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