Whittell cross country’s Snyder, Sanchez advance from Div. III/IV regional championships
RENO, Nev. — A pair of Whittell cross country runners put themselves in position to race for the state’s ultimate prize. Warriors junior Cole Snyder and senior Mary Sanchez each qualified from the Div. III/IV Northern Region championships last Saturday, Oct. 31, at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park, advancing in the postseason with strong performances.
Snyder finished fourth in the boys race on Saturday, running an 18:35. The junior was the meet’s top individual qualifier and paced himself throughout the race to easily qualify for state.
“He ran a smart race and accomplished what he wanted to do. His main focus will be to do better at state,” Warriors coach Lindsay Wines said. “He’s capable of a much better time and he knows that.”
Sanchez earned the last individual state berth from the girls race, placing 23rd overall with a time of 25:50. The Warriors’ senior finished as the region’s fifth individual by a six-second margin to qualify for state for the second straight year.
“She’s only been running cross country for two years, so to qualify for state two years in a row says a lot about how hard she works,” Wines said.
Whittell freshmen Sam Rusk (45th, 26:00) and Jacob Otterstrom (49th, 28:13) also raced for the Warriors at regionals. Senior Gabe Rusk missed the race due to an injury.
“It was their first time in a meet this big,” Wines said of the freshmen. “For those two kids to go out there, compete, not give up and finish their races — I was really proud of both of them.”
Junior Marissa Maidman was the Warriors’ only other racer in the girls event. Maidman placed 25th overall while running the course in 26:08 in her first time racing at the regional level.
“Marissa has been a real trooper all year,” Wines said. “She came in, battled all year and continually got better.”
Silver Stage’s Trevor Martin won the boys regional championship with a time of 17:43 and North Tahoe took home the team title. On the girls side, Sierra Lutheran’s Elaina Marchegger finished first by running a 25:00 while North Tahoe completed the team sweep.
Snyder and Sanchez advance to the Div. III/IV State championships, scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 7, at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park. The girls race starts at 11:30 a.m. with the boys race scheduled for 1:55 p.m.