Carson girls second, qualify for state meet
RENO — Out of respect for injured teammate Alex Drozdoff, members of the Carson High girls cross country team wrote “I run for Alex” on their legs, and then they went out and qualified for next week’s NIAA State Championships.
Led by Eveline Delgado (3rd), Cindy Juchtzer (8th) and Shelby Brown (13th), the Senators finished second to rival Douglas at Saturday’s Division I regional race at Rancho San Rafael Park. Douglas, led by winner Lindsey Adams, finished first with 33 points. Carson took second with 67 and Galena nabbed the third state-qualifying spot with 90 points.
The state meet is Saturday, also at Rancho San Rafael Park.
“Every girl ran a little bit better than they did last week,” said CHS coach Pete Sinnott. “First through sixth they all moved up against people they ran against last week. To beat Galena without one of our best runners is great. Hopefully we’ll get Alex back next week, and with her we have a chance to win state.”
Drozdoff, who watched the race in street clothes minus her tattered Red Sox hat, was touched by the display of support from her teammates. She tried to jog before the race, but was in too much pain. She has a bruised foot, and is hopeful of returning next week.
“It was tough (not to run),” Drozdoff said. “I’m so proud of the girls. They ran an amazing race. It made me cry when I saw what they wrote on their legs.”
It was truly a team effort. All five Carson scorers finished in the top 26, and Delgado nabbed third for the second straight year.
“It was a pretty good run,” said Delgado, a sophomore, who covered the 5K in 20:01. “Michelle (Cooper) from McQueen was keeping up with me. I was nervous that we wouldn’t make it without Alex. I’m hoping we’ll get Douglas next week.”
Delgado was right with Adams and Reno’s Kyra Hunsberger through the first mile, but eventually dropped back as Adams and Hunsberger widened their advantage over the field. Adams won easily, clocking a 19:33. It was her second win in two regional events. She won as a freshman and then switched to soccer for her sophomore season.
Sinnott had no doubts with regards to Delgado. All week long, he predicted his young standout would be in the top five. Juchtzer ran 21:18. Brown ran 21:31, Athena Favero ran 22:11 and Alison Greene ran 22:31. Jiavanna Wong-Fortunato and Lauren Weddell had non-scoring times of 23:34 and 25:12, respectively.
“Cindy ended up making all-league and Shelby Brown really competed,” Sinnott said. “She said she was ready to go out and compete, and she was.”
Besides Adams, Douglas was led by Moriah Munyan (5th, 20:49), Madison Cote (7th, 21:09), Lizzy Byrne (9th, 21:26) and Maria Munoz (20th, 22:05).
The news wasn’t so good for the Carson boys, who finished seventh as a team. Galena won with 48 points followed by McQueen with 61 and Douglas with 88.
Senior Anthony Cacioppo was 12th overall in 17:39, missing out by four seconds of qualifying for next week’s state event. He was the sixth individual finisher.
“Anthony had a good race,” Sinnott said. “There were just too many guys between Anthony and the rest of our runners. Tylar (Chester) ran well (30th, 18:17). Ian VanRensselaer ran a great race (39th, 18:45) and so did Wyatt Cartier (35th, 18:31).”
The Douglas boys were led by Austin Croxall (8th, 17:28), Lane Smith (17th, 17:51), John Munyan (19th, 17:51), Cole Peck (21st, 18:03) and Brandon Pankey (23rd, 18:04).
Dayton’s Elissa takes 3rd
Dayton High’s Aaron Elissa, who finished sixth a year ago, ran a 17:22 to finish third behind Daniel Sallee of Spring Creek (17:04) and Truckee’s Noah Oberritter (17:09).
Elissa was 10th early in the race, but made a move on the downhill portion of the course in the latter stages of the race. Elissa improved his time from last year by approximately 30 seconds.
“I went out a little slow,” Elissa said. “I knew I had to make the move when I did to get into the top three. This was a good course.”
Elissa would like to improve on last year’s 10th-place finish at state, and he knows he’ll have to improve his time.
“I’d like to go low 17s or be around 16:50,” Elissa said. “I think I can do it.”
Dayton finished sixth as a team. J.J. Ply was 25th in 18:59, Nick Langstaff was 29th in 19:09, Oakley Workman was 40th in 19:57,Toby Tapley was 42nd in 20:01 and Thomas Liddle was 43rd in 20:31.
“It was about what I expected,” DHS coach Shawn Anderson said. “There were no big surprises.”
On the girls’ side, Hanna Elissa was 26th overall in 23:14. She missed moving on to state by three places and 20 seconds. Fernley’s Grace DeLeon finished 23rd overall in 22:54.