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Lusk, Lady Spartans snag 3A North title
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Lusk, Lady Spartans snag 3A North title

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RENO — For the fourth-consecutive year (2016-2019), the trophy for the 3A North girls cross country championship will be placed in the same case.

On Saturday, at Rancho San Rafael Park, in Reno, the Lady Spartans of Spring Creek snuck away with the team title — doing so by a narrow margin.

While some of Spring Creek’s championships have come by blowout tallies, Saturday’s collective victory came down to two points — the Lady Spartans (36) fending off Tahoe-Truckee (38).

South Tahoe ranked third with a total of 93 points for the final team berth to the state meet, barely besting the 98 points set by fourth-place Lowry.

Elko’s girls finished fifth with 105 points, Fernley rounding out the six-team field with 151 points.

In addition to the team win, the Lady Spartans also nabbed the individual hardware — the winning run coming by a more a comfortable margin.

After placing sixth in the 2017 regional meet as a freshman and third in the ’18 race as a sophomore, junior Kendra Lusk continued her upward ascent Saturday — opening nearly a 20-second lead on the 45-girl field.

She claimed the individual championship with a time of 19:56.

Lusk was followed by a fourth-place finish from fellow junior Grace Florence’s time of 21:04.

Elko junior Xandry de Arrieta crossed sixth with a time of 21:27, and Spring Creek senior Rosemary Little finished closely in seventh in 21:33 — closing out the 1st-Team All-League performers.

Spring Creek freshman Macey Reed posted a time of 21:43 for ninth place, and junior teammate Emma Little closed out the top-15 with a time of 22:17.

Freshman Kiely Munson went back-to-back and finished 16th with a time of 22:18, and the Lady Spartans’ roster was capped by a 22:30 from junior Emma Campbell for 18th place.

Spring Creek’s entire team finished before Elko’s No. 2 runner crossed line; junior Loulou Neff running second for the Lady Indians and closing out the top-20 in 22:33.

Sophomore Jersey Tsosie finished in 23:01 for 23rd place, freshman Alysia Carr taking 29th in 23:48.

Senior Marissa Valdez placed 35th in 24:45 — opening a three-in-a-row run of Elko girls — senior teammate Karissa Fadenrecht crossing 36th in 25:04, freshman Chantal Cruz rounding of the Lady Indians’ roster in 25:24 for 37th place.

Individual-state qualifiers

Despite not earning a team qualification to the state meet, three Elko girls will compete at the Division 3A Nevada State Cross Country Championships as individuals — taking the top-seven times from runners of non-qualifying teams.

Lowry sophomore Jovi Kuskie’s second-place time of 20:15 led the individual qualifications, de Arrieta was second with her sixth-place 21:27, Lowry junior Adia Bengochea gave the Lady Bucks their second qualifier on her 13th-place time of 22:14 and Fallon sophomore Savanna Regli’s 19th-place 22:31 earned the fourth qualification.

Elko took the next-two individual spots on Neff’s 20th-place 22:33 and Tsosie’s 23rd-place 23:01.

North Valleys senior Cameryn Ellison closed out the individual qualifiers with a 24th-place 23:13 for a season record.

Boys

Both the Spring Creek and Elko boys teams will run at the state meet; the Spartans ranking second at regionals with 53 points and Elko finishing comfortably in third with 64 points — holding a 53-point lead over fourth-place South Tahoe (117).

Tahoe-Truckee earned the regional crown with a team score of 43 points.

Individually, Spring Creek junior Secody Charley took second in a field of 60 athletes with a time of 17:25.

Elko sophomore Isaiah Dahl paced the Indians with a sixth-place 17:59, notching the final 1st-Team All-League selection.

Freshman Jake Bradford crossed ninth overall for the Spartans in 18:07, and junior Noah Haase ran well for the Indians in 18:11 for ninth place.

Junior Jimmy Murphy was Elko’s No. 3 runner with a time of 18:16 for 11th place, but the Spartans made their hay with their No. 3 through No. 5 runners.

Junior Harrison Walund placed 13th with a time of 18:23, followed directly by junior teammate Jess Marin’s time of 18:26 for 14th.

Junior Conner Gage closed Spring Creek’s team scoring with a time of 18:31 for 16th place.

Senior Duncan Monroe ran fourth for the Indians and 17th overall with a time of 18:35.

Spring Creek senior Dallin Fisher took 18th place in 18:41, and Elko sophomore Philip Neff capped the team scoring with a time of 18:56 for 21st overall.

Senior Nathan Copen closed out the Spartans’ roster in 25th with a time of 19:07.

Elko sophomore Keian Lostra finished 26th in 19:12, freshman Tyler Fadenrecht finishing off the Indians’ runners in 20:04 for 38th place.

Up Next

The course of the Division 3A Nevada State Cross Championships should look familiar.

Spring Creek’s, Elko’s and all other qualifiers from the 3A North regional meet will compete on the surface of Rancho San Rafael Park once again.

The 3A girls will kick off the action of the all-divisions state meet at 10 a.m. Saturday, the 3A boys running at 12:15 p.m. Saturday, in Reno.

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Related to this story

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.

In the past-seven seasons, either Elko's or Spring Creek's boys cross country teams 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.

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.

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. 

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. 

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.

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