Warriors claim pair of regional cross country titles
Whittell High was having fun running for coach Brian Rippet before the Northern Nevada 2A Regional Cross Country Championships on Saturday in Carlin.
After two regional championships and seven first-team all-league finishes, the Warriors may still be smiling when they toe the starting line for the state championships Saturday in Boulder City.
“Everyone at the school is seeing that cross country is a fun sport now, and that’s because of Mr. Rippet,” said WHS senior Kim McGlothlin, who finished third in the girls’ race Saturday.
Rippet kept his runners laughing all the way home by jumping into a cesspool near Carlin. Rippet promised to revisit the scummy pond if the Warriors came home with a pair of team titles.
“It was disgusting … it was infested,” McGlothlin said.
Rippet, who made a similar promise before his boys won zone, would prefer a regional championship closer to home.
“I’d like to get thrown into the lake instead of the slime,” he said.
The WHS girls overtook nemesis Incline by packing five runners in the top seven. Sophomore Christina Arana led the way by placing runner-up in 24 minutes, 10 seconds. McGlothlin was third in 24:12, Aly VanDeusen fourth in 24:48, Lorin Kline sixth in 26:53 and Kristin Kline seventh.
Even though Incline’s Addie Devine broke the course record with her winning time of 22:52, the Warriors had too much depth for the Highlanders. The Warriors bested runner-up Incline by 29 points, with Carlin third.
“We’ve all been working really hard, pushing each other and we really wanted it,” McGlothlin said.
The Warrior boys defended their regional title behind the second- and third-place finishes of Oscar Suarez and Brian Beebe. Suarez finished 17 seconds behind winner Linferd Kelly of Pyramid Lake with a 5K time of 19:12, while Beebe came in at 19:38.
“They did it with pride and wanting to retain their title,” Rippet said. “This same team missed state by one point two years ago and they weren’t going to leave anything to chance this time.”
Whittell’s other top-10 finisher was Danny Mitchell, who finished 10th at 20:26.
Both teams placed third at state last year, but McGlothlin says that there is no reason not to think higher this season.
“We want to keep our focus and don’t want to get cocky about it, but if we stay focused and healthy, we’ll have a victory,” she said.
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