Tension ran strong among the many Lincoln County runners at regionals this past weekend in Boulder City.
“The DIII/DIV boys race was the tightest race all day among the divisions,” Coach Lacey Pearson said.
The top four teams were separated by only 10 points at the finish line. Only the top two in the division would advance to the state meet, and Lincoln finished in fourth, meaning no trip to Reno this weekend.
“We knew this race was going to be tough,” Pearson said. “Between West Wendover wanting to defend their title, Meadows being the fastest team going into the meet, and us not having our strongest runner, our boys knew they were in for a dogfight.”
Jesse Mathews has been the one who led the boys team all year, but he had already signed up and paid, months earlier, for a flight to go with his family to the FFA Nationals event before anyone knew there was a scheduling conflict. “I think he felt worst of all that he would be missing the meet,” Pearson said. “I simply consider it a huge serendipity that we had Jesse at all this season, since he had played football his first three years. It was an honor to coach him in cross country for his final year in high school.”
One of the key elements, as Coach Pearson explained, of a successful race is not going too fast at the beginning, and thereby getting into oxygen debt for the rest of the race. The team knew this, but they also knew what was at stake. Several of the boys did go out too fast. “I don’t fault them for that,” the coach said. “Their hearts were in the right place, and it gave them some valuable experience for the next year.”
Tyler Frehner achieved a personal record on the difficult course, with a time of 19:50. “I was really happy with how well he did in this race,” Pearson said. Cody Dirks received a time of 19:47. Ben Culverwell ran a time of 19:59. Michael Winters ran a time of 20:49. Lincoln Frehner ran a 20:59. Carlin Christensen got a time of 21:03. And Samuel Barfield ran a 22:27.
The girls team only had two runners, and they needed five in order to qualify as a team. But those two received personal records. Ally Wadsworth ran a time of 30:30. And Mayah Hafen ran a 29:12. Madi Mathews is the only runner for Pahranagat Valley and qualified to go to state as an individual. “She ran a superb race,” Pearson said. “I was super happy with how well she did, as she has been having to train solo since the beginning of this season.”
As they say goodbye to the 2015 season, the team is already excited for what 2016 will bring.
“The team and I are very much looking forward to next year and are already working on changes to better our team,” Pearson said. “We don’t like leaving hungry.”