Cross-country holds it down despite obstacles |

Cross-country holds it down despite obstacles

The Vikings boys and girls cross-country teams are making moves.

The boys came in boys finished 18 out of 40 teams, and the girls took 12th place out of 42 teams in their Saturday race on the road.

The Vikings’ Connor Henderson ran an incredible race to come away with second place. Henderson was barely outkicked by the overall winner with 25 meters to go in the race. Out of more than 1,200 runners in the six boys races, Henderson posted the 19th fastest time.

“His training and talent are shining on the big meet stages,” boys coach Dominique Westlake said in email. “We had 40 teams in our race alone and approximately 220-plus boys teams in the entire meet. Connor’s effort put him as one of the top performers of the day, and considering the level of competition that is saying something.”

In his first year on varsity, freshman Logan Evans, also can up big and ran a smart race. Evans used his teammates, who had been at the race before, to help him find his groove.

The boys actually turned in a stronger performance at the Nevada Twilight Meet in early September, but did well Saturday considering several of the runners were recently sick.

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“As a team, I feel we should have been top five in the race, but considering the health issues and injuries we have been dealing with, we will get better and perform at our potential,” Westlake said in an email. “As two-time defending Nevada State Champions, we have a lot more in the tank than we showed last Saturday. One of the Truckee runners came over to us after the race and made a comment, so we will definitely be ready for them at regionals.”

The girls battled illness and injury at Saturday’s race as well, but they still managed to turn in a 12th-place performance. Head coach Michele Nesbitt-Westlake said the girls would likely have finished in at least seventh place if they were running with their A game.

“We did very well considering three of our top five runners were either sick or injured, and one of them was unable to race at all,” Nesbitt-Westlake said in an email.

On a positive note, freshman Riley Rettig made an impressive varsity debut.

The Vikings also managed to beat last year’s state championship team Elko and Truckee, which came in ninth at the Stanford Twilight Meet in early September.

“Considering we were not bringing our A game to Stanford, again we are very pleased at how we placed, considering we had less than half of our top five varsity runners in top shape for this invitational meet,” Nesbitt-Westlake said in e-mail.

Both teams head to Fresno next week for the Clovis Invitational.

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