Lindsey Adams will try to achieve something on Saturday no other Douglas High School cross country runner has ever achieved. At the same time, she will join with her teammates in an attempt to outrun all comers at the NIAA State Cross Country Championships in Reno.
Douglas will also be represented in the Division I boys race, which is set for an 11:20 a.m. start at Rancho San Rafael Park. The Division I girls race is at 2 p.m.
The Douglas girls, coming off a victory at the Northern Region meet last week, are now looking to become the second team in school history to win at the state. The Tigers won their other girls team title in 1998.
“The girls are stoked,” Douglas coach Jay Frey said. “They really want to bring home that state championship.”
Meanwhile, Adams is bidding to become the first Douglas cross country runner to win multiple individual state titles. Adams won gold as a freshman in 2011, and now, would like to help the Tigers improve on their second-place team finish (Carson edged Douglas by a 67-77 score in 2011).
“It’s exciting,” she said. “I think our team is the strongest it’s ever been.
Adams won the regional race in a time of 19:33 that ranks No. 5 all-time in postseason competition for 5K at Rancho San Rafael Park, according to the NIAA record book. By comparison, Whitney Lindsey won the 2007 state race for Douglas in 19:42 and Adams won her regional and state races with times of 19:43 and 19:46.
One of the key factors for the Douglas girls this season has been Moriah Munyan, who transferred over the summer from Hesperia, Calif. (Sultana High School) and has been the team’s first or second runner all season. The junior placed fifth in the regional race (20:49) with a solid performance.
“Moriah ran a great race for being out there all by herself,” Frey said. “Nobody was within 25, 20 seconds of her either in front or behind, and that’s the toughest way to run.”
Madison Cote and Lizzy Byrne also cracked the top 10 with solid performances — seventh (21:09) and ninth (21:26) respectively — while Rebecca Corbett was close behind in 11th (21:29).
Meanwhile, the Douglas boys come in as the third-place finisher from the Northern Regional. Frey believes the Tigers still have a better race in them.
“The boys are capable of running a better race, ” the coach said. “I think they will, too. They’ve run well as a pack all year and now that pack is is moving up more and more.”
Austin Croxall paced the team with his eighth-place effort (17:28), while senior Lane Smith ran 17:51, freshman John Munyan 17:51, Cole Peck 18:03 and senior Brandon Pankey (18:04). Pankey, who is running at state for the third straight year, has been progressing steadily since sustaining an early-season injury.
The Tigers ran without Kaleb Morris, who has been nursing a sore knee. He could be available to run in the state race, according to Frey.
“There is a chance; if he’s healthy and ready, he will run,” Frey said. “We’ve got 10 guys who are close enough, we’re not taking a step back if any of them are out there.”