Warriors like their position for state meet
State cross country meets have a history of surprising results, and Whittell and South Tahoe high schools think they have the runners to send out a few shockwaves Saturday in Boulder City.
Fresh off a pair of Northern Nevada 2A regional titles, the Warriors are threats to win state titles, especially in the girls’ division.
“We aren’t favorites in either race, but if our girls have season-best performances we have a chance of taking home the big trophy,” said WHS coach Brian Rippet.
Faith Lutheran has won the past four girls’ titles, while Wells is a two-time defending boys’ champion.
Christina Arana, Kim McGlothlin and Aly VanDeusen finished second through fourth at the regional meet and will hold the keys to Whittell’s state hopes.
“They should all place in the top 10 and as long as they do that, we’ll be in really good shape,” Rippet said.
Rippet is also encouraged by the progress of his next three runners, now known as the”Go-Go Offensive.” Lauren Kline, Kristin Kline and Danielle Daly collectively succeeded at passing runners at zone with a demoralizing change of pace tactic.
When the trio pulls within 10 yards of a runner, they will yell, “Go” and pick up their pace. After closing on that runner, they will yell, “Go” again, increasing their stride as they leave the dejected runner behind.
“If our Go-Go Offensive has a big race, we’ll be in good shape,” Rippet said.
Nika Hsiao is the Warriors’ seventh runner.
Rippet think he has a secret weapon for the boys’ race in former JV runner Mike Komorowski. Komorowski won the regional JV race with a blazing 21:22 time. The performance earned him a promotion as the Warriors’ seventh runner for state.
Leading Whittell into state are Oscar Suarez and Brian Beebe, who finished second and third in last week’s regional meet. They’ll be joined by Komorowski, Justin Alexander, Danny Mitchell, Michael Chilton and Sho Kashima.
“It’s essentially the same group that I got to believe in themselves two years ago, telling them someday they would qualify for state and be a factor. Here we are two years later and they are juniors and seniors and in position to do some really good stuff,” Rippet said.
Both Whittell teams finished third a year ago.
Does Cosmi have another big meet left in him?
STHS coach Dominique Westlake takes his boys’ team into state with some uncertainties, but senior Chris Cosmi isn’t one of them.
Cosmi placed a personal-best sixth in last week’s 4A regional meet and is a threat to finish inside the top 10 Saturday in Boulder City.
“Chris may have some bad races during the season, but he finds a way to run well at the end of the year,” Westlake said. “The last three years he’s shown he runs big races when it really counts.”
On the other hand, seniors Hudson Wilvers and Sean Pawling have been less than 100 percent in recent meets. Wilvers is fighting his ongoing battle with allergies and asthma, while Pawling is attempting to get back to form after a bout of fatigue brought on by trying to juggle his schooling, music and running demands.
“It would be nice to see those guys go out on a high note. They are the last two guys from our (1999) state cross country team,” Westlake said.
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