Finishing sixth at last season’s 3A state championship meet at Craig Ranch Park, the girls Boulder City High school cross-country program is searching for its first state championship since 1999 behind a handful of seasoned veterans.
“I’m expecting only the best from these girls this season,” head coach Staci Selinger said. “They have the skills and depth to have a really great year. I expect them to compete at state as a team again this year.”
Led by two-time 3A Southern Region champion senior Sierra Seligner, the Lady Eagles should be in the mix for a team title this season after finishing as the third Southern Nevada representative at state last season behind Southeast Career Technical Academy and Desert Pines.
“Sierra is a huge asset to our team, not only in terms of her running ability, but as a leader,” Staci Selinger said. “She’s really taken on the role of being the team leader this season, initiating some new drills and skills that she learned over the summer at cross-country camp. She’s constantly pushing herself to work harder and I think the rest of the team follows her lead.”
Finishing as the first Southern Nevada competitor, Selinger took 11th place in the state last season with a time of 20:14, leaving her wanting more for her final season with the program.
“For us as a team, the goal is to make it to the state meet for a fourth consecutive season,” Sierra Selinger said. “Helping my team achieve that goal, I’m trying to continue to get faster after each race. I’d like to repeat as regional champion again and hopefully place in the top five at state.”
A fourth state meet appearance seems more than achievable for this season’s squad, which brings back three core members from last season’s team. Anchoring the returners is senior Camille Torgesen, who finished ninth at regionals last season with a season-best time of 21:28.1, followed by a 37th-place finish at state. Giving the Lady Eagles two seniors to rely on, Torgesen likes the makeup on this year’s team.
“I have a lot of confidence in our team’s ability to be competitive,” Torgesen said. “We have a few really good returners and a few new girls who I think can help us. I’m looking forward to this season.”
Sophomore Audrey Selinger generated two top 10 finishes during the regular season, finishing with a season-best time of 22:35.2 at regionals for a 21st-place finish. Junior Brynlee Campbell also returns after finishing 32nd at regionals last season with a season-best time of 23:27.1.
While the Lady Eagles have their star senior intact, the boys will have to replace their star competitor after the graduation of Tyler Campbell, who finished fifth at last season’s state meet as an individual competitor.
Still in search of its first state meet appearance as a team since 2013, newly announced boy’s head coach Staci Selinger is optimistic that this could be the year the boys make a strong push.
“We took a hard hit this year losing so many of our top scorers, but I’m getting more optimistic about our chances of having either the boys team make state or at least a few individuals after each practice,” she said. “We have a few tough teams to compete with this season, so we’ll see how it all stacks up after a few meets. We might surprise some people.”
Leading the way this season for the Eagles are returners senior Dawson Goodfellow and junior Nah Calvert, along with a solid core of newcomers who should keep the team competitive.
Placing 39th at regionals, Goodfellow recorded a season-best time of 19:14, while Calvert recorded his best time at regionals as well with a 44th-place finish with a time of 19:37.5.
Expected to help carry some of the load left by Campbell, the Eagles welcome three track and field competitors: seniors Bryce Rogers and Kevin Trygstad and junior Elias Woodbury. Competing in distance and sprint last spring, Rogers is confident he’ll be able to adjust to the new sport.
“It’s a new sport, but it’s still running,” he said. “I’m going to have to develop a pace that I’m comfortable running at, but I think I’ll be able to adjust. I’m looking forward to a great season. I’m very hopeful I can help the team out.”
Also hoping to help the Eagles this season as newcomers, freshman Ethan Porter and Seth Woodbury, who both bring junior high school cross-country experience with them.
“I’m excited to have our two freshmen who can hopefully contribute early,” Staci Selinger said. “Ethan and Seth both ran junior high cross-country, so I’m hopeful they can adjust. Ethan also has lots of 5K and triathlon experience as well.”
Starting their season Saturday with a challenge, both programs will participate in the Red Rock Running Invitational at Floyd Lamb Park against a 4A laden field. Coming back down to division competition Tuesday, the Eagles will host a weekly race at Hemenway Park against league competitors Chaparral, Del Sol and Southeast Career Technical Academy; 2A Laughlin and 4A Silverado will also attend the weekly.
Contact Robert Vendettoli at BCRsports@gmail.com.
Saturday, Aug. 26, Red Rock Running Invitational at Floyd Lamb Park, 7:30 a.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 29, Boulder City meet at Hemenway Valley Park, 4:30 p.m.