Carson, Douglas, Sierra Lutheran and Dayton to all send runners to state | NevadaAppeal.com

Carson, Douglas, Sierra Lutheran and Dayton to all send runners to state

Falcons net regional champ and qualify entire girls team

By Carter Eckl ceckl@nevadaappeal.com

RENO – Carson, Douglas, Dayton and Sierra Lutheran will all have runners striving for the best possible outcome next week at the NIAA State Cross Country Meet at Rancho San Rafael Park after qualifying through Northern Regionals Saturday.

For Carson and Douglas runners, it’ll mark their third week in a row running at the same location. Next week’s course is expected to have a similar layout to Saturday, giving athletes a chance to game plan and strategize for the state meet.

For the Senators, two runners qualified for the state meet as individuals.

Both Hannah Kaiser and Zachary Sever posted finishes strong enough to continue their cross country season one more week.

Kaiser and Sever were both seventh in their respective girls and boys races, earning them each a medal.

“I’m so honored to be able to compete at state again. I was lucky enough to go last year and I am so excited to be able to represent Northern Nevada again as a senior,” said Kaiser. “I didn’t start running until I was a junior, but it’s been one of the most formative experiences of my high school career.”

As a team, the Carson girls finished fifth with 118 points, outside of a top three spot needed to advance the entire team to the state meet. Reno took home the girls regional title with 42 points.

The Senators boys were the last meet of the day, taking seventh with 174 team points. Reed was the boys Northern Region team champion with 42 points.

Douglas advances three to state

The Tigers saw two of their boys runners qualify for the state meet Saturday and one girls runner.

Matthew Kruse and Cameron Battcher put together performances good enough to qualify as individuals with 10th and 15th place finishes, respectively.

Battcher credited his work in the offseason to his success in meets this year.

“Quite a bit. Running with the faster guys, I was probably the seventh guy,” said Battcher. “(I) Kept working, running with them and got stronger.”

“I’m hoping to run a 17:15, if not a little faster.”

The Douglas boys missed qualifying for the state meet by one spot, finishing fourth with 95 team points. Spanish Springs was third with 78.

The Tiger girls will be represented by Zoe Brown in Reno next Saturday.

Brown put together a time of 21:50 to clinch a spot at the state meet as an individual.

Douglas was sixth as a unit in the girls race, completing the event with 160 team points.

Sierra Lutheran nets a regional champ, girls headed to state

It won’t be a day quick to forget for many members of the Sierra Lutheran cross country team.

Teagan Hansen took home the 1A/2A Northern Regional title with a time of 16:58 Saturday afternoon, besting second place by 10 seconds.

It was easily enough to earn Hansen his third trip to the state meet, this time in his final season as a senior.

“Just to win and have fun,” said Hansen of his goals next Saturday. “I’m not looking for any specific time.”

Hansen added that he had an idea of how he wanted to run the race coming into regionals, but thinks he will need to make some adjustments prior to next week.

“I had a gameplan coming into this and it didn’t work quite as I had hoped so I’m going to tweak some stuff,” said Hansen.

Hansen was second last year at the state meet, finishing behind teammate Jared Marchegger, who now runs at the University of Nevada.

His teammate Andreas Gilson will be running alongside him at the state meet next Saturday after also qualifying as an individual in 18:52.

The Falcons as a squad missed a top three qualifying spot by four team points, finishing behind Silver Stage – which had 58.

On the other hand, the Falcon girls runners will all get a shot to compete in the state meet after taking second as a team with 53 team points.

North Tahoe won the regional meet as a team with 10 team points, including the first four finishers of the 1A/2A race.

For head coach Billy McHenry, watching his team made up of entirely underclassmen qualify for state was a dream come true.

“Incredible. Super proud of them,” said McHenry. “Ava (Zimmerman) super overachieved and Kailey Fitzpatrick was 10th. Just a great day. They overcame their rookie cross country coach.

“I told them all week they had a legitimate shot. … I don’t think they really believed me.”

Zimmerman was seventh for the Falcons while Christi Kennedy and Sierra Carranza were 27th and 28th, respectively, for the Falcons.

Dayton’s Logan advances to the state meet

For the second time in as many years Dayton’s Tyler Logan will be running in the state meet after crossing the line in seventh in 18:03.

For Logan the opportunity at another state meet was one he was looking for to finish off his junior year.

“I’m just happy I was able to make it again,” said Logan. “There’s a big hill and I was able to power up that. So I need to make sure I use the hills to my advantage.”

UP NEXT: All qualifiers will run at Rancho San Rafael Park Saturday, Nov. 9. The class 3A girls race will be the first race run, starting at 10 a.m.