Warriors nearly run off with 2A state title sweep
By Penny Sparks
Special to the Tribune
BOULDER CITY – Things couldn’t have gone much better for Whittell High on Saturday. The Whittell High School Warriors captured three of the top four team awards in the 2A division at the NIAA state high school cross country championships on a 5-kilometer course at Boulder City’s Veterans Memorial Park.
The Whittell girls team won the state championship title, beating runner-up Sage Ridge High School of Reno by eight points. The boys came away with second place, losing to Sage Ridge by only two points.
The Warriors also came home with the top academic awards for both the boys and girls’ teams.
Coach Lindsay Wines was jubilant.
“What more could I ask for,” Wines said. “My kids came pumped and ready to race today and they did just that – state champions and runner-up. I am so proud.”
The Warrior girls were led by Christina Arana’s and Kristine Kline’s fifth- and sixth-place finishes and close behind was Danielle Daly in ninth. It was Whittell’s second state championship title in three years.
Lund High School distance ace Wendy Harris was the first finisher in 19 minutes, 12.9 seconds, the second-fastest time of the meet, bested only by 4A Reno High’s Mel Lawrence, who set a new course record of 17:57.2. Wells’ Rachael Rily came in second and Virginia City’s Erin Breithaupt finished third.
Whittell freshman Jan MacKelvie was a contributing scorer for the team with her 17th-place finish. The other Whittell runners were Sasha Silver, 18th; Cassie Van Deusen, 20th; and Claire McLeod, 22nd.
“Today’s race was our best race of the season as a group,” said Cassie Van Deusen, and Wines agreed: “I couldn’t pick one girl who ran better than any of the others. It was a great team effort today.”
Sage Ridge’s top three boys denied the Warrior boys the state championship title.
“Our boys came within two points of Sage Ridge and we had seven runners in before Sage Ridge had four in, but when they placed three guys in the top five and we only placed one in the top five that made it really tough for us to overcome,” Wines said.
Jeremy Bahr-Worley led Whittell with a fifth-place finish. Chris Craig placed 11th, Willis Hughes 14th, Russel Guajardo 16th, David King 22nd and Brian Peat 24th.
The individual state title went to Sage Ridge’s Matt Trachok, Independence’s Steve Grant captured second and Nathan Chellman of Sage Ridge was third.
The Whittell harriers, along with the Carson harriers, were the only two teams that took home both the girls and the boys’ state academic titles. The state academic award is given to the team with the highest cumulative grade point average.
When the Warriors left Veteran’s Memorial Park, they held their heads high.
“We came here to give it our best and we did just that,” Wines said.