hour, 26 minutes, 48.92 seconds while Centennial finished with a time of 1:26:53.14.
While Sinnott said he couldn't have been happier with his team's performance, he admitted, "I wished we were one point better," he said, referring to how he felt. "We finally got ahead of Reno. Centennial got ahead of us. It was interesting."
Shroy turned in an impressive effort, finishing second behind Galena's Bryan Tibaduiza in a repeat of last year's state finish. While Tibaduiaza defended his title, the finish was much closer than in the past as Shroy finished less than seven seconds within Tibaduiza.
Tibaduiza covered the 3.1-mile course in 16:22.82 while Shory finished in 16:29.37. Shroy's finish was an improvement over his fourth place finish at zone.
Schlager also improved on his seventh place finish at zone as he took sixth in 16:45.84. Philippi improved on his 14th place finish at zone as he took 10th in 17:14.96. Brent Moyle also had an overall improvement. After finishing 10th at zone, he took 22nd on Saturday in 17:45.76.
"They all improved," said Sinnott about all of his runners. "I told them everybody had to run better."
The difference of the meet was essentially less than five seconds as Centennial's Billy Gravley was able to finish 21st ahead of Moyle in 17:40.83. Also for Carson, Evan Richards finished in 18:32.99, David McMasters finished in 18:41.09 and Brandon Bournacorsi finished in 19:18.30.
Sinnott said his runners did everything that he asked of them all year, noting his boys team won the state academic title with a cumulative 3.79 grade point average, the highest of any 4A team in the state.
Gordon improved on her finish last week when she finished 10th in 20:52.54. Douglas High's Taylor Biaggi was eighth in 20:41.28. South Tahoe's Kelsey Smith defended her state title in 18:59.88.
Hollett was on her way to a third place finish when Sinnott pulled her off the course with about 200 yards left. Hollett has had problems throughout the season although Sinnott said medical evaluations haven't pinpointed the trouble.
"I actually grabbed her and stopped her," Sinnott said. "I knew Yvonne wasn't going to be happy about that. I didn't want to take the chance with her."
Galena's girls won the state title with 51 points, finishing ahead of second place Coronado (62). Galena was led by Julie Pederson, who took ninth in 20:52.54.
Meddles won the 2A race with the fastest time of the day, 16:13.19. Sierra Lutheran easily outdistanced North Tahoe for the team title (21-58).
Sierra Lutheran received outstanding performances from Michael Kubel (third, 17:51.53), Nathanael Williams (fourth, 18:02.32), Levi Grabow (seventh, 18:13.32) and Preston Lyons (11th, 18:44.54). Rounding out Sierra Lutheran's lineup were Andrew Deterding (19th, 18:59.14) and Bob DePaoli (24th, 19:45.82).
In the 2A girls race, Silver Stage's Mariah Gramolina was eighth in 23:02.92, Virginia City's Alexa Ballinger was 16th in 23:46.03 and Sierra Lutheran's Becky Grabow was 18th in 24:03.09.
In the 3A girls race, Dayton's Theresa Hardy took fifth in 22:33.35 to lead the Dust Devils to a fifth place finish. In 3A boys, Dayton's Logan Ingersoll was 14th in 18:55.68 to also lead the Dust Devils to a fifth place finish.