RENO - The big cheer was easily heard around Rancho San Rafael Park around noon on Friday.
It was the Carson High boys cross-country team reacting to advancing to state with a third-place finish at Friday's NIAA Northern Regional Championships. The Senators benefited from a new rule which sends the top three schools to state. Previously, only the top two schools would move on.
Galena, which placed four runners in the top-10 and five in the top-20, won the event with 37 points. Douglas, led by Lane Smith (10th, 17:35), Jeff Williams (12th, 17:44) and Brandon Pankey (14th, 17:45). Carson was next at 123, nosing out McQueen by two points.
Anthony Cacioppo (17:46) and Nick Greene (18:05), who have been Carson's best runners all year, finished 16th and 21st, respectively. What put Carson over the top was its pack mentality, as Carson took four of the next 12 spots and there was only a 40-second difference between Greene and Daniel Jauregui, who was Carson's sixth finisher at 18:45. Porfirio Jauregui (18:28) and Tylar Chester (18:30) finished 27th and 28th. Chris Merriner (18:36) was 31st and Bryen Holoway was 47th in 19:14.
"Everybody had a real good race," Carson coach Pete Sinnott said. "We were fifth last week against the same teams and we moved up a couple of spots. Everybody was important considering we made it just by two points.
"Anthony was our first guy again, Nick and then Porfirio. All of them ran the hills well."
Cacioppo has been improving all year, as he and Greene have had a friendly battle going on every week.
"It was tough," Cacioppo said. "I was hoping to get under 18 minutes, and I got it which was nice. We push each other all the time."
Greene seemed disappointed with his finish.
"I gave it my all," he said. "I was off (on time) by a little bit. I'll be sure to get it back next week.''
Daniel Jauregui said Friday's performance should help the Senators next week.
"It definitely gives us confidence," he said. "We're going to let it all out down there."
Elissa, Law reach state
Dayton's Aaron Elissa (17:53) and Joe Law (18:10) finished sixth and 10th respectively to qualify for next week's state meet. Elissa shaved 35 seconds off his time from last year, while Law ran 18 seconds faster.
"It feels great," Elissa said. "Everybody was on their A game today. I was happy with my time. I was shooting for 18 minutes and I think I got 17:50.
"I trained really hard over the summer, and it paid off this year. You always think you can do better. I'll do better at state."
Law and teammate Skyler Rose have been battling all year for the No. 2 spot behind Elissa. Law has come on strong in recent meets. Law grabbed the last individual spot.
"Joe has picked it up the last two weeks," Dayton coach Shawn Anderson. "Skyler had been beating him all year."
"Last year, it was Aaron and I pushing each other," Law said. "This year I've been working with Skyler. I didn't really care about my time. I just wanted to make state again this year."
Harrison takes 10th for Sierra Lutheran
Donovan Harrison took 10th place in 18:28 to lead Sierra Lutheran to a fourth-place finish and a berth in next week's state meet.
Chris Eckert was 18th (19:18), Wes Stulac was 21st (19:23), Joel Henry 24th (19:27) and Seth Cariga was 40th (20:55).
Sam McCain was Virginia City's top finisher, taking 20th place in 19:21.