Runners finding their stride
A trio of runners are lifting the Fallon cross country teams.
Junior Tristen Thomson, sophomore Ethan Smith and freshman Chloe Overlie give the Greenwave a three-headed monster heading into the final month of the season.
Thomson has exploded this season to become one of the Northern Division I-A’s best runners. He has one win, a second-place and several top five finishes to lead the boys team.
His wingman, Smith, has also grown into one of the top runners in the league as the duo are prepared to lead the Wave to their second straight state berth as a team.
The tandem’s rise also includes being two of the top runners in the DI-A as Thomson has the 44th best time, while Smith is 57th, according to the running website athletic.net.
“I think we are improving,” Thomson said. “
Both, though, are chasing Truckee’s Noah Oberitter, the top-ranked runner in the DI-A with a season-best time of 15:38.
“Last year I had a couple seniors kind of work better,” Thomson said. “This year I have just been pushing myself to be a leader. I’ve really surprised myself and my hard work is paying off.”
One of Thomson’s strengths is his height, which gives him a long, fluid stride. He was Fallon’s No. 3 runner during last season’s race to state, but this season he and Smith have become leaders with their work ethic and determination to return to state as a team.
“Ethan has had a tremendous year and has stepped up a lot from last year,” Thomson said. “He’s a lot better runner than me when I was a sophomore. I think he’s going to be a great runner. My goal is to get him and the rest of my teammates to qualify for state.”
Fallon, though, is more than a two-trick pony. Terry White has emerged as a solid No. 3 runner, while Mo Coverston, Michael Anderson and Cameron Kissick provide depth.
Like last year, however, Elko and Spring Creek are the class of the Northern DI-A. The battle for the third state berth will come between Fallon, Truckee and South Tahoe.
Last season, Fallon nipped Truckee by one point to qualify for state.
“It’s a wide variety of things we do,” Thomson said. “Once a week we’ll go to Grimes Point or Rattlesnake to run hills. We work on a large variety of things to better ourselves. It’s always good when you have a team that believes.”
Overlie, meanwhile, has nabbed a pair of wins both coming in the last two weeks. Although she is in her first season on the varsity team, Overlie has been running with the program for years when her father, Mitch Overlie, was the coach.
Overlie has been a shot in the arm for the Lady Wave, giving the girls team a dominant runner who is ranked 38th in the DI-A.
“I am extremely competitive,” she said. “My times are getting better as we ease into the season. It’s really cool going to all the meets and seeing the top runners and asking how they are training.”
Like her male counterparts, though, Overlie is also chasing a Truckee runner, defending state champ Skyler Flora, who has a division-best mark of (18:14).
Like the boys, the Lady Wave are more than just Overlie. Amanda Pursley is a consistent No. 2, while Shelby Hickox, Shelby Smith and Emily Scott provide depth.
One challenge for the Lady Wave, though, is running more of a pack in order to leapfrog and reduce space between finishers.
One-two in Fernley
Thomson and Smith anchored a pair of team victories the last two weeks including last week’s Fernley Roadhill Invitational.
The boys won with 64 points edging second-place Fernley (67) in the seven-team meet.
Thomson finished second coming across the line in 18:48 and led much of the 3.1-mile course. But Silver Stage’s Brandon Perez made his move and won by 10 seconds.
Smith was fourth with a 19:02 and followed Terry White came in 19th with a mark of 20:43 followed by Mo Coverston in 21st (20:46) and Michael Anderson who placed 24th with a time of 20:59.
The Lady Wave was once again paced by Overlie, who won her second consecutive race with a time of 22:27, a season best and nine seconds ahead of Fernley’s Grace De Leon, who placed second.
Amanda Pursley was 18th (27:26) followed by Shelby Hickox in 19th (27:33), Shelby Smith in 23rd (27:53) and Emily Scott in 28th (29:23).