South Tahoe’s Menke finishes 4th at state, girls team earns 4th

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — South Tahoe’s Max Menke earned a top five finish at the state cross country meet and the Viking girls held their own Saturday at Shadow Mountain Park in Sparks.

Menke, like many Tahoe athletes this fall season, had to deal with training while the Caldor Fire sent toxic smoke into the basin and threatened thousands of homes, including his family’s.

Menke’s family lives in Strawberry and they were forced to evacuate earlier than residents in the basin and he fled to Reno where he had to stay for about a month.

To stay in peak form, Menke did a great deal of training on his own and that dedication led to a strong performance Saturday where he finished just 16 seconds behind the race winner.

“Max had a great race on Saturday,” said Vikings head coach Mark Hoefer.

Menke, a junior, earned fourth place in Class 3A finishing with a time of 17:53, which was 15 seconds faster than he was at the regional meet the week before on the same course.

The top six finishers at state are juniors and all will likely see each other again next year at the starting line.

Senior Raymond Charley was the other Viking boys runner and he finished 45th (19:51) in a field of 68 competitors.

Lady Vikings have strong performance at state

The Viking girls placed fourth out of eight teams at the state meet.

They finished with 85 points, behind first place Spring Creek (50) and Moapa Valley (66) and Tahoe-Truckee (80).

The team featured three freshmen, a sophomore and two juniors, and the best performance came from second year runner Noosa Higgins.

The sophomore finished in eighth place in 21:48, which was 16 seconds better than her time last week at the regional meet.

Freshman Maya Burkett was 12th (22:19), junior Evelyn Bennett was 27th (23:31) and freshman Elle Magdelano finished 37th out of 63 runners (24:24).

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