A combination of strength, grit and speed helped the Douglas High cross country team swept championship honors in both the varsity girls and boys divisions at Whittell High School's Warrior Warpath Invitational on Friday at lake Tahoe.
Whitney Lindsey cruised to victory in the girls race to pace the Douglas girls, who outdistanced Lassen by a 25-75 margin for the championship in their division. Meanwhile, Derrik Jenkins won the boys race as the Tigers scored 28 points to run away from Dayton (65) and Whittell (79) for the title. A total of 12 schools participated in the meet.
Jenkins ran a time 19 minutes, 50 seconds to win the 5-kilometer (3.1 miles) boys race. And Lindsey ran 21:01 - a time that would have placed eighth in the boys race - in a race on a hilly and challenging Whittell course in which runners ran back and forth through a knee-high creek.
"This course has its reputation," said Whittell coach Lindsay Wines, who has seen competitors finish without one or both shoes. "Some kids had their shoes taped to their feet. They were wet the first 800 meters of the course and had to go the whole race with sopping-wet shoes and socks."
Jenkins outran a close pack to the finish in the boys race. Douglas teammate Seth White was just eight seconds behind as he finished a close fourth in 19:58.
"Derrik Jenkins really ran great today," Douglas coach Keith Cole said. "He was on the hip of the Dayton runner for the vast majority of the race and finally pushed past him with less than 20 meters to go. That really shows smart racing by Derrik ... being patient and letting the race develop as he wanted it to."
David Williams placed sixth (20:52), Corey Trujillo seventh (21:06) and Brad Boyd 10th (21:20) to put all five of the Tigers' five scoring runners in the top 10. Scott Lococo also ran 21:43 and Pat Thielen 23:05 for Douglas.
"I was also very impressed by Corey Trujillo, Brad Boyd and Scott Lococo," Cole said. "It is going to be these guys who are going to surprise other teams with how strong they are."
In the girls race, Taylor Biaggi captured second-place behind Lindsey and clocked in at 23:05.
"Whitney and Taylor both had real solid runs," Cole said of the Tigers' 1-2 finishers. "Once again, Whitney dominated the field and showed why she is a state qualifier two years in a row. Taylor had a tremendous race as well ... patient and methodical down the stretch of the race."
Cassie Hood also ran 25:50, Sarah Allen 26:27, Amanda Boyd 26:37, Michelle Lampson 28:03 and Amber Emerson 28:54 to round out the Douglas team effort.
"I was particularly impressed by Amanda Boyd's run," Cole said. "This is her first real year racing as she was hurt much of last season. I knew that she had it in her to be a solid member of the varsity team and she really showed that today."
Overall, the coach was pleased with the team performances in the girls and boys races.
"Really a nice job by the teams today," he said. "This is a big momentum builder for us as we head into a series of conference meets that will determine our team qualification for the regional meet (to be held at the end of October)."
The Tigers will face Whittell, Damonte Ranch and traditional Northern 4A power South Tahoe in the first of those meets Wednesday. The meet is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. at Kahle Park.
-- Tahoe Daily Tribune sports editor Steve Yingling contributed to this story.