Even before his team won the Northern 4A title, Carson High boys cross country coach Pete Sinnott had a smile on his face.
“Usually, I try to count runners to see who’s ahead of us or behind us,” Sinnott said. “Today, I was just proud of the way all the kids ran up to their potential. I couldn’t ask for any more than that, no matter how the team score came out.”
As it turned out, the Senators ran well enough to bring home the region team title when they edged past Spanish Springs by two points on Friday at Rancho San Rafael Park. Carson outdistanced Spanish Springs by a 80-82 score while Douglas finished third with 97 points, as all three teams qualified for the NIAA state meet a week from today at Veterans Memorial Park in Boulder City.
This marked the first postseason championship for Carson’s boys since winning state in 2009. It also marked a step up for the Senators after they settled for third-place one week before during the Sierra League meet at Rancho San Rafael Park.
“The difference today, I think, was that we haven’t let up all season. We trained pretty hard the week before the league meet, but this week everyone rested up and they looked a lot stronger,” Sinnott said. “I thought we had a good chance to win. I just thought it was exciting to see everybody run so well on the right day.”
And it was a team effort.
Zachary Sever set the pace, as the junior placed third in 17:34 over the 5-kilometer course. Senior Hunter Rauh placed sixth in 17:53 and Ethan Byasse placed 14th in 18:13
One key came from performances by MacKenzie Walker and Jakob Heller, who placed 22nd (18:29) and 35th (18:52) to round out the team’s scoring. Mark Ramirez ran 19:02 and Adan Garcia 19:45 for the Senators.
Galena sophomore Matt Gordon emerged as the individual gold medal winner in 17:03.
Douglas was led by Matthew Kruse, who placed 11th in 18:09. The Tigers packed their five scoring runners wthin 23 seconds of each other.
Another title for Carson City came in the boys 1A/2A race when Sierra Lutheran’s Jared Marchegger won his third straight region race in 17:10.
Hannah Kaiser, a junior running in her first high school cross country season for Carson, qualified for state in the girls race when she placed eighth in 21:22.
Kaitlin Schulze placed 27th in 23:18, Clare Cartier 37th in 23:50, Hailey Ponzoch 51st in 25:58 and Ginger Cullom 51st in 25:58 to help the Senators finish seventh as a team with 168 points. Erin Cartier and Ella Wick also ran 29:12 and 29:24 respectively. Four of the team’s seven runners are freshmen.
“The girls ran well,” Sinnott said. “They’re young and they haven’t been completely healthy all season, but the good news is they’re all coming back next year.”
The runners had great support from teammates, former runners, and family.
Reno sophomore Penelope Smerdon won the race in 20:03 and Reed outdistanced Damonte Ranch (70) and Douglas (84) for the team championship.
NOTE: The Senators have won four state boys team titles since 1989, three under coach Dave Amster and one under Sinnott in 2009.
CHS boys soccer beats Douglas
The Carson boys soccer team finished the regular season with a 5-2 win at Douglas on Wednesday.
Carson trailed 2-1 at halftime but outscored the Tigers 4-0 in the second half for the win. Omar Mora had two goals and an assist, Ricardo Gonzalez, Jose Godinez and Kristian Chicas all scored once and Roberto Lazares and Adrian Lopez each added an assist for the Senators.
Carson is the No. 3 seed from the Sierra League in the Northern 4A playoffs and will play a first round playoff game at Hug, the High Desert League’s No. 2 seed, at 6 p.m. Monday.