Junior Jared Marchegger defended his regional individual cross country championship last weekend, and he’s looking to defend his state title Saturday at the NIAA Cross Country Championships at Reed High School.
Marchegger ran a 16-minute 57-second 5k last week to win his second consecutive regional, and he will be on the same course today in an effort to make it two straight state titles. This will be his third state meet, and he finished fourth at Rancho San Rafael Park in 2015, and won last year at Craig Ranch in Las Vegas.
“I am definitely up for it,” Marchegger said Wednesday afternoon. “It definitely helped running the course last week (twice) and being able to develop a strategy. The weather might be in our favor on Saturday.”
The weather forecast calls for rain on Friday and Saturday, and that favors Northern Nevada runners because they’re used to training in the cold, wind, rain and sometimes snow where the runners in Southern Nevada aren’t.
“Last year at regionals it was pretty muddy,” Marchegger said. “It definitely slowed down the times and it will do the same even though we were not on the same course. The first uphill (portion) always has a lot of it (mud) when it rains, and in back (by the youth baseball fields) it was pretty wet last year.”
Locally, Marchegger’s most serious competition will come from North Tahoe’s J.C. Schoonmaker (2nd, 17:41 last week), teammate Teagan Hansen (3rd, 17:57), Yerington senior Kevin Kirk (4th, 18:10) and Incline’s Niklas Pietzke (5th, 18:18).
The top runners from the south are Lake Mead Christian’s Shay Rutledge (1st, 17:36), Ian Cook from The Meadows (2nd, 17:52) and West Wendover’s Jorge Aguirre (3rd, 18:07).
The Falcons were second to North Tahoe last week, and the Sierra Lutheran star said NT would be the favorite again. The real battle could be for second place.
“West Wendover has a very good team,” Marchegger said. “With myself and Teagan, and we have two freshmen that are running this year (Andreas Gilson and Jacob Tack) and a sophomore (Zach Houghton), we could do well. If not this year, then next year.”
Marchegger has been pretty dominant in both cross country and track the last couple of years.
“My dad always talked about running in high school,” Marchegger said when asked how he got involved. “I started running in sixth grade at Bethleham Lutheran. I didn’t feel I was fast enough to compete (well). In seventh grade I really started training and I haven’t stopped since. I started winning some races in seventh and eighth grade. From my freshman year to sophomore year I made a pretty big jump.”
• Emily McNeely and Taylor Davison are both in the running for a medal in the 1A-2A race.
McNeely won regionals last week in 21:38 and Davison was ninth in 24:23. Ellen Hirsberg from The Meadows ran 21:38 to win in the south, and teammate Ashley Meadows was second in 22:54. That duo figures to challenge McNeely for the top spot.
4A: Dunkelman, Jackson in action
Carson’s Rheanna Jackson, who was seventh last week and grabbed the last individual qualifying spot, hopes to find herself on the podium today.
It won’t be easy, however. Jackson is currently ranked eighth among Northern Nevada runners and 14th overall. Centennial track star Alexis Gourrier has the best time in the state at 18:13 (Clovis Invitational), 14 seconds ahead of Spanish Springs’ Alexis Melendez. Keep an eye on Manogue’s Rosie Linkus and Reno freshman Penelope Smerdon.
Douglas senior Sean Dunkelman finished eighth last week. He’s ranked 18th overall with a best of 16:25.9 at Clovis. Spanish Springs has three of the top-10 times in the state. Faith Lutheran’s Koby Ghadery has a 16:13, which is tops in Southern Nevada.
WINNEMUCCA — North Tahoe took a commanding 6-0 halftime lead en route to an 11-0 mercy rule win over the Dust Devils in a first-round playoff match.
The game was stopped at the 60th minute because of the goal differential.
“They were a very good passing team that just outplayed us in every aspect of the game,” Dayton coach Luis Melgarejo said.
Truckee rolls to win
WINNEMUCCA — Truckee advanced to the semifinals with a 8-0 win over Dayton.
No other information was available.