Carson boys and girls cross country teams take the finish

The Carson High girls and boys cross country teams warmed up for two of their biggest meets of the season by beating Douglas High in a dual meet on Wednesday at Western Nevada Community College.

For the second league meet in a row, the Carson girls swept the top five spots for a perfect score as they beat Douglas 15-48. The Senator boys also defeated the Tigers 22-33.

Carson will participate in the Stanford Invitational on Saturday in a meet that will feature top runners from California, Oregon and Washington. A week from Friday, the Senators will host the Carson Invitational, which should serve as a prelude to the zone championships.

Against Douglas, Shanna Sparks won the girls meet for Carson in 22 minutes, 12 seconds. She was followed by teammates Cassia Roth (23:03), Sheena Banaldi (24:24), Ali Marson (24:30) and Megan Zahnter (24:34). Monica Buccambuso was the top runner for Douglas in sixth (24:52).

Carson's Emily Johnson took seventh (25:06) and Lindsay Dorio placed eighth (25:15) for the Senators.

In the boys meet, Josh Corder won for Carson in 20:09. "Josh Corder is running exceptional," Carson coach Jason Macy said.

Also for Carson, Andrew Pederson placed second (20:33) and Brett Anderson took third (21:01). For Douglas, Mike Hackler took fourth (21:42) and Justin Nalder placed fifth (21:42).

Earlier in this season, Carson's girls placed 11th against some of the nation's best teams at the Great Race of the Great Bay. Macy said no teams that beat Carson at the event will be competing at Stanford, so he's hoping for a top 10 finish this weekend. "We've got some tough girls," Macy said.

Sparks placed in the top 10 in last year's Stanford event. "I'm hoping she can improve on that this year," Macy said. "She's running real well right now. I think the key is to have a real relaxed race and she'll run well."

Macy said the boys are hoping to use the Stanford event and Carson Invitational to make a run at state. It figures that Northern Nevada's three spots to the state meet will come down to Reno, Galena, South Tahoe and Carson.

"It will be a good look this late in the middle of the season at how everbody stands," said Macy about the Carson Invitational. "I think the boys are looking to state and hoping to clutch one of the top three spots."

Last year, Carson's boys just missed a state berth and Northern Nevada's top three teams claimed the top three spots at the state meet. "If we can get to state, we can place pretty high," Macy said.

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