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Area coaches take Kokanee runners to school

Dan ThriftHalf-marathoners head out from Taylor Creek Sno-Park for the Kokanee Trail Run on Sunday
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A pair of area cross country coaches practiced what they preach in the Kokanee Trail Run 5K Sunday at Taylor Creek Sno-Park.

Dominique Westlake, South Tahoe High’s nine-year boys’ cross country coach, won the 5K in a record-setting 17 minutes, 35 seconds. Westlake also holds the half-marathon and 10K records.

“He’s an awesome runner,” said former Douglas High coach Ellen Lucas, who finished fourth overall in winning the women’s 5K in 20:56. “I have a lot of respect for him as a runner and as a coach. He’s one of the best coaches around and one of the best runners around.”



Race director David Cotter needled Westlake during the awards ceremony, informing the record-setting coach that he couldn’t enter the Tadpole Trot next year. That is the only division Westlake doesn’t hold a record.

“It’s a honor, but I don’t want to get caught up in it,” Westlake said. “There’s always faster runners out there. I make sure I appreciate what God has given me.”




Lucas, who resigned as the Tigers’ coach after 15 seasons last year and now coaches a home-school program, won by more than 2 minutes. Two young females finished ahead of Lucas, but they were disqualified for missing the turnaround section.

“At the start it’s a deceptive uphill and getting through that you’re always feeling a little bit short of breath,” Lucas said. “You just have to muscle through that, and once you get to the trail it’s fun.”

She finished 16 seconds off the women’s open record set by Ann Patton in 1998.

“She been a tough runner for years,” Westlake said.

Mike Freeman, Lucas’ 15-year-old son, finished runner-up to Westlake. His time of 18:49 probably would have been a winner most of the time.

“Dom wrecked it for him by going ahead and doing the 5K this year,” Lucas joked.

San Jose’sRandy Pratt, 41, finished third in 20:22. Kirkwood’s Amy Smith, 36, was the second woman in 23:16, with 15-year-old Anna Lambdin of South Lake Tahoe hot on her heels at 23:26.

Lisa Daane, a 31-year-old from Reno, was victorious in her first trail race, but high-altitude running kept her well off her best 10K time of 34:30. Daane won by nearly 2 minutes with a time of 42:47.

“Just being on the trail was really different than road racing. I like the trail and being in the trees … it was really fun,” Daane said.

Lara Niell was second at 44:14 and Megan Waskiewicz third at 45:34.

Carson City’s Brett Long, no relation to the former track and basketball standout at South Tahoe High, captured the men’s 10K title in 37:50. Ross McMahan of Incline was next in 38:43 and Bob Comlossy of South Lake Tahoe was third in 42:43.

Lupe Ruelas of South Lake Tahoe won the half-mile Tadpole Trot.


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