Miller, Hackler, Mendive earn state tickets
Taryn Joyce-Mendive returned to familiar territory for the Douglas High School cross country team on Thursday. At the same time, Robby Miller and Mike Hackler established themselves as new faces that need to be watched in the future when they finished among the front-runners at the Northern 4A Cross Country Regional Championships in Reno.
Joyce-Mendive ran to fourth-place in the girls race, an improvement from her ninth-place performance as a freshman last year, while Miller captured fourth and Hackler 15th in the boys race on an overcast and rainy day at Rancho San Rafael Park.
In the process, all three each individual berths to the NIAA/U.S. Bank State Cross Country Championships next Saturday at newly opened Veterans Memorial Park in Boulder City.
“The kids ran great,” Douglas girls coach Ellen Lucas said. “They gave it all they had on the course and that’s all we can ask.”
The Douglas boys put in an effort that nearly got them to the state meet as a team. The Tigers finished fourth in the team standings, just 10 points behind third-place Galena. The top three teams and five individuals from non-qualifying teams received invitations to the state meet.
“The kids did what they had to do,” Lucas said. “You just have to hand it to Lee Huren (Galena coach). He always puts a good team out there at zone.”
Miller, who finished 14th at his state meet as a sophomore in Washington last year, came on strong over the last half of the race to earn his fourth-place spot in a time of 17 minutes, 48 seconds over the hill-lined 5,000-meter (3.1 miles) course. The top three finishers are all seniors, including gold medalist Dan Wolf of Reno, who ran 17:14.
Hackler, also a junior, ran 18:26 to finish 15th and secure the fifth and final individual ticket to state.
“Being the fifth individual is a great accomplishment for Mike,” Lucas said. “He just started running last year and he’s just come a tremendous distance since then.”
Darren and Collin Muren weren’t far behind, either, as they finished 24th and 26th with respective times of 18:53 and 19:06. Josh Daddabbo was the fifth scoring runner for Douglas as he finished 30th in 19:17. A total of 89 seconds separated the Tigers’ five juniors.
Andrew Hines also ran 20:51 and Mike Deck 21:30 for Douglas.
Carson sophomore Shanna Sparks won her second Northern 4A cross country title with a 20:03 clocking. South Tahoe freshman Amber Ramos was second in 20:39, Reno sophomore Karen DeMartini third in 21:06 and Joyce-Mendive was fourth in 21:13. Of the top 10 runners in the race, six were freshmen and sophomores and only two were seniors.
Douglas edged Galena to finish fifth as a team with 156 points. Galena had 159 points.
Monica Buccambusso was 25th (23:26), Jen Kirkland 27th (23:34), Betsy Carlson 44th (25:30) and Chelsea Rowe 56th (27:46) to complete the team scoring for the Tigers. Amanda Mullen ran 27:55 and Mallory Olney also ran 30:01 for the Tigers.