Whittell cross country races at Artichoke Invitational | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Whittell cross country races at Artichoke Invitational

Anthony Gentile

HALF MOON BAY, Calif. — With the NIAA regional and state meets fast approaching, the Whittell cross country team is competing in its final tune-up meets. The Warriors raced at the 42nd annual Half Moon Bay Artichoke Cross Country Invitational Oct. 5 at Half Moon Bay High, and performed well on the 2.33-mile course.

"We haven't had a meet yet where we've been able to compete as a team, so it was kind of fun to watch them compete," Warriors coach Lindsay Wines said.

In the boys varsity small school race, junior Gabe Rusk was Whittell's top finisher, placing 97th overall with a time of 15:16. Seniors Gabe Aguilar (16:15) and Rudy Mata (17:26) also raced for the Warriors.

Six of Whittell's runners raced in the boys frosh/soph small school race, in which the Warriors placed seventh out of 18 schools. Sophomore Cole Snyder led the way, running a 12:59 to finish fourth overall.

"I was really pleased with how they performed," Wines said.

Freshmen Julio Loera (14:12) and Nick Petty (14:26) each finished in the top 40 in the frosh/soph race. Sophomore Scott Harrison, freshman Andrew Carlisle and sophomore Sam Berry also competed for Whittell in that event.

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Wines said Whittell's boys team has a good chance to qualify for state. While the top two spots in the regional meet will likely belong to North Tahoe and Silver Stage, Wines believes the Warriors will secure one of the other two spots that earns qualification.

"I'm pretty confident that my boys can do that — they're running pretty well right now, I've got some good experience with Cole and Gabe Rusk and the freshmen are pretty strong too," Wines said. "It will be fun to watch."

In the girls varsity small school race, Whittell took 14th. Senior Keatzia Morales was the Warriors' top finisher with a time of 19:07, and was one of three runners to finish the course in less than 20 minutes.

Senior Melissa Petty (19:19) and junior Mary Sanchez (19:43) each finished within 36 seconds of Morales. Senior Aisha Ceron (20:36) and sophomore Gisselle Aldana (21:19) also raced for Whittell in the event.

Wines said it will be tough for the Warriors' girls to qualify as a team. She said a lot of it comes down to the amount of schools with full teams in Whittell's division.

"If the girls don't qualify as a team, I think a couple have a pretty good chance of qualifying as individuals," Wines said.

Whittell returns to action Saturday at the Lowry Invitational at Winnemucca Golf Course in Winnemucca, Nev. At that meet, the Warriors will get a first look at their competition in the upcoming NIAA meets.