Senators running to Vegas |

Senators running to Vegas

Dave Price
Sierra Nevada Media Group

RENO – It seems the Carson High boys cross country team has discovered a pre-race ritual that pays off at the Northern 4A Regional Championships.

And now, coach Pete Sinnott has to follow the lead.

When the Carson runners shaved their heads during a pre-race spaghetti feed on Wednesday, Sinnott promised to do the same if they qualified for the state championships. The Senators responded with a stunning performance on Thursday afternoon in which they edged past rival Galena to capture second-place as a team on a sunny and cool afternoon at Rancho San Rafael Park.

Reno captured the team title with 33 points, while Carson edged Galena 61-62 to nail down the second and final qualifying berth to the state meet next week in Las Vegas.

“I will fulfill my contract. I’m going to do it,” Sinnott said with a chuckle, adding that his head will be shaved Monday after practice.

He won’t mind. This performance by the Senators was well worth it.

“The boys ran great, all of them did,” Sinnott said.

Senior Chad Shroy, who earlier this week signed to attend the Naval Academy, paced the Senators as he ran to second-place in a time of 16 minutes, 44 seconds on the hill-lined 5,000-meter course. Younger brother Richard Shroy, a freshman, wasn’t far behind with a fifth-place effort of 17:03.

Ethan Graber finished 18th (18:07), Zack Mapes 21st (18:16) and Caleb Carter 23rd (18:30) to round out the team scoring. Nick Schlager also finished 30th (18:57) and Andrew Stevenson 32nd (19:03) for Carson.

Meanwhile, Carson’s girls nearly pulled off a similar surprise, but wound up with a third-place finish in their race. Reno captured its fifth straight regional girls team title, edging South Tahoe, 52-57. Carson had six runners crack the top 25 and finished with 69 points.

“We were underdogs all season long. Reno and South Tahoe have been two of the top teams in the Western United States all year and we almost got them,” Sinnott said. “I was proud of all them.”

Three Carson girls earned individual invitations to the state meet: Yvonne Hollett, a freshman, was seventh (20:32), Christy Works 10th (20:43) and Gloria Sosa 11th (20:47). The state meet will be held next Saturday at Veterans Memorial Park in Boulder City.

Kristin Dockery finished 24th (22:19) and Megan Meyer 25th (22:21) to round out Carson’s team scoring. Yvette Hollett was close behind in 28th (22:28) and Jenny Mital 33rd (22:50) for Carson.

Reno’s Marie Lawrence ran a course record 18:09 to capture her third straight regional meet gold medal.

Chad Shroy trailed only Reno’s Walter Juarez, who won in a course record time of 16:30.

“It was good competition,” said Juarez, who transferred to Reno from Hermiston, Ore., over the summer. “I knew (Shroy) was back there. I could hear people calling his name. Normally, I don’t like to look back in a race, but I looked back a few times to see where he was.”

Juarez surged to an early lead and Shroy settled in right behind, passing the first mile mark in 5:15.

“It was good to have him out there taking it out. I used Water to try and break away from everybody else,” Shroy said. “I was very happy with my race … happy to be one of the few runners on this course who have broken 17 minutes.”

Not as happy as he was to see the Senators punch their ticket to state.

“This is really exciting,” Shroy said. “It means a lot to me for my senior year. We made it last year, but this year was really something special.”

Last year, four teams qualified for state and Carson grabbed the fourth spot. This year, only two teams made it.

“I felt bad for Galena because they have a great team and great coach (Domingo Tibaduiza),” Sinnott said. “We had a great battle and it will probably be even better next year.”