Douglas High cross country runners look to advance
Jay Frey isn’t worried about streaks. The Douglas High cross country coach is simply looking for good marks today at the Northern Region Championships in Sparks.
If the Douglas boys and girls teams can accomplish that goal, he believes they have a shot of extending streaks in which they have qualified for the state meet. The boys are bidding for their fifth straight state berth and the girls are trying to make it four in a row.
“I’m not worried about streaks; I just want the kids to run well,” Frey said. “Anything can happen at this point in the season and I have a lot of confidence in the kids.”
Runners in three classes — 4A, 3A and 2A/1A — are set for a 10 a.m. start at Shadow Mountain Sports Complex. The 4A boys are scheduled to run at 11 a.m. and the 4A girls at 1:10 p.m. The top three teams and five runners from non-qualifying teams in each race advance to the state meet Nov. 5 in Las Vegas.
Based on results over the last two months — including the Sierra and High Desert League championships last Friday — the 4A boys race figures to be highly competitive. Spanish Springs is the team to beat, with defending champion McQueen within striking distance. The third and final state qualifying berth shapes up as a toss-up between Douglas, Galena and Reed.
“We’re on the bubble,” Frey said. “But we have four seniors who are trying to go out on a positive note.
“If you combine the results when we all ran on the same course last week, Reed would have been third, Galena fourth and we would have been fifth,” he added. “But it would have been real close.”
This is another day and another race.
One plus for the Tigers is the return of sophomore Patrick Voss, who sustained a stress fracture over the summer and only returned last week. He placed 13th in a time of 17:38 that was only seven seconds slower than his personal record set at the 2015 Stanford Invitational. His addition to the lineup helped the Tigers, who lost to Galena last week, 40-41.
“I think Patrick is going to be a factor,” Frey said. “We pack it in pretty close, especially between our No. 3 and No. 6 runners.”
Senior John Munyan also gives Douglas a contender for the individual gold medal. The field includes defending region champion Henry Weisberg, Reed standout Anthony Ocegueda and rising sophomore star Daniel Horner. Ocegueda ran 15:55 to win the High Desert League race last week, three seconds ahead of Horner. Munyan, the reigning state track champion for 1,600 meters, ran 16:16 to win the Sierra League race. Weisberg turned a sterling 5K time of 14:59 at the Stanford Invitational on Oct. 1.
Reno is the team to beat on the girls side, ahead of Damonte Ranch. McQueen, Bishop Manogue, Douglas, Reed, Galena and Carson all expect to be in the mix for a qualifying berth.
Individually, Erin Moyer of Damonte Ranch won the Sierra League race in 18:55 and Reno’s Kyra Hunsberger, the 2014 region champion as a sophomore, clocked a 19:04 to win the High Desert League race. Sophomore Maya Smith placed fifth for Douglas with a time of 20:00.
“They’re young,” Frey said of the Douglas girls. “Of our top 10, three are freshmen, three are sophomores and four are juniors, so they’re still learning. But don’t count them out. We’ll have to see what happens.”
Note: Frey said the Tigers will break out new uniforms today. Instead of their normal orange and white checkered jerseys, the girls will wear teal jerseys and the boys jerseys will display a shark.