Jose Granados had very high expectations for his first cross-country season after winning two Class 1A state track and field titles last spring. But even he couldn’t be upset with himself after finishing third Saturday in the Class 2A/1A state championship meet at Veterans Memorial Park in Boulder City.
The Beatty sophomore shaved almost 39 seconds off of his time from the previous week in the Southern Regional meet, covering the 5,000-meter course in 17 minutes, 32.7 seconds.
“Way better,” Granados said, comparing his state run to his regional run. “More relaxed. It just felt like a more comfortable pace.”
Granados regretted his decision at the regional meet to get off to a fast start and was determined not to try that strategy again.
“Getting out wasn’t as fast as last week,” he said. “I just cruised. From the start, I was maybe like eighth, and then I started pushing past people.”
One of the only two people Granados couldn’t push past was his springtime rival, senior Jared Marchegger of Sierra Lutheran. Granados and Marchegger had three memorable battles at the Class 1A state championships in May, with Granados winning the 800 and 1,600 meters by less than a second and Marchegger taking the 3,200 by less than six seconds.
Marchegger won the race in 16:51.5 while his teammate, junior Teagan Hansen, was second in 17:28.3.
Granados has improved in three consecutive races at Veterans Memorial Park, running 18:16.1 in the Lake Mead Invitational and 18:11.3 in the regional meet.
“I guess I was saving more for the end,” he said. “I tried to run the first mile at a comfortable pace, the second mile I started picking it up a bit, and the third mile I picked it up a little bit more.”
Granados said he has decided not to play basketball for the Hornets this winter, choosing instead to focus on preparing for college both academically and athletically.
Trojan boys finish fifth
Meanwhile, Pahrump Valley’s boys were visibly disappointed after the Class 3A race, which was dominated by Northern Nevada schools, although four Trojans finished among the top 30.
Jacob Cipollini was tops among the Trojans, finishing 18th in 18:23.8. He was followed by Michael Sonerholm (25th, 18:39.7), Grant Odegard (27th, 18:42.7) and Brandon Ruud (29th, 18:50.9). Freshman Seth Sonerholm’s 19:31.8 was good for 43rd.
It was a far cry from their performance on the same course at the Lake Mead Invitational, in which all five finished in the top 20 as the Trojans won the team title. But Ruud improved his regional time by more than 21 seconds, while Odegard shaved 17 seconds off of his time from the previous week.
Region champion Christian Franklin of Valley won again, claiming the state title in 16:22.2, but he could only lead the Vikings to fourth place, 23 points better than the Trojans. Elko, led by second-place Alex Klekas, edged Spring Creek by five points for the team title, with Tahoe-Truckee finishing third.
On the girls side, the Trojans did not qualify as a team but Diamond Sonerholm, Katie Goodman and Patricia Roundy qualified as individuals based on their times in the regional meet.
Sonerholm was the best finisher among the trio, placing 30th in 23:14.0, with Goodman right behind in 23:23.2. Roundy finished 37th in 24:03.1.
Again, Northern Nevada schools dominated. Carissa Buchholz of South Tahoe won the meet in 19:01.9, but Spring Creek placed five runners in the top 15 to win the team title over second-place Tahoe-Truckee.