RENO — Two was a key number at Friday’s NIAA Regional Cross Country Championships.
Two represents the number of individual entries Carson High will have at next weekend’s state meet in Las Vegas, and two represents the amount of teams Douglas High will have at the same meet.
Carson High junior Eveline Delgado finished fifth overall, clocking a 20:17. Kyra Hunsberger of Reno knocked off defending champ Lindsey Adams of Douglas by 10 seconds to win the Division I individual title. The Tigers, however, placed four runners in the top 14 and won with 57 points. Galena was second at 67 and Reno was third with 73. Carson was fifth overall as a team, two spots away from advancing.
Ian Van Rensselaer took 11th in the boys race with a 17:48. McQueen, with its 1-2 punch of Connor Ross and Kai Benedict, won the team title with 39 points. Douglas was second with 81 points, a point ahead of Galena.
Delgado was in the second pack of runners with Manogue’s Hannah Covington and Galena’s Abby Bolt behind Hunsberger and Adams at the 3/4-mile mark. She remained in that group with 800 meters to go and never made up any ground. Shelby Brown was 25th in 22:18, freshman Rheanna Jackson was 35th in 22:39, Blanca Sosa was 41st in 23:01, Jia Wong-Fortunato was 43rd and Athena Favero was 44th. Sosa took more than two minutes off her previous best.
“I didn’t do as well as I hoped,” Delgado said. “I haven’t been feeling too great. Hopefully I’ll do better next week.”
Hunsberger took the early lead, and it quickly became a two-person race.
“Kyra ran a great race,” Delgado said.
That thought was echoed by Douglas coach Jay Frey, whose team has gone to state now three of the last four years.
“Lindsey ran well,” Frey said. “Kyra ran a different race. She’s a great runner. Lindsey stayed with her (for a while). Kyra went out quick which was something she didn’t do before.”
Frey said a big key was Rebecca Corbett, who finished seventh overall in 20:27.
“Rebecca ran a great race,” Frey said. “She’s a senior and very experienced. It was better than she expected.”
Despite not moving on as a team, coach Pete Sinnott was upbeat after the girls race.
“Eveline ran pretty well,” Carson coach Pete Sinnott said. “It’s the first met she’s been pretty healthy. Shelby (Brown) graduates, but we have everybody else coming back. We had too big of a gap between our first and second person.
“We needed to have a minute between not two (or more). We needed to be tougher in the middle (of the pack). Overall we had a good year. The kids worked very hard. I’m trying to get a lot of the kids to run track.”
The boys race went as expected. Everybody chased Ross and Benedict. Van Rensselaer was well of his PR set at Stanford this year, but was pleased with his 17:44.
“I think it was pretty good for this course,” he said. “I know I didn’t leave anything out there.”
Wyatt Cartier was 30th in 18:46, Miles Bean was 34th in 18:54, Kiefer Catron was 39th in 19:02 and Michael Leiken was 40th in 19:07. Daniel Jauregui and Evan Allred were 52nd and 58th, respectively. Both were non-scoring times.
“Ian had a great year,” Sinnott. “Started to show some promise last spring in track. Came in with a lot of confidence and speed. Showed substantial improvement all year.”
Austin Croxall was sixth overall for Douglas in 17:29. John Munyan was eighth (17:37), Lars Ponsness was 21st in 18:26, Kaleb Morris was 22nd in 18:28 and Danner Hillman was 24th in 18:36.
Dayton freshman Sydney Strickler and junior Brady Huesser both advanced to next week’s state meet as individuals.
Strickler, the only female in Dayton’s cross country program, finished fifth in a season-best 20:28. Her previous best was 22 minutes.
“I expected to make it, but didn’t expect to get the time I did,” Strickler said. “Everybody expected me to do it, but I was worried I wouldn’t do it.
“We ran here last week, but it was a completely different course. The course today was a lot tougher.”
Strickler led for the first mile, but eventually was passed by Truckee’s Skyler Flora, who won the race.
“I did go out fast, but the race got a lot faster,” Strickler said.
Strickler’s coach, Shawn Anderson, was proud of his student.
“She ran a great race,” Anderson said. “Her goal was to run 20 minutes, and she almost did that. I figured she would get a top-10 finish. Her times have gotten progressively faster this year. I didn’t expect her to get top-five.”
The Dayton boys finished fourth, one spot away from advancing to Las Vegas. The Dust Devils had 129 points, well behind Spring Creek’s 36, Elko’s 58 and South Tahoe’s 79.
Huesser grabbed the final individual spot (19th), clocking a time of 19 minutes. He nosed out teammate J.J. Ply, who recorded the same time and finished 20th.
“They were pretty even the whole race,” Anderson said. “Brady edged him out by a step at the finish line. I’m happy for Brady, but at the same time I feel bad for J.J. because he was that close.”
Oakley Workman was 23rd in 19:19 and Nick Langstaff was 30th in 19:48. Jared Logan was 37th in 20:19. Zach Scott and Toby Tapley finished 46th and 48th, respectively. Neither runner figured in Dayton’s point total. Workman shaved 41 seconds off his previous best and Langstaff shaved a full minute off his best.
“I’m super proud of my boys,” Anderson said. “They really stepped it up.”
Led by Elaina Marchegger’s fifth-place finish, the Sierra Lutheran girls grabbed the fourth and final qualifying spot for the state meet in Las Vegas.
North Tahoe’s girls won the event with 39 points, 15 ahead of second-place Incline. Wells was third with 67 and Sierra Lutheran was fourth with 72.
Clare Davison was 11th in 23:21, Hannah Martinez took 15th in 23:53 and Camille Cassidy was 19th in 24:36. JeeYoun Burton and Emmon Herron were 24th and 25th in 25:24 and 25:33, respectively. Heather Kubel was 29th in 25:53.
On the boys side, Sierra Lutheran was sixth as a team and won’t move on. The North Tahoe boys won the team title by a whopping 60 points.
Richard McNeely was 10th in 19:24, Steven Flanagan was 13th in 19:40 and Tyler Waite was 20th in 20:28. Blake Ranalla was 30th in 20:49 and Brandon Hall was 62nd in 26:13.