There is no time to rest for Tristen Thomson.
The strategy is a gamble, but the Fallon junior is opting to train hard going into Saturday’s Division I-A state cross-country meet at Sunset Park in Henderson.
Thomson, though, has several advantages he said he can rely on in hopes of a top-20 finish.
First, is training at elevation, second is the lack of hills at the state course and third is the warm weather ready to greet the runners.
“I feel like I still have to keep training,” Thomson said. “There probably won’t be as many hills as regionals.”
Thomson was the lone Greenwave runner to qualify for state, after he finished seventh overall and was the second individual from a non-qualifying team to cross the finish line.
A state title, though, is unlikely as Thomson’s mark of 18:24 was 58 seconds behind regional winner Kyler Simpkins of Elko and 54 seconds behind Noah Oberitter of Truckee. Not to mention, the southern teams have their own strong runners in Chase Wood of Faith Lutheran (16:26 at regionals) and Garrett Meyer of SECTA (16:29), to name a few.
Thomson’s goal, though is to eclipse the 18-minute mark to claim a personal best.
“I really want to in the low 18s or maybe sub-18,” he added. “I feel like I can PR (personal record). I need to keep working on my speed and my finish as well.
As for the team competition, Elko, Spring Creek and South Tahoe represent the north, while Faith Lutheran, Clark and SECTA challenge from the south.
Wood has the fastest time of any DI-A regional runner last week, although Sunset Park doesn’t not have the challenging hill like Rancho San Rafael does.
The hill, which thins the herd, is several hundreds yards and is a gradually climb on the backside of the park.
Nevertheless, Wood, Meyer, Simpkins and Oberitter will challenge for the state title.