RENO — Southern Nevada teams felt good coming into Saturday’s Class 4A girls state cross country meet.
The feeling didn’t last long.
Fighting bitterly cold weather and the change in altitude, Southern runners struggled at Rancho San Rafael Park, as Northern Nevada teams took the top three spots.
Carson won the meet with 67 points. Douglas took second with 77. Galena and Coronado each had 80 points, but Galena placed third due to a better sixth-runner finish.
The last time a Southern Nevada team won the 4A race when it was held in the North was 1999.
“It’s altitude. It’s a little hard to train for altitude in Las Vegas,” said Carson coach Pete Sinott.
Douglas freshman Lindsey Adams won the 3.1-mile race in 19 minutes, 46 seconds. Carson’s Alex Drozdoff was second in 19:59.
Centennial’s Sydney Badger, the Sunset Region champ, broke out to an early lead, but Adams caught Badger before the first mile. The two raced together until Adams broke away in the final mile.
Badger faded to sixth overall in 20:24.
Palo Verde sophomore Marissa Suan was the top finisher from Southern Nevada, claiming third in 20:04.
Suan, who was second at the Sunset Region meet, moved up throughout the race. It was the first time she has beaten Badger this season.
“The start of the race surprised me due to the quick pace,” said Suan. “I almost abandoned my race plan, but I stayed patient. At 1,000 meters I started my finishing kick.”
Suan finished six seconds ahead of fourth-place Sara Hanneman of Galena.
“Marissa is a fearless competitor,” said Palo Verde coach Robert Davis. “I knew the hills and the cold were no big deal to her. I told her on Friday that the leaders would battle it out on the hill and with 2,000 meters left, she would have a chance to make a move.”
Arbor View’s Andrea Gonzalez was the only other Southern Nevada runner to crack the top 10, finishing ninth in 20:36.
In the Class 3A meet, Elko placed four runners in the top nine — including winner Mary Jo Wright (19:17) — and won the team title with 26 points. South Tahoe was second with 32, followed by Spring Creek (73) and Virgin Valley (112).
Boulder City’s Jessica Tobler took eighth in 21:10.
Incline won the 2A team race, with Becky Grabow of Sierra Lutheran defending her state 2A individual title, winning in 20:18.