Running to state
A repeat result requires an all-out run for the Fallon boys cross country team.
The Greenwave aims to qualify for the state meet for the second consecutive season when Fallon competes at today’s Northern Division I-A regional at Rancho San Rafael Park in Reno.
The top three teams qualify in addition to the top five individuals from non-qualifying teams.
“It’s going to be a very big challenge,” Fallon coach Tommy Thomson said. “Looking at the last four weeks, we’ve been beaten by Fernley twice. People don’t realize how big that fifth runner is.”
Led by junior Tristen Thomson and sophomore Ethan Smith, the Wave is anchored by a pair of tough runners backed up by Marshall Coverston, Terry White, Michael Anderson and Devyn Frederick.
“We need to work on our paces and try to get our three, four and five (runners) to run closer to us,” Thomson said. “If they can run with us it will help us pass Fernley and South Tahoe.”
The quest for another state berth, though, won’t be easy. While Elko and Spring Creek are perhaps the two best teams, Fallon is in a logjam with Truckee, South Tahoe and Fernley with Dayton nipping at the heels.
Thomson enters the regional ranked 21st in the division with a season-best time of 18:31, while Smith is 26th with a mark of 18:56, which came recently during a meet at Reed High School.
“We know were we are supposed to be this year,” Smith said. “Last year, I was just a freshman and had no idea what was going on. This year, I definetly know what is going on and how to view the situation. I know who I’m supposed to beat. I’ve just been visualizing the race.”
Coverston comes in ranked 54th (20:36) followed by White (58th, 20:43), Anderson (20:59) and Frederick (71st, 21:18)
Still, the competition is tough and led by Truckee’s Noah Oberitter, who is the No. 1 runner with a season-best 15:38. Oberitter, though, was injured for most of the season but returned to action last week.
Conditioning will be his biggest challenge for an overall title and to lead the Wolverines as a team.
Like last year, the expectation is for a close race to determine the third team. Fallon nipped Truckee by one point last season, but lost three of its best runners, two to graduation.
“Are we going to be competitive, yes; do we have a chance, yes,” Tommy Thomson said. “It’s just going to come down to who runs the best that day.”
Perhaps the biggest challenge — aside from opposing runners — will be the weather. The forecast is for a high of 63 degrees with a chance of rain or snow.
It will be the Wave’s first race in colder weather this season.
“I think we need to focus on staying warm before the race and really focusing on stretching,” Thomson said. “The more we slow down and sit around, the more our body will tense up.”
For the Lady Wave, their hopes lay with freshman standout Chloe Overlie, whoe is ranked 26th with a season-best time of 22:27.
An individual victory is unlikely as Truckee’s Skyler Flora and Gabrielle Rinne are about 3 minutes faster than the Fallon newbie.
Undeterred, the Fallon rookie is fearless on the course and shoots for at least an individual berth.
“We always pick a team who we know we need to beat,” Overlie said. “You have to stay inspired … and have to motivate yourself before the race.”
As for the team’s hopes, Truckee, Elko and Spring Creek appear to be a tough trio to overcome.
The Lady Wave, though, must rely on top performances from a combination of Jordyn Rogers (67th, 25:43), Shelby Hickox (71st, 26:15), Adia Sommer (73rd, 26:21), Shelby Smith (76th, 26:35), Amanda Pursley (77th, 26:37) and Jeanne Anderson (81st, 27:00).
“The girls, I would like to see them around fourth this year,” Tommy Thomson said. “We’ll probably be competing with Fernley for fourth.”