It’s “peak” time for the Douglas High School cross country program.
The Tigers’ girls and boys are both looking to contend for honors on Saturday when the NIAA Northern Region Cross Country Championships are held at Rancho San Rafael Park in Reno. The Division I boys race is scheduled to start at 11:20 a.m. and the Division I girls race at 2 p.m.
The Douglas girls figure to be part of a three-way chase for the Division I girls team title, while the boys are bidding for a top-three finish that would earn an invitation to the state championships next week.
The top three teams and five individuals from non-qualifying teams qualify for the state meet, which will also be held at Rancho San Rafael Park. Needless to say, these are the two weeks the Tigers have worked toward since the preseason summer workouts to achieve their peak performances.
“The team seems pretty calm and confident heading into what we expect to be their best races of the season,” Douglas coach Jay Frey noted. “They’ve put more into this season than any other team we’ve had, and it’s showing with the times they’ve been dropping. There’s a lot of heart on this team and a lot of fight in them to grab hold of something they’ve had their eyes on for months.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun these next 10 days, we’re looking forward to showing what Douglas Cross Country can do.”
The Douglas girls have not been beaten by any Nevada Division I team this season, however, Galena and Carson present formidable challenges.
“Both teams ran well at the League meet, and they got a clearer picture of what they need to do to reach their season goals,” Frey said. “The boys have always run with a close pack from Nos. 1 through 7, and our girls have really gotten used to running with each other more and tightened up their pack. The density of those packs are what’s going to bring success to the team.”
Lindsey Adams is also looking to recapture the regional individual title she captured as a freshman in 2011 (she played soccer during the 2012 season). She will face a difficult challenge from Reno freshman Kyra Hunsberger, who has clocked a season best time of 18:12 for 5 kilometers this season. Another Douglas junior, Moriah Munyan, also figures to compete with the front-runners.
On the boys side, Galena is the three-time defending region champion, while Douglas and McQueen appear to be the top challengers based on performances from the Sierra and High Desert League meets held last week at Rancho San Rafael Park.
“With the boys, Galena is going to be tough; McQueen is strong also, and we’re not counting out Reno, Spanish Springs, or Carson,” Frey said.
Junior Austin Croxall and freshman John Munyan led the Tigers to a second-place team finish last week at the Sierra League meet. Croxall placed fourth with a time of 18:06 for 5 kilometers and Munyan placed fifth in 18:07.
Note: The regional cross country meet is presented by Les Schwab Tire Centers and the Northern Sierra Endurance Training team.