Leaving it all on the course, Fallon’s Tristen Thomson smashed his career-best time in the biggest race of the season.
The Fallon junior blasted his way through the Division I-A state course and crossed the line in 17:39.8 to finish 15th on Saturday at Sunset Park in Las Vegas.
His time was 44 seconds faster than his previous personal best.
“It was a really nice course, you really can’t get any better than this type of course,” Thomson said.
Thomson said he previewed the course on Friday with the Galena High School team. The layout was flat with patches of dirt alternating with grass. The big advantage for Thomson, though, was no hills.
He estimated the total elevation climb was about 20 feet, which in comparison to Rancho San Rafael Park in Reno, is an anthill.
“The course was one of my favorites,” Thomson added. “I think everything was in my favor. I felt I really competed well. I accomplished everything I set out to do.”
Although Thomson is preparing for basketball tryouts and will compete with the track team in the spring, he has his sights set on next year’s cross country season.
Seven of the top 15 runners in the DI-A race will graduate in the spring, although individual champion Chase Wood of Faith Lutheran returns.
Thomson said he will train hard throughout the summer and work on running hills. The 2015 state meet most likely will be at Rancho San Rafael, a course with a brutal, long, steady hill on the backstretch. It’s a course Thomson is familiar with, as he and his Fallon teammates ran several times this season including at the Northern DI-A regional meet about two weeks ago.
“I think it would be wise to run more hills,” Thomson said. “We have to really start preparing for that. In general, I think we should have a better team and have some people back who didn’t run this year.”
Wood won the boys individual title with a mark of 16:37, while Elko’s Kyler Simpkins (16:43.9) and Noah Oberitter of Truckee (16:47.1) placed second and third, respectively.
As for the team standings, Spring Creek won the state title with 50 points followed by Clark (70), Elko (83), Faith Lutheran (86), South Tahoe (106) and SECTA (122).
In the girls race, Truckee’s Skyler Flora (18:44.1) blew past the field to win her second straight individual championship and led the Wolverines to the team title. Flora’s time was the second fastest for any division.
Truckee cruised to the team title with 21 points followed by Spring Creek (34), Elko (85), Boulder City (116), Faith Lutheran (120) and SECTA (147).