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A race is brewing at coffee-temp level
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A race is brewing at coffee-temp level


WINNEMUCCA — Whoever has followed cross country at the high school level is fully aware of the dominance of the Spring Creek and Elko programs — primarily the two-time defending state champions, the Lady Spartans, in recent years.

Don’t forget about the boys.

In the past-seven seasons, either Elko’s or Spring Creek’s boys have claimed every state championship — the Indians winning four titles (2012-2013, 2015, 2018) and and the Spartans nabbing three crowns (2014, 2016-2017).

The past-two state championships have been split equally by exact margins, Elko most recently as the 2018 champ by a five-point margin and Spring Creek as the 2017 victor by a five-point spread.

Another race between the boys is brewing at a coffee-temperature level.

Varsity Boys

On Oct. 11, during the Lowry Invitational, at Winnemucca Golf Course, the action was hotly contested as usual.

Despite only three teams posting qualifying scores, the top-two were dominant and separated by just five points once again.

Spring Creek prevailed with a score of 25 points, Elko following directly on the Spartans’ heels with 30 points.

In fact, the best individual finish of local runners went to Elko sophomore Isaiah Dahl — who took second of 47 athletes with a personal-record time of 16:53.2.

Directly behind Dahl, Spring Creek junior Secody Charley crossed third in 16:55.6.

The Spartans went back-to-back, freshman Jake Bradford’s personal record of 16:55.9 finishing fourth.

Elko senior Duncan Monroe set a PR for fifth place, closing his run in 17:04.7.

The back-and-forth continued as Spring Creek junior Conner Gage ranked sixth with a personal record of 17:15.7.

In ninth, junior Jimmy Murphy notched a PR for the Indians in 17:28.8.

The Spartans rounded out the top-10 with a 17:38 by junior Harrison Walund, freshman teammate Liam Hamilton following in 11th with a personal record of 17:42.4.

In succession, Elko crossed a pair of runners in 12th and 13th — sophomore Philip Neff posting a PR of 18:02.7 and narrowly edging the PR of 18:02.9 from junior teammate Noah Haase.

Senior Dallin Fisher ranked 15th for Spring Creek with a time of 18:18.6.

West Wendover tallied consecutive runners in 19th and 20th, junior Omar Rodriguez tallying a personal record in 18:46 and senior Zach Smith finishing immediately after in 18:46.5 for a PR.

Senior Nathan Copen closed out the Spartans’ top-seven with a time of 18:50.3 for 21st place, and Elko’s top-seven was capped by an 18:51.8 from sophomore Keian Lostra for 22nd and a personal-record 19:03.1 from freshman Tyler Fadenrecht for 24th.

For Owyhee, senior Lance Owyhee notched a personal record of 19:43.9 for 29th place.

West Wendover senior Johnny Mendoza crossed in 20:40.5 for 35th, and junior teammate Christian Rodriguez finished out the Wolverines’ varsity roster in 42nd place at 22:46.

Varsity Girls

The Lady Spartans took both the individual and team titles Friday, Spring Creek scoring 18 points in a three-team field and leading second-place Elko (47) by 29 points.

With 32 runners in the race, the top spot went to Spring Creek junior Kendra Lusk on her time of 19:20.8.

Fellow junior Grace Florence placed third in 20:14.5, and she was followed by Elko junior Xandry de Arrieta’s season-best time of 20:51.9 for fourth.

Spring Creek senior Rosemary Little took sixth in 21:19.5, starting a four-in-a-row run for the Lady Spartans.

Freshman Macey Reed closed in 21:23.4 for seventh place, junior Emma Campbell ranked eighth in 21:37.7 and freshman Kiely Munson crossed ninth in 21:50.2.

Elko’s No. 2 runner, junior Loulou Neff, stopped the clock in a season-record time of 22:07.4 in 12th place — sophomore teammate Jersey Tsosie going for a personal-record 22:17.1 at 13th.

The Lady Indians opened a four-consecutive string from 20th through 23rd.

Freshman Alysia Carr rounded out the top-20 with a personal-record time of 23:43.6, followed by a season-best 23:50.3 from senior Vivian Gavaldon.

Senior Karissa Fadenrecht crossed in 22nd with a season-record time of 24:01.7, and senior Marrisa Valdez closed her run in 24:36.2 for 23rd place.

Up Next

Elko County programs will be on full display Friday during the Wells Invitational, at Chimney Rock Golf Course, the boys running at 3 p.m. and the girls following at approximately 3:45.


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Related to this story

The cross country season is in the home stretch, Elko recently finding the bulk of its success from the girls, the Lady Indians led by Xandry de Arrieta during the Reed Invitational.

Both the Spring Creek girls and boys cross country teams are shaping up nicely as the season heads to the backstretch, recently using the surface of Arcade Creek's course as a platform for personal records during the Capital Cross Challenge, in Sacramento, California. 

The Elko cross country varsity programs were led by Isaiah Dahl and the boys during the Dani Bates Invitational, in Twin Falls, Idaho, several athletes striding to personal records at Canyon Springs Golf Course. 

A week after becoming Elko’s No. 1 boy runner at the Caldwell (Idaho) Twilight Invitational, sophomore Isaiah Dahl slipped slightly to the Indians’ No. 2 at the Wood River Invite. On Saturday, he regained his position as the top gun.

Spring Creek's runners found the surface and terrain of Eagle Island State Park, in Boise, Idaho, as a prime course for setting personal records. Check out the career and season-best finishes for the athletes.

In the final regular-season runs for many varsity cross country athletes, tune-ups were made by some and other rested their bodies — small-school and junior varsity runners extending their meets — prepping for the home stretch of the year.

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