Lincoln runners near end of final PVL season

Placer will still be the challenge
By: Jim Linsdau, Sports Editor
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The Lincoln High cross-country team finished up their second Pioneer Valley League meet at Gibson Ranch Wednesday, with the championships coming up at Bear River Oct. 6.

Although the Fighting Zebras have shown improvement, the dominance of the Placer Hillmen for both the boys and girls divisions has not diminished. The Hillmen will be moving to the Division III Foothill Valley League next season, along with Lincoln.

This season the girls have shown the most progress with junior Destiny Everett leading the way. Her time of 19:14.1 in the 5,000-meter event is second only to Placer senior Marin Chamberlin.

The Zebras took third in the first PVL Meet held at Colfax. The Hillmen ran away with the event and Colfax edged Lincoln for second place, 42-81.

Junior Saedy Williamson runs about four places behind Everett in the PVL and senior Natalie Jossis is two minutes behind Williamson. If Williamson and Jossis can improve their times over the next few weeks, second place is well in reach.

Although juniors Tyler Smith, Tara Budge and Lexuz Ledezma rank 29th, 31st and 33rd, they are running within 30 seconds of one another. If they continue to improve as a unit, the Zebras could make substantial strides in cross-country before facing a potential move to Division II.

The boys also have an excellent runner in Preston Summerhays. The senior ranks sixth in the 5K and is only 30 seconds behind Placer’s top runner Adam Fragola.

The biggest weakness for the Zebras boys is the lack of team strength.

Junior Christopher Pickett has shown good potential, but his best time is not in the PVL’s top 20. In fact, only five runners are among the top 40 runners in league.

The dark horses here are Jared Palmyra, Matt Parrotte, Aydon Torgersen and Tyler Nielsen. A good cross-country team needs seven strong runners and their best times stack them up at six, seven and eight, respectively.

Although only five runners are scored, six and seven can take potential points away from the competition by finishing ahead of runners from the top five of other teams.

Lincoln’s top three athletes right now behind Summerhays and Pickett are juniors Nathan Stewart (19:26.6) and Bailey Oram (20:04.7), and freshman John Hoang (19:32.9). They are separated by seven other PVL runners and could close the gap, and Stewart is less than 60 seconds away from breaking into the top 20.

There is a lot of youth on the Lincoln team and there is strength in numbers, as long as the Zebras keep running.