Northern 4A teams finally return to South Lake Tahoe for track and field |

Northern 4A teams finally return to South Lake Tahoe for track and field

Steve Yingling, Tribune sports editor

Nearly two decades had passed since South Tahoe High last hosted a Northern 4A League track and field meet.

The tartan track used for the 1968 U.S. Olympic Trials at Echo Summit deteriorated to a state that prevented the Vikings from hosting meets throughout much of the 1990s and until 2008 when a new track was financed.

A year after opening the multimillion-dollar Community Youth Sports Complex at South Tahoe Middle School, the Vikings on Wednesday were finally able to resume serving as a host like other 4A schools. It was a rare opportunity for friends and family to watch their favorite runners, jumpers and throwers compete without having to drive several hours.

Last April, the Vikings hosted a quadrangular meet that included Whittell, Sierra Lutheran and Incline. The level of competition elevated on Wednesday as Douglas, McQueen and Bishop Manogue competed at the high-altitude facility.

“It was great to have those teams up here racing our teams on our turf,” said STHS track and field coach Melissa Berry. “We’ve been going down there for so long and seeing them in their schools, it was nice to actually bring them up here.”

Although official results weren’t available, the Vikings had their share of successes.

Recommended Stories For You

Senior Chris Klug won all four event he participated in and unofficially set personal bests in the 100 meters, long jump and triple jump. In the 100, Klug was able to beat Douglas rival Jordan Cruise with his personal-best time of 11.08.

“It was a confidence booster, beating him today, because I’ll need to beat him to make it to state,” Klug said.

His latest PR brings Klug closer to his ultimate goal of bringing down the school record in the 100.

“From the beginning of the year, I’ve PR’d every meet,” Klug said. “I’m dropping times really fast. My goal is a 10.84, which is the record.”

A quicker start out of the blocks has helped Klug to continually lower his 100 time.

“Back in the combines in football I had great starts because I was out really wide,” Klug said. “With my starts at the beginning of the year, it was really short and narrow. Now I have a wider start, and it’s making me a lot quicker out of the blocks.”

In winning the long jump, Klug increased his personal best from 21 feet, 1 3/4 inches to 21-3. He said there is room for more improvement because he left the ground 6 inches behind the board on his best jump. If he hadn’t, Klug was pretty certain that he would have had another school record.

Klug has dabbled in the triple jump the past three weeks, and he’s bettering his mark with each meet. In that short span Klug has seen an improvement of nearly eight feet and has reached 42 feet in practice.

“With a little more work on my form, I could easily get 45 or 46 (feet), Klug said.

Klug combined with Rob Davenport, Mike Burns and Blair Berry to win the 4×100 relay.

Berry believes Klug’s best chances to qualify for state are in the events where he has the most experience.

“I think he has a chance in the 100 and the long jump, and we’re trying to put together a 4×100 team that can maybe make it,” Berry said.

Ali Palacios, Alyssa Lowe, Alyssa Mesecher and Chelsea Madsen won the girls’ 4×100 relay, topping McQueen, which came in as the top-rated team in the league, according to coach Berry.

“I don’t know if they had their best team out, but our girls PR’d today and they are really excited” Berry said.

Junior Erich Baumann tied for second in the pole vault, topping out at 10 feet, 6 inches.

“I was leaning back, and trying to go upside down was my big factor,” Baumann said. The goal is 12 (feet) by the end of the year.”

For more results and pictures from the meet, pick up a copy of Friday’s Tahoe Daily Tribune.