The Vikings turned on the heat and turned in some personal bests at state championships Saturday.
The cross-country teams closed out their seasons with third place finishes at the Northern Division I-A State Championships in Boulder City, Nev. Senior Connor Henderson led not just the Vikings, but a field of 52 elite state runners for a first-place finish.
Henderson captures first
For the second year in a row, Henderson torched the championship course. The senior came in 13 seconds ahead of nearest runner with a time of 16:37. He averaged 5:22 per mile.
Henderson's first place finish comes on the heels of a tremendous regional performance, where the senior also eclipsed the competition to capture first place.
Henderson's finish led the boys to their third straight Northern Division 1-A State Regional Championship last weekend.
Henderson was flanked by a strong senior core that helped lead the boys to their third place finish with an average time of 17:48.
Seniors Dylan Maxwell (15th, 18:04), Tyler Myers (18th, 18:108) and Conner Rettig (24th, 18:30) all smoked their own regional times. Throughout their time at South Tahoe, the four seniors contributed to three state trips and two state championship titles, not to mention their three regional titles.
The senior are leaving some big shoes to fill, but Harley Norton is already stepping up. The junior flew in at 13th place with the second fastest time among the South Tahoe runners (17:51).
Juniors Ross Kovac (20th, 18:20) and David Cassaday (33rd, 19:30) rounded out the Vikings' speedy performance. Kovac bested his regional run by 20 seconds.
Underclassmen lead Viking pack
It was the underclassmen once again who led the lady Vikings to a third-place finish overall.
Freshman Tatum Whatford and sophomore Cara Filce turned in South Tahoe's top times. The two crossed the finish line four tenths of a second apart to claim 10th and 11th place out of 52 elite runners.
Whatford charged in first with at the 22:05 mark, averaging speedy 7:07 minute miles.
Less than one second behind her was Filce in 11th place with the same time.
Freshman Riley Rettig cruised in right behind them, snagging 15th place with a 22:25 finish (7:14 minute miles).
Seniors Emily Treat and Andi Ebright capped their high school running careers on an impressive note. Treat breezed in at 22:44 in 20th place and Ebright captured 24th with a 23:04 finish.
The girls came away with an average time of 22:26 and all runners finishing in the top half of the racers. Junior Karley Martinez (21th, 22:50) and sophomore Lauren Tang (23rd, 23:20) rounded out the Viking running crew.
The girls will graduate just two seniors.
Girls championship results
Name Place Pace Total
Tatum Whatford 10 7:07/M 22:05
Cara Filce 11 7:07/M 22:05.5
Riley Rettig 15 7:14/M 22:25
Emily Treat 20 7:20/M 22:44
Karley Martinez 21 7:22/M 22:50
Lauren Tang 23 7:32/M 23:20
Andi Ebright 24 7:33/M 23:24
* The girls finished third overall with an average time of 22:26