Christy Works and Chad Shroy both cracked the top 20 and ran personal best times in their respective races to provide highlights for the Carson High School cross country team during the 32nd annual Stanford Invitational on Saturday in Palo Alto, Calif.
Works completed the 5-kilometer layout at Stanford Golf Course in a time of 20 minutes, 1 second to finish 16th in a field of 194 runners and led Carson to seventh-place as a team in the Division I "unseeded" varsity girls race. And Shroy finished 19th out of 277 runners to help Carson finish 21st as a team in the Division I unseeded boys race.
The Senators took advantage of the chance to run at sea level to set 13 personal records, according to coach Dennis Brinson. He added that the Senators gained valuable experience from competing in a meet that attracted teams from California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii and New Zealand. More than 3,000 college and high school runners participated in the meet.
"Stanford is such an excellent experience for the team," Brinson said. "They get to run in a big-time race in a very large field of runners at a beautiful venue. I believe it significantly changes them for the better."
In addition to Works, Gloria Sosa finished 47th (21:14), Annie Brinson 52nd (21:18), Kristin Dockery 70th (22:00) and Hannah Riedl 73rd (22:04) to round out the team scoring for Carson's girls. Jenny Mital also finished 85th (22:27) and Megan Myer 88th (22:30). Sosa improved her time by 31 seconds from last year's Stanford Invitational.
The Senators finished seventh as a team with 259 points in a division that was won by Our Lady of Lourdes (Miami, Fla.) with 129 points.
To show the strength of the Northern 4A, South Tahoe finished fourth in the high-powered "seeded" girls race and fourth in the combined girls scoring (won by nationally ranked Buchanan of Clovis, Calif.) and freshman Kylie Noll finished 11th with a time of 18:39. And Reno's Mel Lawrence ran to first-place in the Division II girls race with a time of 17:26 that was the fastest of the day among all high school girls. Reno finished third as a team in Division II. Coming into the weekend, South Tahoe's girls were listed No. 4 and Reno No. 5 in the Nike Team Nationals Southwest Region rankings.
Shroy improved his Stanford time by 67 seconds as he ran 16:48.
Ethan Graber finished 93rd (18:15), Caleb Carter 123rd (18:33), Rusty Turner 147th (18:49), Zack Mapes 197th (19:27), Mark Neddenriep 224th (19:55) and Tyler Davies 227th (19:58) for the Senators. Carter's time marked an improvement of 48 seconds from last year.
Brinson was pleased with the performances in both races.
"As a team, the girls averaged 21:20, which is a 6:52-mile pace on a tough, very hilly course," said the coach, whose squad competes at the South Tahoe Optimist Relays this coming Friday. "The boys also had an awesome effort, averaging 18:23.
"A race of this magnitude pushes them beyond what they feel they are capable of. They all gave it everything they had on this race and what else could a coach ask for?"