Robinson, Crawford, King keep WHS program on good footing |

Robinson, Crawford, King keep WHS program on good footing

This was supposed to be their year.

After earning second- and third-place trophies at the past two Nevada 2A state cross country championships, the Whittell High School boys’ team was set to welcome back one of the most experienced and talented teams in the state.

But coaches in small high schools never know when one – or even two – of their athletes may try another sport. That is the case this season as coach Lindsay Wines lost senior Adam Kingman to the boys’ soccer team and senior Adam Laub to the football team.

“Those are big runners to replace, but we’re not going to focus on that this year. We’re going to focus on the younger kids, getting them in shape and giving them racing experience,” Wines said. “These kids are really tight and close. They are more a family than they are friends. Yeah, they are disappointed, but they are happy these guys are doing something and having a good time.”

Wines still has two of the top runners in the Nevada 2A ranks in junior John Robinson and senior Chris Crawford – both of whom finished in the top 10 at last year’s state meet. Robinson has wholeheartedly embraced the role of team leader and is an ongoing teacher to the team’s young runners.

“John is an amazing leader,” Wines said. “He’s encouraging to the younger kids and shows great work ethic. He’s not only going to lead us in results, he is going to lead us as a role model for the younger kids.”

Wines will line up other experienced runners around Robinson and Crawford. Sophomores Zach Welch and Mikey George placed 27th and 28th, respectively, in last year’s state meet, and Sean Sullivan is a senior with racing experience.

“We took 10 runners to state last year and five are gone – none to graduation,” Wines said. “For us to compete, guys really have to step up.”

Four experienced runners return for Wines’ girls squad: seniors Shannon Marshall and Morgan King, as well as sophomores Samantha Rupp and Megan Miller.

“These girls are really solid. We’re still searching the hallways for a fifth girl,” Wines said.

King was Whittell’s top runner at the 2008 state meet, placing 21st. Like Robinson, she is leading by more than example.

“Morgan gets the kids going in practice. She is just as important for the girls as John is for the guys,” Wines said.

Whether Whittell takes a bus or a minivan to the state meet in November depends on the development of both teams’ younger runners.

“We’ll have kids qualify, but hopefully we’ll have teams qualify for state,” Wines said.

Whittell will open its season today in the annual Warrior Warpath meet. Teams that are expected to compete against the Warriors are Fernley, Dayton, Carlin, Wells, Gerlach, Incline and North Tahoe.

NOTE: Results from Whittell’s opening meet will be available late Friday night on the Tahoe Daily Tribune Web site at

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