Going the distance
The consensus among Truckee High cross country runners is that this year’s group is more capable than the one a year ago, when the boys went on to place runner-up to Lowry in the state championship.
And the girls?
“This year the girls have a team,” said senior Kelsey Dion, “so we’re pretty excited.”
Such wasn’t the case in 2006, when the girls’ roster numbers dwindled to four by season’s end. Teams need at least five members to compete, Dion said.
Nevertheless, Dion and junior teammate Gina Krauss each qualified to compete individually at state, placing 28th and 24th, respectively. With seven girls this season, Krauss likes her team’s chances.
“It’s big,” she said of her girls squad. “I think we have a lot of potential. I think if we (compete) together as a team we can be pretty good.”
Despite losing some of its top runners to graduation, including Kelsey Waters on the girls’ side and Spencer Wood and Kyle Britto on the boys’ team, Truckee head coach Robbie McClendon thinks his crew has the ability to exceed last year’s accomplishments.
“We have some new runners, but it looks like we’re shaping up to be good,” said McClendon, who is now in his third year as head cross country coach. “By the end of the season we should be ready to rip and roar.”
When it comes to distance running, junior standout Micah Silver is always ready for competition. And after finishing third behind Lowry’s Matt Pike and Vance Orr at state, he’s preparing for a redemptive performance against his Northern 3A opponents.
“Of course, to win state,” he said of his goal entering the season, “maybe get 15:30 in the three-mile.”
Silver, who said he’s faster now than ever, crossed the finish line of the 5-kilometer ” 3.1-mile ” race at state in 17:49.81. Pike won with a time of 17:34.85 and Orr, who “came out of the blue,” Silver said, finished in 17:38.07.
McClendon expects Silver to run “smarter races” now that he is one year wiser.
“It’s a matter of running with brains versus just running with guts,” the coach said. “(Silver) needs to run smoothly and peak at the right time.”
Also contenders on the boys’ side are senior Max Salinger, and juniors Hansen LeClair and Stefan Benier, said McClendon, adding that he hopes others will step up and help the team as a whole. The Wolverines have six boys total.
“There are a few people that we need to rise to the occasion, because you’re only as fast as your fifth guy,” the coach said.
Truckee has its first meet of the season today (Sept. 5) against North Tahoe and Incline. The meet is scheduled for 3 p.m. at Incline Middle School.
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Students frustrated at the cancellation of sports waved signs and delivered speeches at a Truckee High School protest in an attempt to return to the field this year.