It was a record-breaking day for Nevada on Saturday in the WCC Preview Meet at Baylands Park in Sunnyville, California. As a team they finished fourth out of 11 teams with 116 points, but seven Wolf Pack runners cracked the Nevada All-Time-Top-Ten list with their times on the 6-kilometer course. The Wolf Pack’s best runners were Demerey Kirsch and EmKay Myers who finished 16th and 17th respectively.
Loyola Marymount won the meet with 39 points, San Francisco was second with 51 points and Cal Poly was third with 70 points. Nevada, Cal Poly and Holy Names were the only schools that participated not from the West Coast Conference.
Santa Clara hosted the meet, the track was mostly flat and allowed for fast times. Head Coach Kirk Elias described it as a pancake with a few hills, which was not to Nevada’s advantage since they train on a lot of hills.
Nevada was able to finish in the top five despite being fatigued and racing against some nationally recognized teams from the WCC.
“We stayed together as a pack like we were supposed to,” Myers said. “A couple people were just [kind of] tired today.”
Elias had a true Wolf Pack strategy in mind going into the race, which the runners executed. He had the team run in two packs, the first led by Kirsch and Myers who helped bring up the other runners. Elias said he waited to cut Kirsch and Myers loose from the pack until halfway into the race, and they were still able to finish in the top 20.
The meets Nevada competes in do not count toward rankings until the Mountain West Conference Championships at the end of October, so Elias tries different strategies to find out what works best for his runners.
“We had some good things happen,” Elias said. “If you look at it individually, Marissa Suan had a huge jump in terms of performance.”
Veterans Kirsch and Meyers helped push the younger runners such as the freshman Marissa Suan, who had the third best time for Nevada and the 26th best time overall at 22:14. She was followed by four other freshmen —Alaina Anderson (28th), Meagan Wood (32nd), Anna Preciado (38th) and Helen Mino-Kaukner (42nd).
Suan made a dramatic leap from her first run at the Nevada Twilight Classic where she finished ninth among the
Wolf Pack. The ninth-to-third turnaroundresultedinthe18th best time in Nevada history.
Anne Underwood, Sidney Root and Mariah Gramolini brought up the rear for the Wolf Pack. Underwood and Root both had personal best times which landed them in the top 50 for Nevada all-time.
Nevada will travel to the Midwest in two weeks for its next meet. The team will compete in the Roy Griak Invitational in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Ryan Suppe can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.