Truckee cross-country | Wolverines competitive among elite field | SierraSun.com

Truckee cross-country | Wolverines competitive among elite field

Special to the Sun

For the first time in recent memory, the Truckee cross-country team traveled south to the Clovis Invitational in Fresno this past Saturday to race on the 5K course used for the California State Championships every year.

Thousands of runners compete in 18 races throughout the day in Woodward Park, an oasis of green in the decidedly golden Central Valley. 

"This is a high caliber meet, and Truckee fared very well," said Truckee coach Rob McClendon.

The girls varsity squad ran in the championship race, in a packed field of 26 top-ranked California, Nevada and Texas teams, four of which are nationally ranked, including the No. 1 team in the nation, Great Oak (Temecula). 

Not surprisingly, Great Oak teams took top honors in every race they entered. In the championship race, they ran the third best time in the meet's 36-year history, with a total time of 1:29:43, or a 17:56 average.  

The Truckee girls placed 16th in the championship race and 23rd overall for the day out of 129 teams. They were the top performing Division 4 team of the day, and they also ran faster than every Division 3 team as well, although Corona Del Mar beat them on points. 

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Only three other Division 4 teams placed in the Top 50: San Leandro's Bishop O'Dowd in 29th place, Piedmont in 36th place and San Juan Capistrano's JSerra in 39th place. 

Senior Skyler Flora led the way for the Truckee girls in the championship race, just narrowly missing a top-10 finish in the lightning fast field of 184 runners, placing 11th in 18:15. Teammates Gabrielle Rinne and Carrie Bradley were roughly a minute behind, finishing in 19:08 and 19:27, respectively, for 62nd and 75th place. 

Rounding out the scorers were Claire Lang Ree in 131st (20:11) and Syra Fillat close behind in 134th (20:15). Julia Veliquette finished 157th (20:49) and Olivia Yale 165th (21:04).

Bradley, Lang Ree, Fillat and Yale all posted personal records (PR), with Fillat improving her time by over one minute. Overall, the team scorers posted their fastest ever total time (1:37:09) and average time (19:25.95), which was 21st fastest team of the day. 

In the JV races, three more girls achieved PRs: Bella Bono (24:04), Elizabeth Morgan (24:43) and Paige Hourigan (25:59).

"The girls team is really coming together," McClendon said. "We lowered our gap between runner 1 to 5 by over a minute, which is two minutes now. I would like for this to get down to a minute thirty before the end of the season."

With senior standout Noah Oberriter sidelined with an injury, the young boys team entered the Division 3/4 Frosh Soph race. In a field of 195 runners from 29 teams, Truckee placed 13th.  

Sophomore Hudson Verbeck, consistently Truckee's No. 2 runner, placed 35th in 18:42. Freshman Tyler Ferrera finished 59th (19:15), with a trio of sophomores behind him: Chris Miller in 85th (19:36), Ian Smith 93rd (19:55) and David Dalicandro 109th (20:24).  

Meanwhile, senior Patrick MacAuley achieved a PR of 23:00 in the JV race. 

"The boys ran a good race, but we fell a little short of our goals," McClendon said. "We have a really young boys team, so we are learning every race. We will have to improve as a team if we have a shot of getting out of the regional meet. Last season we fell short by one point."

Up next

Truckee will compete in the Sparks Railroaders Invitational on Friday at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park.