CHS runners set for state meet
Carson High cross country coach Pete Sinnott said his boys runners still have an even better race left in them after their dramatic finish to qualify for the NIAA 4A State Championships.
The Senator boys will need their best effort of the season if they’re going to overtake Reno High and win the state title when the state meet is held on Saturday at Boulder City’s Veterans’ Park.
Even though the state meet will be run on more of a flat, desert course unlike the Rancho San Rafael Park course used last week at the Northern 4A Championships, Carson is used to both types of courses.
“It will be good for us,” Sinnott said. “It will be fine for us. The boys are getting better and better and smarter about running.”
Last week Reno dominated the Northern 4A boys meet, winning with 38 points. Carson and Galena finished tied for second with 63 points.
The Senators won the tiebreaker when Carson’s sixth runner, David McMasters, finished ahead of Galena’s sixth runner after the results for each team’s five scoring runners was determined. McMasters’ finish allowed Carson to grab the second and final spot into state.
If Carson can somehow overtake Reno for the state title it will accomplish a double state championship as the boys team has been named as the state academic champion with a cumulative 3.79 grade point average, the highest among all the state’s 4A boys teams.
Carson will be led by Richard Shroy, who finished fourth at last week’s zone event. Shroy finished as the state runner-up last year behind Galena’s Bryan Tibaduiza and Sinnott said Shroy could have a breakout performance this week.
Sinnott said Shroy likes the Veterans’ Park course, noting that Shroy ran well in the state meet two years ago at Veterans’ Park as a freshman. Shroy has battled nagging injuries all season, but appeared to just be coming into form at zone when he covered the 3.1-mile course in a solid time of 16 minutes, 37 seconds.
But Shroy will have plenty of competition. Tibaduiza will be favored to defend his title and there’s also Elko’s Eric Sandall (second at zone), Galena’s Bryan Jordan (third at zone) and Centennial’s Nathan Williams, who finished second at state on the Veterans’ Park course as a freshman behind Shroy’s older brother, Chad Shroy.
“Richard is running a lot faster now,” Sinnott said. “He’s really peaking. All my boys are still peaking.”
Carson also received strong finishes last week from Nick Schlanger (seventh at zone), Brenth Moyle (10th) and Logan Philippi (14th) and will count them to be strong again at state. The Senators will also need strong efforts from Evan Richards, McMasters and Brandon Bournacorsi to have a chance to catch Reno.
Sinnott said on paper the state title should come down to Reno and his team, but added Centennial and Palo Verde should also be in contention. At the Stanford Invitational earlier this year, Carson barely finished ahead of Palo Verde in their division as the Senators took sixth and Palo Verde was seventh.
“I think the Southern teams are very good,” Sinnott said. “If they have a good day they’ll be there, too. They can’t be discounted.”
“It’s going to take an effort from my whole team,” said Sinnott about winning state. “We’ve improved on Reno pretty much the whole year. I think we’ve shown tremendous improvement.”
Despite its best meet of the year, Carson’s girls just missed qualifying for state finishing with 69 points behind Galena (55) and South Tahoe (64). Sinnott said his team came a long way to finish less than a minute out of first place. “My girls actually had a great day,” he said.
Carson qualified two individual runners for state in Yvonne Hollett, who finished fourth at zone, and Amanda Gordon, who took ninth. Sinnott said he expects both to finish strong at state. “They are also improving dramatically by the week,” he said.
South Tahoe’s Kelsey Smith will be favored to defend her state title, but Sinnott said Hollett could challenge Smith. “She’ll be in contention for the top spot,” he said.
In 2A boys, the Douglas County school Sierra Lutheran, which dominated the Northern 2A event, should challenge for the state title and the Falcons’ zone champion, Wade Meddles, will be a heavy favorite to win the individual state crown.