Douglas boys run to league meet victory
John Munyan and Kaleb Morris set the pace for the Douglas High boys cross country team on Friday afternoon. And then freshman Patrick Voss closed out the deal for the Tigers in their tie-breaker victory over rival Galena at the Sierra League Championships in Reno.
Douglas and Galena tied for first-place in the team scoring 43-43 at Rancho San Rafael Park, Voss provided Douglas with the sixth-man tie-breaker advantage in what amounted to a preview of the Northern Division I Region Championships, which will be held at the same site this Saturday.
Munyan ran 17:20 for second-place and Kaleb Morris ran 17:32 to place third over the hill-lined 5,000-meter course. Galena sophomore McKennion Melton, in his first season at Galena after transferring from Colorado Springs, Colo., won the race in 17:14.
Lars Ponsness ran 18:00 to place ninth, Bryan Harris 18:14 for 13th and Danner Hillman 18:32 for 16th to round out the team’s top five. Voss ran 18:33 to place 17th and senior Nolan Greth was a step behind in 18th with a time of 18:33. Galena’s sixth runner was three seconds behind.
Overall, 73 seconds separated the Tigers’ top seven runners.
In the girls race, sophomore Megan Ruffo and Madison Cote led Douglas to second-place. Damonte Ranch compiled a score of 34 points to win, while Douglas edged Galena for second-place by a 62-65 score.
Ruffo ran 21:02 to place fifth, followed by Cote with a 21:27 clocking for seventh-place. Sophomore Leslee Alaniz ran 22:10 to place 16th, Lizzy Byrne 22:19 to place 18th and Bailey Gansberg 22:22 to place 19th and round out the team scoring. Freshman Maya Smith also ran 22:36, Cristina Munoz 22:56, Leah Ramsey-Kruse 23:31 and Maegan Collins 23:32.
Damonte Ranch senior Caitlin Amburgey won the race with a 20:04 clocking, while Bishop Manogue sophomore Hannah Covington took second in 20:14.
The closeness of the team scores is indicative of how competitive the region meet could play out Saturday. Three teams in the boys and girls races will qualify for a return trip to Rancho San Rafael Park for the NIAA State Championships on Nov. 7.
McQueen is a clear favorite to defend its boys championship. Spanish Springs, with a young quintet that includes three sophomores and one freshman, Douglas and Galena are prime contenders for the next two qualifying spots.
While Douglas is the two-time defending region girls champion, Reno now looks like the team to beat, with Damonte Ranch not far behind. The Tigers remain in the hunt for a top-three finish, along with McQueen and Galena.
Note: The University of Nevada is hosting the Mountain West Conference Championships for women and men on Friday at Montreux Golf and Country Club in Reno. The men’s 8-kilometer race is scheduled to start at 10 a.m., followed by the women’s 6-kilometer race at 10:45 a.m. The races can be followed at the http://www.themwc.com/page/championship_c-xc website.