Carson boys, girls sweep state cross-country titles
RENO — The Carson boys’ cross-country team didn’t need any more pressure. It was already fighting history having not won a state title since a string of three consecutive from 1989-91 and its lead runner, Richard Shroy, was trying to match his brother who had won an individual title just three years ago.
But the added pressure came from its own classmates: the girls’ team. The Carson girls put on a dominating display by overcoming a huge deficit just last week in the regionals to clinch a team state title Saturday at Rancho San Rafael Park.
It took every last stride that was left in the boys’ team, but the Senators matched the girls’ feat by edging Centennial of Las Vegas and added one more caveat: an individual state title for Shroy.
“I took it over with about maybe a quarter-mile left,” said Shroy, who edged Galena runner Bryan Jordan by less than five second on a full-out sprint down the final stretch. “I thought it was going to be close. I was hoping it would be like last week, separate a little. But you can’t get everything you want.”
The girls scored a 58, outpacing second-place Arbor View with 83 points and overcoming more than a 2-minute deficit to South Tahoe just the week before in the Northern 4A regionals at the same venue. The win was also the second-consecutive for the girls.
The boys won by a 49-56 margin and by only 1:09.34 overall.
By winning both the girls and the boys title, Carson becomes the first school since Reno in 2006 to sweep. The Senators accomplished the same feat the last time it won a state title in 1991.
“Forty years ago I went to Carson High School,” Carson coach Pete Sinnott said. “We went to the state meet when I was a senior. We had a really good team and one of the boys on our team had a pulled hamstring and so we didn’t win the state championship, we lost by a couple points. We had a great team, a great race and I had a great coach named Bob Burns. My goal was that if we ever won state, I would dedicate this to him because he never won the state meet.”
Carson’s Katie McFarren continued her rivalry against South Tahoe’s Kelsey Smith. McFarren lost by 27 seconds to Smith last week in the regionals. Smith, though, didn’t give McFarren a chance to close the gap as she ran by herself for much of the final two laps and sprinted in for a time of 18:58.23, almost two seconds better than her record-setting regional time. The win gave Smith her third-consecutive individual state title. McFarren finished in 19:31.93.
“She’s so fast,” McFarren said of Smith. “She’s a great runner though. She’s always going to be a goal for me if I run against her in the summer or anytime. It’s great having her out there. I’ve been trying to catch her the whole season and I’ve gotten closer every race.”
Amanda Gordon (20:23.24) came in tenth, Amber Karnofel (20:58.32) was 14th, Yvonne Hollett (21:12.19) was 18th and Erica Sosa rounded out Carson’s top five in 43rd (22:05.37).
Winning a state title was even more important for Shroy because it meant he tied his brother, Chad Shroy who won in 2006. While his mom Jeanne Stelzer, who is also the assistant coach, was hesitant to say who would in a race between the two now, Richard was pretty sure of himself.
“I think I would beat him,” Shroy said.
The win comes one year after Shroy finished third in state.
“Richard had a mission since he was a freshman and he kept the effort up with training in the winter and lifting weights,” Sinnott said. “He came through and followed with what his goals were. He’s a great role model for any kid right now.”
Rounding out the top five for Carson were Nick Schlager (17:05.46) in seventh, Brent Moyle (17:12.21) in ninth, Logan Philippi (17:28.54) in 16th and Evan Richards (18:10.32) in 36th.
“We had four boys that were running really good and our fifth boy had a great day,” Sinnott said. “The clock doesn’t stop until the fifth guy comes through. Evan Richards ran his heart out today to get us in there. He’s essential to this team, you know you’ve got this one boy who’s back a little farther than everyone else. In track and field you’ve got the anchor man, who’s the fastest guy/ In cross country running, one of the most important guys is your fifth guy. So he has to run good.”