RENO — As expected, Tristen Thomson is headed to state.
He will be the lone Fallon cross country runner at Saturday’s state meet in Las Vegas as Thomson finished seventh overall at Friday’s Northern Division I-A meet at Rancho San Rafael Park.
Thomson crossed the line in 18:24.
“I was feeling pretty confident going into the race,” Thomson said. “I was chasing Noah Oberitter from Truckee all year, so I knew if I was close to him, I would end up finishing well. And that’s what happened.”
Oberitter finished second overall with a time of 17:32.
Only the top five individuals from non-qualifying teams earn a state bid.
Teammate Ethan Smith, though, just missed the cut has he finished seventh in the individual race.
“I think I could have done a little bit better,” Smith said. “If I just pushed myself a little harder, I could have made it. I’m not bitter about it, I know that next year I definitely can make it if we don’t make it as a team.”
Another heartbreaking outcome came in the girls race. Lady Wave freshman Chloe Overlie was nipped down the stretch by Fernley’s Maibrie Campbell for the fifth spot.
Adding to Overlie’s challenge was the rise of a trio of South Tahoe runners led by Ally Sullivan, who placed fourth overall, and Dayton’s Sydney Strickler, who sprinted out to a fast pace the first two miles and held on.
The conditions on race day were in the runners favor, although the wind did pick up before the start of the boys’ races. The grass, however, was saturated in several places making for the start a tricky proposition.
“Your feet sunk into the earth a little bit,” Smith said.
Thomson, meanwhile, is preparing for Saturday’s state meet with the assistance of Smith. Smith will act as the “rabbit” for Thomson to chase and keep pace.
Thomson said two advantages are in his favor: training in elevation and a lack of hills at the state course.
The course is at Sunset Park, which is near McCarran International Airport and is a level area. Fallon coach Tommy Thomson said it’s mostly a flat terrain, although the course appears to switch from dirt to grass in several areas.
“I’m not going to rest and I’m not taking it light,” Tristen Thomson said. “I am going to try and work on speed a lot. Maybe get in the low 18s or even sub-18.”
As for the team results, the Fallon boys placed sixth with 142 points, while the Lady Wave (181) took sixth. Spring Creek won the championship with 36 followed by Elko (58), South Tahoe (79), Dayton (129) and Truckee (137).
Truckee took the girls title with 38 points, just one ahead of Spring Creek, while Elko finished third with 72. South Tahoe (90) and Fernley (124) rounded out the top five.
Elko’s Kyler Simpkins won the boys race with a time of 17:28, while Truckee’s Skyler Flora won her second straight regional title crossing the line in 19:30, the second fastest time of any runner.