Hartle, Gorcycza propel Centennial, Palo Verde, respectively, to Sunset cross country titles

Centennial junior Nick Hartle wastes little time putting away his competition.

On Friday, he also wasted little time breaking a record.

Hartle ran the 3.1-mile Sunset Region meet at Veterans Memorial Park in Boulder City in 16 minutes, 5 seconds, breaking the record of 16:08 that was set a month ago at the Las Vegas Invitational.

Hartle’s effort helped Centennial win the boys team title with 39 points. Shadow Ridge was second with 83 and Arbor View third with 94. The top three teams and top five individuals not on a qualifying team advance to the state meet Nov. 6 at Veterans Memorial Park.

“This is big for our seniors,” said Hartle, who has been largely unchallenged by local competition this season. “They worked so hard this year, they deserve this.”

Centennial’s Kyle Merritt finished second in 16:40.

“Finishing 1-2, that was awesome,” Merritt said. “That’s been our goal, and the fact that it actually happened was amazing.”

Shadow Ridge’s Kyle Wilson (16:46) was third and Arbor View’s Greg Marschik (16:47) fourth.

“Centennial came to run,” Shadow Ridge coach Patrick Fitzgerald said. “I feel like our boys ran a little flat today. Hopefully that changes next week.”

The five individual qualifiers were Clark’s Basabose Bahati (fifth in 16:54), Palo Verde’s Thomas Johnson (17:05), Bishop Gorman’s Shawn Smith (17:05), Palo Verde’s Andrew Jacobson (17:06) and Cimarron-Memorial’s Samuel Mayo (17:06).

GIRLS

Palo Verde’s Katie Gorczyca surprised many by being lost somewhere in the pack in the first 800 meters.

It didn’t take long for the Panthers freshman star to take her normal spot.

“I just love the thrill of passing people,” she said of her slow start.

The first half mile would be the only opportunity she had to do any passing. Gorczyca breezed to a first-place finish in 19:42.

“It’s maybe not very wise to go out slower during the start of a race,” Gorczyca said, “but the race isn’t won in the first 200 meters anyway.”

Gorczyca’s effort and teammate Kelsi Koch’s third-place finish helped Palo Verde win the team title with 38 points. Arbor View was second with 48.

Shadow Ridge grabbed the third spot at state, winning a sixth-runner tiebreaker over Centennial after both teams had 107 points.

Arbor View’s Andrea Gonzalez took second in 20:05.

Qualifying individually for state were Centennial’s Sydney Badger (20:35), Brianna Roll (21:16) and Savannah Anas (21:37), Spring Valley’s Dannica Puente (21:37) and Bishop Gorman’s Taylor Stueve (21:42).

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