Reno dominates on tough Washoe course
WASHOE – It was a race course that could have doubled as boot camp for the military.
Sand dunes, soft sand and the edge of Washoe Lake presented several of the top cross country teams in the nation and Nevada with more obstacles and leg work than they may face all season.
Reno’s Mel Lawrence, one of the nation’s top runners, was wearing part of the 3.1-mile course as she crossed the finish line with a soaked top.
“It was so hard,” said Lawrence, who won by 42 seconds with her time of 19 minutes, 53.68 seconds. “The start was nice, but then you get into the deep sand. There was hard dirt along the beach, but the boys tore it all up so we didn’t have any to run on, so it was really hard to push off.”
South Tahoe’s Joey Summerhill, who finished 14th, and Chris Gamage, who placed 23rd, were unimpressed with the new terrain they had to overcome.
“I want a better course. It’s hard to tell on this one, because I could have run better,” Gamage said.
Added Summerhill, “I want to see them come back on a flat, hard-surfaced course and see what happens.”
But at least one runner was truly in heaven on Wednesday. Carson senior Chad Shroy, who once competed in the “Mud Run,” running 6.2 miles over hay bales and mud pits in combat boots.
“It made running fun because it was different. That was what today was all about,” Shroy said. “Nobody expected to have a PR or fast times because this is a course to go out and work hard and have fun.”
What the meet revealed is that the Reno boys are by far the class of the North, and likely Nevada as well.
Seven of the first nine runners to cross the finish line wore Huskies’ blue and red uniforms. Walter Juarez, a transfer from Oregon, led Reno with a winning time of 16:48.25.
“There is no one who can touch them this year,” STHS coach Dominique Westlake said. “They are out there by themselves.
“Our goal today was to see how much we could close on Reno after the Reed Invite (two weeks ago) to see how we’re improving.”
“All of the guys were saying when they crossed the finish line that they were tired, but five or 10 seconds later they were fine. They couldn’t run fast because the sand was so soft, so it shows they are in shape, but it was the nature of the course that didn’t allow them to use their talent today.”
An early season showdown between the state’s girls teams was all Reno. The Huskies’ top seven runners completed the course before the Vikings’ fifth runner finished. Besides Lawrence’s customary first-place finish, the Huskies placed second, fifth, ninth and 10th.
Freshman Kelsey Smith led the Vikings, placing third in 20:42.26. Smith was contending for second place with Reno’s Nicole Lajeunesse but lost some precious time backtracking around some cones near the finish. Even so, Smith finished only 49 seconds behind Lawrence at 20:42.26.
Vikings’ junior Kate Lambdin was fourth in 21:39.26 and Kylie Noll sixth at 22:17.71, but the Vikings didn’t have another runner in the top 10.
Lawrence wasn’t ready to put too much emphasis on her latest battle with the Vikings.
“It’s a really good feeling, but everybody gets better as the year goes on, so it kind of all depends on when it comes to state,” Lawrence said. “Someone could have had a bad day today, someone could have had a good day.”
As dominant as Reno boys were, the Shroy brothers showed they were equal to the challenge. Shroy’s younger brother, Richard, finished a strong fourth, less than 2 seconds behind Lawrence’s twin brother John at 17:31.39.
“I started out running in the 19s and he’s already below 18 in his freshman year,” Shroy said. “I expect him to do very well in the future.”
Shroy said the friendly brother rivalry is good for each other.
“I think I can hold him off (the rest of this year), but he’s going to make me work, that’s for sure,” Shroy said.
Carson coach Pete Sinnott is already dubbing the brothers as the dynamic duo – Batman and Robin.
“They are both really tough,” Sinnott said. “They both love running, they both love to compete and I like coaching them because they’ll go out and do the workouts they are supposed to do.”
Overall team scores were Reno 39, Carson 58 and South Tahoe 77. In the dual meets, Reno defeated Carson 32-39 and South Tahoe 15-50, while the Senators conquered the Vikings 33-42.
The Carson girls held their own against the schools who have combined to win the past five state titles. The Senators placed five runners in the top 13, with Christy Works leading the way in seventh place at 22:29.01.
The Senators finished seven points behind the two time-defending state champion Vikings. Team scores were Reno 27, South Tahoe 44 and Carson 51. Dual scores were Reno 19, Carson 36; South Tahoe 25, Carson 30; and Reno 23, South Tahoe 32.
“South Tahoe is a great team, so just to be close to them is good,” Sinnott said. “My girls don’t really surprise me. They are really strong and have a lot of ability.
“Reno and South Tahoe are still pretty far ahead of us, but we’re coming along pretty good and we’re where we should be right now. We’re trying to emulate them right now.”
Lawrence and the Huskies will compete at the Vikings’ Retro Relays on Friday afternoon at South Tahoe High. Westlake, a former Viking runner, says the meet is one of the most enjoyable of the season.
“We’ll be busting out old uniforms that have been in boxes for years,” he said. “It’s a chance to run fast, in a different format with girls and boys and on course you can see a lot of the race.”
SIERRA DIVSION CROSS COUNTRY RACE
At Washoe Lake State Park
1. Mel Lawrence, Reno, 19:53.68; 2. Nicole Lajeunesse, Reno, 20:35.38; 3. Kelsey Smith, South Tahoe, 20:42.26; 4. Kate Lambdin, South Tahoe, 21:39.26; 5. Adrienne Vanetwerp, Reno, 21:59.16; 6. Kylie Noll, ST, 22:17.71; 7. Christy Works, Carson, 22:29.01; 8. Yvonne Hollett, Carson, 22:33.09; 9. Joelle Slater, Reno, 22:42.78; 10. Demerey Kirsch, Reno, 22:45.36.
Other South Tahoe runners
14. Kimmy Arroues, 23:27.87; 17. Kelsey McClurg, 23:54.59; 21. Jordan Dalton, 24:45.85; 22. Lacey Payne, 25:19.76; 25. Mary Kurek, 25:42.56.
Other Senators’ results
11. Kristin Dockery, 22:49.63; 12. Gloria Sosa, 22:57.07; 13. Yvette Hollett, 23:12.48.
1. Reno 27, 2. South Tahoe 44, 3. Carson 51
1. Walter Juarez, Reno, 16:48.25; 2. Chad Shroy, Carson, 17:08.28; 3. John Lawrence, Reno, 17:29.93; 4. Richard Shroy, Carson, 17:31.39; 5. Jack Sanders, Reno, 17:55.52; 6. Matt Freeman, 18:21.47; 7. Jordan Parker, Reno, 18:23.46; 8. Brandon Nied, Reno, 18:26.42; 9. Bryan Chuan, Reno, 18:39.29; 10. Patrick Reilly, South Tahoe, 18:47.88.
Other STHS results
14. Joey Summerhill, 19:11.77; 20. Kyle Conroy, 19:32.92; 23. Chris Gamage, 20:12.86; 24. Evan Rabbetts, 20:38.12; 25. Joe Young, 20:41.88; 27. Ben Sullivan, 20:45.18; 29. Jordan Yingling, 20:59.57; 30. Matt Arroues, 21:15.70; 33. Zildgen Borromeo, 21:38.62; 36. Austin Pierce, 22:09; 37. Rand Norberg, 22:12; 40. Adam Kern, 24:15; 41. Will Caglia, 27:19.
Other Senators’ results
11. Caleb Carter, 18:52.33; 12. Ethan Graber, 18:58.20; 15. Nick Schlager, 19:16.20; 17. Tyler Davios, 19:28l.60; 18. Andrew Stephens, 19:30.03; 21. Wade Smith, 19:34.32; 22. Zach Mapes, 19:44.16.
1. Reno 39, Carson 58, South Tahoe 77.
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