No boys cross country team in Southern Nevada has won a Class 4A state title since Basic in 1998, and no individual has won since Chaparral’s Patrick Swick in 2002.
The Northern Region’s dominance does not appear likely to stop this season. The state meet begins at 10 a.m. Saturday at Veterans Memorial Park in Boulder City.
Galena, the defending boys champion, won’t repeat because it didn’t qualify as a team.
Reno’s boys, though, will be looking for their sixth team title since 2002.
Reno placed five runners in the top 15 at the Northern Regional.
The Huskies are led by senior Brandon Nied, junior Cary Dunagan and senior Russ Smithson, who placed fifth, sixth and ninth, respectively, at regionals.
Carson tied with Galena but got the second spot to state on a sixth-runner tiebreaker. The Senators are led by junior Richard Shroy (fourth), junior Nick Schlager (seventh) and sophomore Brent Moyle (10th).
Shroy was the runner-up at state last year.
Centennial, which won the Sunset, is led by junior Nathan Williams, who turned in the fastest time at regionals, freshman Nick Hartle and junior Scott Albright.
Comparing times from the two regionals — as well as the past performances of Reno, Carson and Centennial and the other qualifiers at invitationals this season — suggests Reno likely will prevail.
At the regional meet, Reno’s five scoring runners averaged 17:17 over the 3.1-mile course, while Carson’s top five averaged 17:27. Centennial’s five scoring runners averaged 17:31 at their regional.
The five other teams competing for team honors will be Sunrise champion Green Valley, Palo Verde, Shadow Ridge, Foothill and Tech.
Green Valley placed three runners in the top 10 at the Sunrise: juniors Jason Ferraro (seventh), Julius Kim (ninth) and Matt Campa-Moreno (10th).
Foothill, like Green Valley, had three runners place in the top 10 — senior Chris Perrine (fourth), sophomore Carl Greene (fifth) and junior Brian Arvizu (eighth).
Tech’s two frontrunners are Jose Escamilla (third) and Chris Rising (11th).
Palo Verde will depend senior Zack Smith, senior Daniel Wicks and junior Sebastian Karbowniczek, all of whom placed in the top 10 at the Sunset.
The individual favorite in the boys race is Galena senior Bryan Tibaduiza, the defending state champion. Injuries have hampered him for much of the season, but he easily prevailed at the Northern Regional last week in 16:03 — 23 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher.
“(State) is a celebration that he is improving and that he is healthy and is so full of energy,” said Galena coach Domingo Tibaduiza, Bryan’s father. “… The way that he’s been running, it’s going to be hard to find anyone in this state that can compete with him.”
The Harrier and DyeStat.com ranks Tibaduiza as one of the nation’s top 25 male runners.
If anyone can challenge Tibaduiza, it is likely Centennial’s Nathan Williams.
Williams was third at state last year and a runner-up as a freshman at the same Boulder City course.
Unbeaten against local competition in 2008, Williams has not competed against his counterparts in Northern Nevada this season.
Other runners who should be in the hunt for top-10 finishes include junior Erik Sandall of Elko, runner-up at the Northern Regional; sophomore Bryan Jordan of Galena, third in the North qualifier; junior Al Galen of Liberty; senior Solomon Belay of Valley; and junior Jake Naylor of Clark.