For the first time since 1998, the Class 4A boys state cross country championship belongs to a Southern Nevada school.
Centennial upset the favored Northern teams, edging Carson 56-57, on Saturday at Veterans Memorial Park in Boulder City. Reno was third with 60 points.
It was the first boys state title for Centennial in any sport and the first time a 4A boys team from the South has won on the state course at Veterans Memorial Park since the course first was used in 2000.
The last time a 4A boys team from the South had won state in cross country was 1998 when Basic won at Indian Springs. Since then Reno and Galena have dominated.
Not this time, at least as far as team scores.
Eight of the first 10 finishers were from the North, but three of those eight, including winner Bryan Tibaduiza of Galena, were nonscoring runners. Tibaduiza won the 3.1-mile race in 16 minutes, 22 seconds.
Nathan Williams (16:37) was third and Nick Hartle (16:54) seventh to pace Centennial.
But the team title came down to each team’s third, fourth and fifth runners. Centennial’s No. 4 runner, freshman Billy Gravely, had a key performance, placing 21st in 17:40. His time was 32 seconds faster than his Sunset Region time run on the same course.
“I’m speechless,” Centennial coach Mike McGuire said. “My three, four, five did it.”
Carson put three in the top 10: Richard Shroy (second), Nick Schlager (sixth) and Logan Phillipi (10th). Reno countered with two in the top 10: Brandon Nied (fifth) and Cary Dunagan (eighth).
Tibaduiza had a relatively easy time in capturing his second straight individual title.
He broke from the lead pack shortly after the 2,000-meter mark and maintained a comfortable lead of at least 30 meters from there to the finish, winning in 16:23 for the 3.1 miles.
The Class 2A and 3A races went as expected. Sierra Lutheran junior Wade Meddles completed his first cross country season in style, cruising to an easy win in Class 2A.
Meddles had the fastest time of the day at 16:13, one second off the course record. He finished 1:05 ahead of the next competitor. He transferred from Smith Valley, which does not compete in cross country.
Meddles led the Falcons to a lopsided team victory as they defeated runner-up North Tahoe, 21-58.
The 3A team trophy went to Lowry with 45 points. Boulder City nipped Moapa Valley for second, 59-60.
The 3A individual winner was Boulder City’s Matt Lundgren, with a time of 17:16. Ben Stevens of Spring Creek (17:25) was second and Josh Thompson of Moapa Valley (17:29) third.