Cross Country: Adams wins 4A regional title, Williams wins 2A
RENO – By the barest of margins, and running without its top runner, Carson High’s cross-country girls’ team won the 4A championship at Friday’s NIAA regional meet at Rancho San Rafael Park.
Carson, which ran without April Shonnard, finished with 74 points to edge out Galena (76) and Douglas (79). Damonte Ranch was fourth with 89 and McQueen was fifth at 90. The top three teams and the top five individuals on non-advancing teams advance to next Saturday’s state meet.
“To win here without April is huge,” Carson coach Pete Sinnott said. “Without her we knew it was going to be close between us, Galena, Douglas and McQueen. This was one of the top performances in the last 10 years for our team.”
Alex Drozdoff picked up the slack in Shonnard’s absence, finishing second to Douglas’ Lindsey Adams. Adams ran a 19:43 and Drozdoff was timed in 20:10.
“I felt pretty good,” said Drozdoff, who wore her beat-up Boston Red Sox hat. “I was faster today than I was last week here. The girl from Douglas (Adams) ran an amazing race. Shelby (Brown) did a great job.
“I like this course (layout) better. That hill is pretty tough. There’s isn’t really a downhill to it. I slowed down around the hill. I was tired.”
Sinnott said that Drozdoff focused more when it was apparent that Shonnard wasn’t going to run.
“Alex ran a great race,” Sinnott said. “She trained really hard this week. This is another meet that can make her stronger.”
Cindy Juchtzer was seventh in 20:37, Erika Sosa was 18th in 21:43, Mallory Wilson was 24th in 22:07 and Shelby Brown was 26th in 22:14. Chelsea Gordon was a non-scoring 27th in 22:14 and Avery Hudak was a non-scoring 47th in 23:39.
“I ran all right,” said Juchtzer. “I need to work on running hills. I wasn’t expecting us to win. It was important for us to get to state so April could have her last race.”
Douglas’ Adams was among the leaders throughout the race and overtook Drozdoff on the second loop of the 3.1-mile layout and won easily.
“My coaches were telling me to hang with the leaders,” Adams said. “I made sure I stayed with them.
“I knew the course from running nationals here a couple years ago. My big strength is the hills. If someone had been with me I could have turned it on a little.”
Adams led a strong all-around effort for the Tigers as senior Sadie Gastelum took fourth, first-year cross country runner Cara Dunkelman took 19th, Eunice Perez finished 24th, Bre Chabot took 31st, Aspen Abbott took 41st and Audrey Moore took 55th.
Sierra Lutheran placed third in the 2A regionals with 80 points thanks to Becky Grabow’s second-place finish.
Incline won the team title with 27 points, far ahead of Sage Ridge (66), Sierra Lutheran (80) and Wells (115).
Grabow trailed Incline’s Katie Cochran throughout the race and finished 19 seconds behind.
“I wasn’t running for time as much as I was for place,” Grabow said. “Katie did a real nice job. I was trying as hard as I could, but it just didn’t happen.
“It was a different course. There are more hills on this course, and I’m usually a good hill runner.”
Sierra Lutheran’s next finisher was Erin Henry, who was ninth in 22:23. Sierra Stulac took 16th in 24:06, Abby Williams was 26th in 26:33 and Alesha Martinez was 27th in 26:34.
Virginia City’s Tobi Steele was 10th in 22:31 and Heather Redman was 25th in 26:17.
Sierra Lutheran’s Nathaneal Williams proved again why he is one of the most dominant cross country runners in Northern Nevada.
Williams ran a sizzling 16:40 over the 3.1-mile course to win the 2A individual title and lead his team to a second-place finish Friday at Rancho San Rafael Park.
Williams’ time was just two seconds slower than 4A winner Jordan Cardenas and 24 seconds faster than Connor Henderson of South Tahoe, who won the 3A race.
“I felt a little tight,” said Williams, who hung around the finish line to congratulate his teammates as they came through the finish chute. “I loosened up about halfway through.
“It’s the first time I’ve run this course (the way it’s laid out). I like it. Now, I know what time I can get. I think I can get out faster in that first mile. I didn’t feel that good today. I was kind of hoping we were going to win.”
Sierra Lutheran’s Luke Barulich was ninth in 18:21 and Donovan Harrison was 12th in 18:59. John McRae was 14th in 19:09, Wyatt Hicks finished fifth in 20:16 and Jonny Harms was 29th with a non-scoring 20:32.
After missing out on the state meet by one point last year, Carson finished a strong second to Galena on Friday to advance.
Galena was first with 51 points, placing three runners in the top 10. Carson was next with 76 with four runners in the top 20. Bishop Manogue also advanced with 93 points. Douglas was sixth with 133 points. The Tigers were paced by Brandon Pankey, who took ninth in 17:51 to advance to next week.
Cole Peck took 24th, Jeff Williams was 25th, Lane Smith was 30th, Josh Cassity was 45th, Parker Dixon was 48th and Tanner DeGiovanni was 55th.