Tiger cross-country girls are No. 1!
Packs of orange-clad Douglas High runners have been a familiar sight at cross country meets all over the state this season.
The same was true Saturday at the state championship meet at Indian Springs High School. And the result was the Tigers’ first cross country state title in school history.
Only 17 seconds separated Douglas seniors Jenny Smokey (sixth overall in 20 minutes, 49 seconds), Annie Gastelum (seventh, 20:56) and Kelly Mogab (eighth, 21:06). DHS senior Kathleen McSweeney came in 16th in 21:55 and junior Jenelle Timmons finished Douglas’ scoring when she crossed the line 24th overall in 22:17.
Douglas captured the state title by 16 points, 43-59, over Green Valley, which had two runners finish in the top five, but didn’t have the Tigers’ depth.
“They seemed pretty confident they were going to go in and challenge for the state title,” head coach Ellen Lucas said. “They packed together so well. The neat thing is they took turns leading all year. Depending on the day and how everyone was feeling, any one (of the seniors) could have been the leader.”
McSweeney and Mogab each led the Tigers on race day five times this season. Smokey was the first Tiger across the line three times and Gastelum led Douglas once.
Smokey said winning Saturday’s state championship was the ultimate team effort.
“It would be so much harder if I didn’t have my team with me,” she said. “Running with your teammates gives you so much confidence. If I see them up ahead, I want to catch up with them. And if they’re behind me, I want them to catch up with me.
“It was our goal to win state as a team and we knew we couldn’t do it as individuals.”
Freshmen Christene Timmons (45th, 23:17) and Rebecca Pope (59th, 24:32) also ran well for the Tigers at state.
Jayson Scheetz, Douglas’ lone male runner at the state championships, finished 18th overall in 18:19.
“I feel pleased,” Scheetz said. “That was part of my goal, to finish in the top 20. It was tough, but I stuck with it.”
Gastelum said bringing home the state title completed a goal the Tigers set last year when they finished second in the same event.
“That put the icing on the cake,” Gastelum said. “It was a really great way to end the season. We couldn’t have been happier.”
McSweeney, who finished fifth overall at the state meet as a junior, was slowed by injury and illness during much of second half of her senior season. She was forced to miss a week of training before the zone meet, which probably cost her a chance to contend for another top-five finish at state.
“I didn’t have my best personal race, but I was happy because the team reached such a big accomplishment,” McSweeney said. “It feels great. I’m really happy we were able to pull it off during our senior year.”
Jenelle Timmons, the lone junior on the team, has had to do most of her racing on her own this season. She has been several seconds behind the senior leaders this year, but realized how important her finishes were toward to the team total.
“I felt pressure, but I knew I could do it,” she said. “We knew we could win. It was all a matter of putting our talents together.”
Carson High’s girls finished eighth. The Senators’ top finisher was Jen Fozard, who took 23rd in 22:12.
Abby Miller of Green Valley was the individual champion with the time of 19:23 over the 3.1-mile course. Her time was 30 seconds off her own course record of 18:53.
In the boys’ race, Carson finished seventh with the score of 142. Basic High edged Bonanza for the team title, 73-76.
Mogab summed up the Tigers’ weekend nicely.
“It was awesome,” she said. “It was just like we knew we could run fast, but at the same time we knew we had to earn it. I think it shows what a team we are. We totally push each other along.”
And Mogab added that she hopes the state championship is the first of many for Douglas High School.
“I think it’s really cool that we’re, like, the leaders now,” she said. “We blazed the trail. We’re the pioneers. I hope this will get more girls out to run cross country to try to keep the tradition going.”
Nevada State Cross Country Meet
3.1 miles at Indian Springs
Girls 4A State
1, Douglas, 43. 2, Green Valley, 59. 3, Basic, 104. 4, Reed, 104. 5, Durango, 114. 6, McQueen, 114. 7, Silverado, 150. 8, Carson, 154.
1, Miller (GV), 19:23. 2, Shackleton (McQ), 20:05. 3, LaHodney (Clark), 20:22. 4, Bailey (CHY), 20:48. 5, Kyriacou (GV), 20:48. 6, Smokey (Doug), 20:49. 7, Gastelum (Doug), 20:56. 8, Mogab (Doug), 21:06. 9, Kilfoyle (Clark), 21:07. 10, Tibaduiza (Wooster), 21:14.
16, McSweeney (Doug), 21:55. 23, Fozard (Car), 22:12. 24, J. Timmons (Doug), 22:17. 40, Cinani (Car), 23:12. 42, Morrison (Car), 23:13. 45, C. Timmons (Doug), 23:17. 47, Rheault (Car), 23:32. 49, Green (Car), 23:37. 51, Gambato (Car), 23:38. 59, Pope (Doug), 24:32. 61, Martin (Car), 25:18.
Boys 4A State
1, Basic, 73. 2, Bonanza, 76. 3, Silverado, 85. 4, Durango, 86. 5, Reno, 104. 6, South Tahoe, 126. 7, Carson, 142. 8, McQueen, 158.
1, Jeffers (Bon), 17:08. 2, Hudspeth (Sil), 17:21. 3, Lowe (ELD), 17:26. 4, Mostoller (Dur), 17:36. 5, Oslund (Basic), 17:38. 6, Kramer (Basic), 17:47. 7, Anderson (Reno), 17:47. 8, Geurtis (Durango), 17:57. 9, Ferrier (Lowry), 17:59. 10, Murray (Dur), 18:04.
16, Scheetz (Doug), 18:19. 24, Hanson (Car), 18:27. 25, Fischer (Car), 18:29. 39, Marriot (Car), 18:55. 43, Kaldenbach (Car), 19:06. 45, Capistrant (Car), 19:08. 48, Nourse (Car), 19:14. 57, Burt (Car), 19:40.
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