By GABRIELLE SHIOZAWA
Moapa Valley Progress
The 48th annual Larry Burgess-Las Vegas Invitational on Saturday featured more than 1,100 participants. The competition, hosted by Basic High School at Sunset Park, drew athletes from across Nevada, Utah, and Arizona.
In the 1.25 Mile Middle School Boys’ race, Leavitt Middle School’s Noah Espeleta was the first to complete the flat, grassy course when he crossed the finish line at 6:50. William Anderson was the first member of the Mack Lyon Cross Country Team to finish the race, ending at 9:56 and placing 46th. Just behind him, taking 49th place, was Dalton Marshall, who finished at 10:03.
Faith Lutheran’s Claire Dalbec finished first in the Middle School Girls’ race with a time of 7:43. Lyon’s Savannah Burt placed 29th at 9:54.
In the 3 Mile Freshman/Sophomore Boys’ race, Palo Verde’s Matthew Siroky took first place with his time of 16:56. After a close race to the finish with Shadow Ridge’s Joseph Hughes, Moapa Valley’s Preston Humes pulled ahead for a 17:21 finish in seventh place. Coming in 59th place at 19:07 was Samuel Jolley, and just behind him, with a time of 19:24, was Maximus Shambaugh, who placed 64th.
Faith Lutheran’s Kaleigh Shaw was the first to complete the Freshman/Sophomore Girls’ race at 19:55. Pirate athletes Samantha Thompson and Isabella Bustillos ran a close race and finished with respective times of 24:51 and 24:53 in 70th and 72nd places. Taking 79th place with a time of 25:22 was Alexa Canfield. After a sprint to the finish with Arbor View’s Ashley McLaughlin, Laura Adams pulled ahead for a 26:11 finish in 87th place. She was followed by Annabel Lounsbury, who completed the course at 27:23 and took 96th place.
“I pushed really hard!” was freshman Isabella Bustillos’ excited remark.
“It was an amazing race,” added Laura Adams, also an MVHS freshman. “All of us got out there and we pushed through the pain and fatigue; that’s what made us do so well. We didn’t give up.”
The Pirate girls took 11th place overall in the event.
Next, in the Varsity Boys’ race, Hurricane’s Caleb Armstrong took first place at 14:50. He was immediately followed by last year’s Nevada State champion, Pahrump Valley’s Bryce Odegard, who completed the course at 15:29. Nathaniel Thompson was the first Pirate to cross the finish line, placing 10th at 16:43. Jerrick Stastny narrowly beat out Hurricane’s Isaac Blair for 11th place with his time of 16:57. After a sprint to the finish with SECTA’s Ryan Myers, Bryton Dorsey pulled ahead to take 24th place at 17:56. Zachary Anderson and Nathan Waite ran a close race, taking 39th place at 19:15 and 40th place at 19:16, respectively. Taylor Landini finished the course at 20:58, taking 65th place.
Each of these runners made a vast improvement on their previous personal records. Overall, the six MVHS athletes placed third, right behind Hurricane and Pahrump Valley.
The last race of the day was the Varsity Girls’ race. Hurricane’s Hailey Odekirk finished the course in first place at 18:56. Zoe Zubia finished in 27th place for the Pirates at 23:17. Taking 32nd place at 24:03 and narrowly beating Adelson’s Vanessa Voltz was Hannah Watson. Emma Thompson and McKinley Bledsoe ran a close race, finishing in 34th place at 24:46 and in 36th place at 24:56, respectively. Miranda Robison and Kennadie Burt also ran close races, taking 50th place at 26:13 and 51st place at 26:30. After a sprint to the finish with Lincoln County’s Mayah Hafen, Gabrielle Shiozawa pulled ahead to take 58th place at 28:18.
The Pirate girls placed fifth overall.
“I’m really happy with how the race went today,” said team captain Emma Thompson. “I was really happy with how I ran, and I feel like we all worked hard. I’m proud of everyone else and all the progress we’re making.”
The MVHS Cross Country teams will compete this Wednesday at Green Valley High School before hosting an invitational at the Clark County Fairgrounds this Saturday.