Galena boys run away with title
It takes five runners to field a championship cross country team. The Galena High School boys showed that Friday afternoon when they turned in a dominating performance to win the team championship at the Carson Invitational.
The Grizzlies packed in their top five 69 seconds apart and took five of the top eight places to outrun rival Reno by a 27-42 margin in the varsity boys race at Western Nevada Community College.
Galena, the defending state 4A champion, lost to Reno at the Nevada Union Invitational two weeks ago in Grass Valley, Calif., then turned in an impressive performance last weekend at the prestigious Stanford Invitational, where the Grizzlies finished second in Division II behind California power Jesuit. The Grizzlies didn’t have to settle for second behind anyone this time.
“The boys are coming around just in time. Everybody is healthy now and that is making a difference,” Galena coach Domingo Tibaduiza said. “And it’s only going to get better. We’ve got the five and actually our six and seven weren’t far behind today. We’re looking like a team now.”
Reno’s Jonathan Cardenas won the race for the second year in a row, as the junior ran a record time of 17 minutes, 30 seconds over the hilly and sandy 5,000-meter (3.1 miles) course. Stephen Pottey was second in 17:46 for Galena, followed by teammates Geoff Casazza in fourth (18:29), Raul Tibaduiza sixth (18:42), Chase Correia seventh (18:50) and J. Micah Parker eighth (18:55). Correia’s best finish of the season made a difference for the Grizzlies.
“This was by far his best race,” coach Tibaduiza said. “I’m really happy for him. He was our one question mark at the beginning of the year, but Chase is going to be strong.”
Carson finished fourth as a team with 148 points, led by Josh Corder’s 10th place run of 19:08. Andrew Pederson finished 18th (19:29), Tyler Hines 36th (20:53), Doug Burton 37th (20:54) and Doug Holderman 39th (20:58) to round out the scoring for the Senators. Ryan Turner also ran a non-scoring time of 21:00.
“We’ve been running pretty consistent, we just have to start running better now with the big races coming up,” Carson coach Todd Ackerman said. “We’re trying to get healthy, get in shape and be ready to run in three weeks (Northern 4A Regionals). That’s when it counts.”
The Douglas boys finished ninth as a team with 255 points, led by Daniel Sipko in 28th (20:11).
Meanwhile, Reno ran away with the girls team title as the Huskies took four of the top seven places to post a score of 34 points. Carson, running without senior star Shanna Sparks, finished a distant second with 79 points while Galena was third with 90.
Reno’s Collier Lawrence shot into the lead from the start and never looked back to defend her meet title. The junior ran 20:24 to outdistance Michelle Gallagher of Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco), who was second in 20:50.
Sheena Bonaldi ran 22:40 to finish ninth and freshman Annie Brinson 22:45 for 10th to lead the Senators.
Tiffany Halen finished 17th (23:58), Janine Stone 18th (24:01), Patty Capistrant 25th (24:18) and Kristi Neddenriep 26th (24:28) to round out Carson’s scoring.
Halen, a freshman who began the season as the team’s No. 6 runner, procided a highlight as she moved up to run No. 3 in this race.
“Tiffany keeps getting better,” Carson girls coach Penny Sparks said. “I always knew she could be one of our top five. She is aggressive. She goes out with Sheena and Annie and she’s been paying for it at the end of the races, but she keeps getting closer and closer.”
Galena was led by Chantel Williams, who finished sixth (22:06).
Douglas finished ninth with 204 points, led by top 10 performances from Taryn Joyce-Mendive and Monica Bucambusso. Joyce-Mendive finished fifth (22:00) and Bucambusso eighth (22:28).
Jessi Clemmensen ran 26:24 to finish seventh in the J.V. girls race and freshman Sam Saunders was eighth in the J.V. boys race in 21:26.