Sierra Lutheran’s Jared Marchegger wins 2nd consecutive regional cross country title
SPARKS – Sierra Lutheran’s Jared Marchegger won his second consecutive 2A-1A regional cross country title Friday afternoon at Reed High School.
Marchegger covered the 5K distance in 16 minutes, 57 seconds to lead the Falcons to a second-place finish and a spot in next Saturday’s state meet.
“I felt pretty good,” Marchegger said. “We came out on Thursday and ran the course to get a feel for it and develop strategy. I was thinking a sub-16 until I saw the 4A boys run. Going out, I just wanted to place; wanted to defend.”
Teagan Hansen, a freshman, was third overall in 17:57. Andreas Gilson, another freshman, ran 20:13 to finish 15th. Jacob Tack was 23rd in 21:10.
In the 4A boys race, Carson had five runners in the top 42, but it wasn’t enough to finish in the top three. The Senators also failed in their attempt to send an individual runner to state.
Hunter Rauh was in the top 15 after the first mile, and he ended up being Carson’s top runner by placing 22nd in 18:01. Ethan Byasse was 29th in 18:18, Zach Sever was 31st in 18:21, Jayson Legott was 39th in 18:43 and Parker Lehmann was 42nd in 18:52.
“I felt good,” Rauh said. “The competition was so hard. I was trying to stay in the front (pack). I was working on staying strong the last mile and pushing it. I picked off two runners (late in the race).”
“The boys ran a pretty good race,” Carson coach Pete Sinnott said. “They lost too much contact (with the other runners) at the beginning. Hunter did a good job, and Ethan was very good. Almost every boy returns, and we need them to take one minute off their times; go from 17s to 16s for us to be competitive.”
Douglas’ Sean Dunkleman managed to place eighth overall, which was enough to move on. He was timed in 17:30.
Dayton’s Jason Logan placed 28th in the 3A race, covering the 5K in 19:15. Madsen Evans was 31st in 19:22, Tyler Logan was 35th in 20:01 and Logan Allander was 49th in 21:41.
Jackson qualifies for state
Carson’s Rheanna Jackson qualified for next week’s state meet by placing seventh in 20:55.
Jackson was third behind eventual winner Penelope Smerdon (19:37) and Alexis Melendrez (19:47) at the mile mark. Jackson was eventually edged out for sixth by McQueen’s Imogen Olvera. She got the last individual qualifying spot.
“I went out too fast,” said Jackson, who has been bothered by shin splints. “That’s what I usually do and just try to maintain. I could feel it at the end. I heard her (Olvera) coming.”
Jackson was out on her feet at the end of the race.
The Carson standout credits a change in philosophy for her performance this year.
“I didn’t think running in the summer was important,” she said. “This summer, I ran every single day, and it made a big difference.”
Sosa was 10th in 21:17, barely missing state. She was unable to stick around and celebrate her good performance. She left moments after finishing to attend band practice. Gabriella Fernandez was 14th in 21:33, Ava Covington was 45th in 23:52 and Chloe Hataway was 49th in 24:23.
Simply put, Carson didn’t have quite enough depth, though the Senators finished fourth as a team.
“I expected us to finish at least seventh because that’s where we were (ranked) before the race,” Jackson said.
“The girls ran really well,” Sinnott said. “We had three in the top 15, and we ran without two good runners. Overall, it was a great day. Blanca did a great job. I was glad to see Rheanna make it. She has worked so hard all year.”
In the 1A-2A race, Sierra Lutheran’s Emily McNeely finished first in 21:30, and teammate Taylor Davison was ninth in 24:23. Both will be at state this weekend.
Historically, the Falcons are usually loaded with talent, but they were decimated by graduation. The numbers are down this year in both the boys and girls programs.