Whittell boys cross country runs 5th at state, Sanchez places 39th in girls race
LAS VEGAS — The Whittell cross country team ended the 2014 season with a strong finish at the NIAA Div. III state championships last Saturday. The Warriors boys placed fifth overall led by a fourth-place finish from sophomore Cole Snyder, and junior Mary Sanchez finished 39th in the girls race on a warm day at Sunset Park.
“It has been one of my favorite seasons in a long time,” Warriors head coach Lindsey Wines said. “The kids came a long way, they stuck together, and they work as hard as anybody in the school when it comes to practice — they preserved through all that with very little if any recognition among their peers, and I was very proud of them.”
In the boys race, Whittell finished fifth out of six teams with 103 points — the Warriors were four points behind fourth-place finisher West Wendover. North Tahoe won the state championship with 31 points, and Silver Stage senior Brandon Perez won the individual title with a run of 17:49.
For the Warriors, Snyder came in fourth by running an 18:02. The sophomore ran a 5:49 mile pace — he led the race until the closing stretch.
“He had a great year and he ran a pretty good race — it was a pretty good time considering the conditions,” Wines said. “The plan was to go out, get a lead early and try to hold onto it — in the last 10 meters he got passed by three guys. Those guys stayed really close with him and they had a kick at the end — he wasn’t able to hold them off.”
Junior Gabe Rusk was Whittell’s next finisher, placing 25th with a time of 19:58. Rusk set a personal record at the meet.
“He probably had his best race of the year. He ran a great race — I was very pleased with the way he ran,” Wines said.
Freshman Julio Loera came in two spots behind Rusk, running a 20:03. Freshman Nick Petty (34th place, 20:53) and sophomore Sam Berry (40th, 21:49) also earned points for the Warriors — sophomore Scott Harrison (45th, 22:18) and senior Gabe Aguilar (48th, 23:00) rounded out the team’s top seven.
“Of the seven boys that ran, six of them had never competed at the state level before — to go out there and perform at that level for the first time is quite an accomplishment,” Wines said.
In the girls race, Whittell junior Mary Sanchez ran a 26:28 to finish in 39th place. North Tahoe won the girls state title by two points over The Meadows (Las Vegas), led by sophomore Quinn Lehmkuhl’s first-place run of 19:35.
“Mary ran a pretty good race — she should be very proud of what she did this year,” Wines said.
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