Galena High School seniors Dan Geib and Alyssa Abbott are striding toward a cross country season in which they hope to rank among the best prep male and female runners in Nevada.
On Sunday, they were No. 1 in their respective divisions during the 29th annual Silver State Marathon, as Geib emerged as the overall half-marathon winner and Abbott as the women's 10K winners at Bowers Mansion Regional Park. Both got in good tune-ups before the start of their fall cross country season as Geib ran the 13.1-mile half marathon route in a time of 1 hour, 15 minutes, 11 seconds while Abbott finished her first 10K in 43:56.
The overall marathon winner was Yevgeniy Gorkov of Moscow, who completed the lap around Washoe Valley on a hot morning in 3:06:06 to win by a margin of nine seconds over Michael Mahurin from Culver City, Calif. Karen Thernka of Rocklin, Calif., was the first woman and 21st overall finisher in 3:46:56. The top Carson City finisher in the marathon was Bob Petty, who finished 15th overall in 3:36:10.
A total of 719 runners and walkers participated in the Silver State Marathon races and 250 volunteers were on hand to help put on all the activities, according to race director Lon Monroe of the Silver State Striders.
Geib, who was getting ready to play freshman football for Galena at this time three years ago, won the Silver State half marathon for the second year in a row and he was more than one minute faster in the process. Not bad considering he went on to finish second at the Northern 4A regional and state cross country meets and then finished as a state champion for 3,200 meters during the spring track season. His 14:47.43 for 5,000 meters on the track also ranked among the best among high school runners in the nation.
Having put in between 70 to 75 miles per week over the summer, Geib has some more lofty goals set for the coming fall season.
"I want to try to get to Foot Locker Nationals, that's something I've been working for, and I want to try and win the state championship, but that really depends on who else is out there and how they're running," Geib said. "Joe Parker (of Reno High, the defending state cross country champion) was injured during track, but I understand he's back running again and I'm glad to hear that. If it wasn't for guys like Joe and my teammates who push me along everyday in practice, I wouldn't be able to run the fast times I want."
Abbott should also be a force to reckon with this fall, though Reno's Mel Lawrence returns as the state champion.
"Today was her first 10K ever, so she's in good shape," Galena coach Domingo Tibaduiza said. "This is the strongest she's ever been, distance-wise. I think she's going to give Mel a run for her money."
Ron Tibaduiza of Reno finished as the overall 10K winner in 32:31. Douglas High graduate Dan Sipko, who ran as a freshman for an Eastern Oregon University team that qualified for the NAIA nationals last year, finished second in 35:30 and Carson City's Agustine Arroy was third in 36:12.
After Geib, Jeff Mann of Reno finished second overall in the half marathon with a time of 1:20:55. Mary Coordt of Elk Grove, Calif., a two-time women's U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon qualifier, was third overall and first among the women in 1:24:34.
In the 10K walk, five of the top 10 finishers were Carson City residents, led by Bill Penner's overall winning time of 58:49. Jon Price of Reno finished second (1:05:35), followed by Michael Solinger of Carson City (1:06:03). Fallon's Starr Friedenthal was fourth overall and first woman (1:10:56), Sherry Forrette of Carson City was sixth overall (1:13:15), Diane Solinger eighth (1:16:44) and Cy Ryan in 10th (1:17:55).
This marked the fourth year in a row Penner has been the overall winner of the Silver State 10K walk - and he was the runner-up in 2001 behind two-time U.S. Olympic racewalker Victoria Herazo. The time on Sunday was two minutes slower than his personal record for the course, but it still averaged out to 9:28 per mile, and he has some big races coming up at the end of this year.
"I was happy with today. I felt light and I felt good," Penner said.
"I'm going to be increasing my mileage because Jon (Price) and I are going to walk the Portland Marathon (on Oct. 9). When that comes around, I'm going to be in even better shape," he said, adding that his goal is to finish in 4:41.
Penner's time on Sunday also put him on track to achieve his goal to dip under 1:55 when the Pacific Association 20K Racewalking Championships are held in Oakland next month.
n Contact Dave Price at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 881-1220.