When Carson High cross country coach Pete Sinnott evaluates his boys team’s chances of winning the school’s first 4A state title since 2009, he puts it this way:
“I think there are five teams who reasonably can win this race,” he said. “I think we’re one of them.”
Carson will go for the title when the State Championships are held Saturday at Boulder City’s Veterans Park. Racing begins at 10 a.m. with the 4A boys race to be held at 12:45 p.m. Live results of the meet will be available at https://live.nts-timing.com/meets/1594.
Sinnott said Southern regional champions Centennial and Desert Oasis, his team, Spanish Springs and Douglas could all contend for the state title. Spanish Springs was the north’s top team all year until Carson overtook the Cougars at last week’s Northern 4A meet at Reno’s Rancho San Rafael Park.
Carson finished with 80 points, edging Spanish Springs, which had 82. Douglas finished third to qualify for state.
It would be expected the Southern teams would have an advantage on their home course.
“They run the course a lot,” said Sinnott about the Southern teams. “They have a little advantage having run it before.”
But Sinnott also pointed out the Northern teams run at higher elevation, so the lower elevation in Boulder City could work to their advantage.
“It’s similar to a lot of the things we do,” said Sinnott about the courses Northern teams run as compared to Veterans Park. “I think that we have equal footing and we’ll be ready.”
Sinnott described his top three runners of Zachary Sever, Hunter Rauh and Ethan Byasse as the best group of three runners in the state. Sever took third at last week’s regional meet, covering the 3.1 mile course in 17 minutes, 34 seconds. Rauh was sixth in 17:53 and Byasse was 14th in 18:13.
Carson’s chances of winning state will obviously hinge on how well its next two scoring runners do. Last week, Walker Mackenzie finished 22nd in 18:29, Jakob Heller was 35th in 18:52 and Mark Ramirez was 37th in 19:02.
If Carson’s second group of runners can finish within a minute or so of its top three runners like last week that will be a good sign or as Sinnott put it, “we’ll be tough.”
Sinnott said the goal will be for his second group of runners to be “in the midst” of all of Desert Oasis’ runners, who all run close as a pack.
The Douglas boys will be led by Matthew Kruse, who took 10th at the regional meet in 18 minutes, 9 seconds. He’s followed by Celime Garcia, who was 18th at Regionals in 18:24, Patrick Voss was 19th in 18:26, Michael Magee was 24th in 18:31 and Remington Hill-Holeman was 25th in 18:32.
The Douglas girls will also compete at state after qualifying with a third place finish at regionals. It’s the first time in 12 years both the Douglas boys and girls teams qualified for state.
Maya Smith led the Douglas girls by taking ninth in 21:27 at regionals. She was followed by Zoe Brown, 13th in 21:44, Addison Gregory, 17th in 22:28, Imogene Tierney, 22nd in 22:46 and Auderey Keasling, 28th in 23:20.
Carson’s Hannah Kaiser will also compete in the state meet in the girls race after finishing eighth at regionals in 21:22.
SIERRA LUTHERAN SET FOR STATE
Jared Marchegger held a commanding lead throughout the race in the Northern 1A/2A Championships as he won his third straight regional title in 17:10, the second best overall time in the state. Teagan Hansen made it a 1-2 finish for the Falcons, taking second in 17:34. Marchegger will be favored to win the state title.
Also for Sierra Lutheran, Andreas Gilson was 13th in 19:26, Aaron Waite was 29th in 21:07, William Webster was 36th in 22:28 and Jacob Tack was 37th in 22:40.
Sierra Lutheran qualified as a team, finishing third with 41 points behind Silver Stage (28) and North Tahoe (24).
“It was hard to tell which teams would qualify for state. I was amazed with our third and fourth runners, Andreas and Aaron. They put it all out on the course helping the team qualify for state,” Sierra Lutheran coach Steve Kubel said.
Emily McNeely and Taylor Davison both qualified for the state meet for Sierra Lutheran’s girls. McNeely finished second in 21:38 and Davison took sixth in 24:18.