By Darin Stewart
Coach/ White Pine Cross Country
On Saturday, November 7th, White Pine Cross Country athlete Samuel Stewart, and his Coach/Father, Darin Stewart traveled to Rancho San Rafael Park in Reno, Nevada to compete in the NIAA Nevada State Cross Country Championships.
In what was probably the most exciting race and finish of the day, it was White Pine’s Samuel Stewart who was able to prevail against a closely matched and talented group of Division III runners. With 200m to the finish Samuel was able to overtake Cam Goldstone of North Tahoe in an all out sprinting kick to finish with a time of 17:16, finishing 2 seconds ahead of North Tahoe’s — Cam Goldstone. Samuel ran a smart and strategic race using running methods he’d developed during the season to conserve energy and preserve placement during the race in order to put himself in a position where he would be able to out sprint other runners when it came to the finish. He had worried some about the course earlier on because the Northern Conference had competed the week before on that same course for their Conference Championships, and they would clearly have the advantage on him by having previously run the course in a competition. He determined that it would be in his best interest to let very good runners lead on the course because they knew the terrain, but to stay right on any leader’s shoulder to press them into a somewhat uncomfortable pace in order to take away their legs for a kick at the end. Training and strategy paid off as an appreciative crowd of fellow athletes, parents and other spectators cheered him on as he raced for the finish line.
The week before Samuel won the Southern Nevada Division III Cross Country Championship at Veterans Memorial Park in Boulder City, and qualified for the State meet finishing with a time of 17:39. Samuel had competed well all season posting good times and placing well amongst the leaders at every meet where he ran against runners from all divisions. He had competed against some of these larger school athletes during track season, and during the summer in the Junior Olympics, and was grateful for the opportunity to run against great athletes from both Southern and Northern Divisions. There is a lot of strategy that comes into play during the course of a 5000m cross country race, and facing different running styles of various athletes is helpful in developing one’s own style in order to win.
We would like to express our appreciation to all of those who have supported the White Pine Cross Country program this season, and the other White Pine Cross Country student/runners that participated as well. Kayden Davis and Candyce Humphries show promise for next season. A special Thank You to White Pine County Superintendent Bob Dolezal for his help and support, and to White Pine High School Athletic Director, Mark Dolezal for helping with travel and accommodation logistics. It is nice to have the support of the community as well, and Samuel is indeed proud to represent White Pine County, and bring home a State Championship as a representative athlete for White Pine High School. He is now looking forward to a great basketball season with his teammates. Go Bobcats!!