Runners show potential in opener | RecordCourier.com

Runners show potential in opener

Douglas High's Soma Baligad places 10th in the freshman race Friday during the All Class Races cross country season opener at Lampe Park.

What one word might best describe the Douglas High cross country program's season-opening performance Friday at its own All-Class Races?

Potential, if you ask Jay Frey. And the Douglas boys coach was upbeat as he looked to the future.

"We've got some work to do," he said. "But these kids were fighting hard today, that's what I'm happy about. We'll definitely get better from here."

The All Class Races invitational attracted nearly 500 runners representing 26 schools. Runners were challenged by weather on a hot afternoon when temperatures hovered in the mid-90s.

Runners competed within their own freshman, sophomore, junior and senior classes on the same 2.55-mile double loop course at Lampe Park.

Among the highlights for Douglas were top 10 finishes by Sean Dunkelman, Patrick Voss, Soma Baligad, Addison Gregory and Maya Smith in their respective races.

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Dunkelman logged the fastest time for the Tigers with his 14:06 clocking for 10th-place in the senior boys race. His time ranked among the top 17 times overall during the meet.

Voss placed ninth in the junior boys race (14:31) and Baligad placed 10th in the freshman race (15:31). Baligad's time would have put him two seconds out of first-place in the 2016 All-Class freshman race.

"That was a good race for Soma," Frey said of Baligad. "He is talented, and based on what he did today, he's got a shot to be one of our top seven (varsity lineup)."

On the girls side, Smith placed fourth in the junior competition (17:19) and Gregory ninth in the sophomore race (17:35).

Quincy Russell placed 13th in the sophomore race (18:22), Imogene Tierney 18th (19:36), Isabella Tierney 22nd (20:04) and Zoe Brown 29th (20:46) to help Douglas take second-place as a team. Reno edged the Tigers, 39-41, to capture the sophomore girls team title.

"The sophomore girls have a lot of potential," Douglas girls coach Niki Hamzik said. "They have a good attitude and they work well as a team."

The Douglas junior girls also placed second as a team, trailing only Reed by a 25-39 score. Leah Ramsey-Kruse finished 20th (19:20), Maegan Collins 21st (19:22), Emily Hillman 24th (19:43) and Kayla Provost 29th (21:10) to round out the Tigers' scoring.

The Douglas boys finished fourth in the freshman, sophomore and junior team races.

The Tigers run again this coming Friday at the University of Nevada-hosted Nature's Bakery Nevada Twilight Classic at Shadow Mountain Park in Sparks.