Carson girls advance to state
RENO – By the barest of margins, and running without its top runner, Carson High’s cross-country girls’ team won the 4A championship at Friday’s NIAA regional meet at Rancho San Rafael Park.
Carson, which ran without April Shonnard, finished with 74 points to edge out Galena (76) and Douglas (79). Damonte Ranch was fourth with 89 and McQueen was fifth at 90. The top three teams and the top five individuals on non-advancing teams advance to next Saturday’s state meet.
“To win here without April is huge,” Carson coach Pete Sinnott said. “Without her we knew it was going to be close between us, Galena, Douglas and McQueen. This was one of the top performances in the last 10 years for our team.”
Alex Drozdoff picked up the slack in Shonnard’s absence, finishing second to Douglas’ Lindsey Adams. Adams ran a 19:43 and Drozdoff was timed in 20:10.
“I felt pretty good,” said Drozdoff, who wore her beat-up Boston Red Sox hat. “I was faster today than I was last week here. The girl from Douglas (Adams) ran an amazing race. Shelby (Brown) did a great job.
“I like this course (layout) better. That hill is pretty tough. There’s isn’t really a downhill to it. I slowed down around the hill. I was tired.”
Sinnott said that Drozdoff focused more when it was apparent that Shonnard wasn’t going to run.
“Alex ran a great race,” Sinnott said. “She trained really hard this week. This is another meet that can make her stronger.”
Cindy Juchtzer was seventh in 20:37, Erika Sosa was 18th in 21:43, Mallory Wilson was 24th in 22:07 and Shelby Brown was 26th in 22:14. Chelsea Gordon was a non-scoring 27th in 22:14 and Avery Hudak was a non-scoring 47th in 23:39.
“I ran all right,” said Juchtzer. “I need to work on running hills. I wasn’t expecting us to win. It was important for us to get to state so April could have her last race.”
Douglas’ Adams is one of the hottest runners in the state. She was among the leaders throughout the race and overtook Drozdoff on the second loop of the 3.1-mile layout and won easily.
“My coaches were telling me to hang with the leaders,” Adams said. “I made sure I stayed with them.
“I knew the course from running nationals here a couple years ago. My big strength is the hills. If someone had been with me I could have turned it on a little.”
Grabow takes second
Sierra Lutheran placed third with 80 points thanks to Becky Grabow’s second-place finish.
Incline won the team title with 27 points, far ahead of Sage Ridge (66), Sierra Lutheran (80) and Wells (115).
Grabow trailed Incline’s Katie Cochran throughout the race and finished 19 seconds behind.
“I wasn’t running for time as much as I was for place,” Grabow said. “Katie did a real nice job. I was trying as hard as I could, but it just didn’t happen.
“It was a different course. There are more hills on this course, and I’m usually a good hill runner.”
Sierra Lutheran’s next finisher was Erin Henry, who was ninth in 22:23. Sierra Stulac took 16th in 24:06, Abby Williams was 26th in 26:33 and Alesha Martinez was 27th in 26:34.
Virginia City’s Tobi Steele was 10th in 22:31 and Heather Redman was 25th in 26:17.
Dayton’s Katrina Breithaupt finished fourth in 20:34 and will advance to state. Having run the course once, she said she will be better prepared to run the course again next week.
“I was hoping to get to 20 minutes,” said Breithaupt as she accepted congratulations from friends and family. “It’s pretty close.
“I’ll know where to push myself and where to pace myself.”
Breithaupt’s teammate Kaia Galloway was Dayton’s only other runner, and she finished 40th in 27 minutes.
Elko won the 3A title with 30 followed by South Tahoe (44), Spring Creek (102) and Lowry (103).