RENO - Incredible.
That's the way Carson High coach Pete Sinnott described his team's victory at Saturday's NIAA State Cross Country Championships at Rancho San Rafael Park.
Carson, led by sophomore Alex Drozdoff's second-place finish and an eighth (from Cindy Juchtzer, finished with 67 points. Douglas, led by Lindsey Adams' first-place finish, was second with 77 and Galena was third. Centennial, the pre-race favorite in the 4A was fifth.
It was Carson's 10th girls' title, making the Senators the all-time winningest program in Nevada history.
"This was the biggest win in Carson history (since I've been here)," Sinnott said. "We came in 35-point underdogs. To come in and win is incredible.
"Our girls are great competitors. They train well and race hard. Alex ran a great race. She let the other two (Adams and Centennial's Sydney Badger) battle it out, and she went out and passed Badger."
Nobody was going to catch Adams, who is only a freshman. Adams was timed in 19:46 and Drozdoff was at 19:59.
"My gosh, I'm so tired," said Drozdoff, who battled windy conditions with everybody else. "It was a fast pace. The two of them took off. It's state meet, you just go all out.
"I tried to go after her (Badger) and I got her. Lindsey ran a great race again. She was uncatchable I think."
Adams has turned in two impressive performances, and she was asked if she imagined herself winning state when the season started.
"Maybe in my wildest dreams," she said. "It was a faster pace (than last week). After the first 100 (yards), I wasn't sure if we could stay on that pace."
In the end, Carson's depth won out. The Senators probably got a emotional lift when April Shonnard ran despite being in a lot of pain from shin splints.
Juchtzer ran a 20:34, Erika Sosa was 27th in 21:49, Chelsea Gordon was 28th in 21:44, Mallory Wilson was 40th in 22:13 , Shonnard was 41st in 22:13 and Shelby Brown was 46th in 22:26.
It was Shonnard's first race in about three weeks. She was suffering from shin splints and had spent most of her rehab time in a swimming pool or on a stationary bike. She had been lobbying to run in her final high school race.
"Coach Pete decided last night (Friday)," Shonnard. "I definitely wanted to run. It (the pace) was a little quick. I just wanted to finish."
And even though her run didn't count, she still cam out a winner in her final high school race.
"The race was the longest 20 minutes of my life watching April run in pain and hoping she didn't get hurt," Sinnott said.
Douglas' Sadie Gastelum was 11th in 20:39, Aspen Abbott was 30th in 21:46, Cara Dunkelman was 34th in 21:56, Bre Chabot was 43rd (22:14) and Eunice Perez was 45th (22:23).
Meanwhile, the Carson boys finished third with 107 points, well behind Galena (43) and Centennial (52).
Taylor Bradshaw and Michael Shonnard were 11th and 14th, respectively, clocking 18:01 and 18:05. Dominic Kinder was 31st, Nick Greene was 45th in 19:12 and Chris Merriner was 48th in 19:23.
"I'm proud of the boys," Sinnott said. "They had a chance to finish, third, second or first. Galena had a great day. Our boys ran well."
2A: Williams, Grabow grab titles
Nathaneal Williams and Becky Grabow both breezed to individual titles, and the Falcons also won the boys' championship.
Williams, as he has done most of the season, ran virtually unopposed. He ran a 16:43, which tied him with ex-Reno star Brandon Nied for the 12th-best time in state history at Rancho San Rafael. His time was a mere three seconds slower than last week in tough conditions. He did avenge last year's second-place finish.
"It was windier," Williams said. "It would be neat to run with them (the 4A guys). It's a lot different when you have somebody right with you.
"I get used to running alone. In practice that's the way it is I have to run by myself at practice."
Williams was excited that the team was able to win the championship, as the Falcons had 44 points compared to 61 for Sage Ridge.
Donovan Harrison was fifth (18:23), Luke Barulich was eighth (18:42), John McRae was 12th (19:03), Jonny Harms was 20th (19:45) and Wyatt Hicks was 22nd (19:49), wiping out the disappointment of last year's second-place finish.
Grabow lost to Incline's Katie Cochran by 19 seconds last week, but she turned the table on Cochran on Saturday, winning by 14 seconds (20:18 to 20:32). Sierra Lutheran's Erin Henry was eighth in 22:24. Virginia City's Tobi Steele was 19th in 23:59.
"I was too lackadaisical last week," Grabow said. "Katie won the regional championship and I had to step up and do my work. I took it more seriously."
The Falcon girls finished fourth as a team.
3A: Breithaupt finishes third
Dayton's Katrina Breithaupt dropped 20 seconds off her time from last week and moved up a place with an impressive performance. She ran a 20:13.
Breithaupt made a move on the hilly part of the course to go from fifth to third.
"I thought I'd get top 5," she said. "We did some hill work and speed workouts."
Dayton coach Shawn Anderson said last week's success made a big difference.
"She knew the course and having that mental toughness and trust in herself (helped)," said Anderson.
On the boys' side, Joe Law was 10th in 18:53 and Aaron Elissa 11th in 18:55. Both runners improved by one spot from last week though their times were slower.
"Joe pretty much used Aaron as a pacesetter the whole race and overtook him at the end," Anderson said. "Aaron doesn't like running in the cold and I think he let the cold weather psyche him out."