He knew there was a lot of potential but there were still a lot of question marks surrounding the young squad.
Junior Josh Gingras answered many of those questions with his performance at the Northern 4A Region Track & Field Championships this past weekend.
Moss expected hurdler Chris Imus, Gingras, pole vaulter Brent Showalter and high jumper Irvin Ma to help solidify the team’s core.
But it was Gingras who forged his way to the top and led the Raiders to a third-place finish at regionals.
Gingras was the lone Raider on the boys side to take home an individual regional championship. The sprinter dashed his way to a first-place finish in the 100 meters with a time of 11.33 seconds.
However, that wasn’t the only time he called himself a regional champion Saturday at Carson High. Gingras also ran the anchor leg of the winning 4x200m relay team.
It was the first time he ran the final leg and it paid off. McQueen led after the final handoff and Gingras tracked down his competition and passed him around the curve in the last 100 meters.
“He came up to me and said ‘you’ve got to put me at anchor because I can run anybody down if they’re ahead of me. Give me that chance and I will prove it to you.’ He definitely did it,” Moss said.
While those were the only two times Reed crossed the finish line first in the boys competition, Gingras wasn’t done racking up points for the Blue and Gold.
Gingras contributed to 36 of the Raiders’ 70 points. Gingras took second in the 200m and also ran the second leg of the 4x100m relay team’s second-place run.
Gingras might be the class of northern Nevada in the short sprints, but now he will be going up against sprinters from the South, who historically are the fastest kids in the Silver State. He knows his times in the 100m and 200m have him seeded as the No. 6 runner, but he’s looking forward to the challenge of facing sprinters from the Vegas schools.
“I’m definitely looking forward to facing good competition. It helps my times,” Gingras said. “I’m definitely in it to win it. The numbers don’t really mean anything to me. It’s all about racing next to them.”
Moss believes Gingras can run an 11 flat in the 100m when there’s no wind and can compete with the southern runners. Headwinds tend to be a challenge in the North that aren’t a problem in the South. Luckily, state is at Del Sol High School in Las Vegas and Gingras should be able to show what he can do in good weather.
“He looks at those times and says ‘I can do that,’” Moss said.
Gingras might have a better shot at winning the relays, events he prefers anyway. The 4x100m relay is seeded third and only 0.34 seconds slower than the fastest team, while the 4x200m relay is ranked fourth out of nine teams.
“Relays are my favorite actually. It’s really cool to run with other guys. It pushes me to work harder,” Gingras said. “I think it would be really cool (to win). And also we’re pretty close to the school record it sounded like, so we’re going to try our best.”
As a junior, Gingras hasn’t taken a huge leadership role, but he has been irreplaceable for Moss.
“You could really say he’s like a blue-collar worker, brings his lunch pail, does his job and goes home. When he comes to practice and to meets, he has his game face on. It’s all about business with him,” Moss said. “He’s been a huge contributor. You’re talking about him adding a lot of great points to us and a whole new dimension to our relays.”