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Skyhawks run for repeat

Silverado’s boys cross country team just doesn’t seem to run out of talent.

The Skyhawks, despite losing three of their top five runners from last year’s Class 4A state runner-up team, are right back in their usual spot as one of the favorites to claim the Sunrise Region title.

Silverado will run for its fourth straight region crown today at Veterans’ Memorial Park in Boulder City.

“Our kids are the defending champs and they want to win again,” Silverado boys coach Brian Whitaker said. “There are a lot of good teams in town this year, but we definitely want to keep the tradition alive. That’s a tall task.”

The Sunrise Region boys race is the last of four today and will start at 11:15 a.m. The Sunset Region girls race, at 9, is the first to start.

Seniors Jaime Reeves and Sean Whitesitt are the only two of last year’s top five still running at Silverado, which lost the other three to graduation.

“We knew it would be hard for us to be the same team because we lost three big contributors,” Whitesitt said.

Reeves finished 19th in the state meet last season after an eighth-place showing in the regional. Whitesitt was 10th in the region and 24th at state.

“They’ve done a real nice job for us. Their leadership is a big deal,” Whitaker said. “There’s something to be said for having that big-race experience.”

Kevin Allen, also a senior, and junior Ryan Cross also ran in the regional and state meets last year. Both have made big strides this season.

“It shows that they’re dedicated to doing well and helping the team,” Reeves said. “They’ve worked hard and trained hard.”

The Skyhawks’ other three runners will each participate in his first regional race today. Reeves and Whitesitt have walked a fine line between preparing the three less-experienced runners for the race and not putting too much pressure on their teammates to run well.

“It’s different because it is the biggest race of the year, but you don’t want to get in their head and get them too nervous,” Whitesitt said.

The top two teams in each regional race advance to next week’s state meet. The top five individuals not on a qualifying team also advance.

Coronado, Tech, Foothill and Las Vegas should give Silverado plenty of competition.

“We can’t just have one person step up,” Whitesitt said. “We need to have all seven of us run well.”

In the girls Sunset Region meet, defending champion Foothill should battle Coronado and Tech for the top spot.

In the Sunrise Region, Centennial could have a big day. Both Bulldog teams are ranked No. 1 in the Southern Nevada coaches poll posted on nevadatrack.org.

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