Gamage leads Vikings at Reed
By Steve Yingling
Tribune sports editor
SPARKS – The heat was oppressive and the course was demanding.
Those overriding factors, however, didn’t seem to slow down the South Tahoe High boys’ cross country team at the Reed Invitational on Friday. The Vikings finished fourth out of 12 teams as many of the team’s runners showed marked improvement from their first meet.
Senior Chris Gamage led the way with a 13th-place performance in a field of 105 runners. Gamage followed coach Dominique Westlake’s prerace instructions of starting conservatively and then picking up the pace as the hilly 5-kilometer race wore on.
“It’s the first time I’ve ever done that,” said Gamage, who was timed in 18 minutes, 47 seconds. “It felt really good passing people throughout the race. I wasn’t hurting like usual since I started in the middle back (of the pack).”
Senior Patrick Reilly also broke into the top 20, finishing 17th in 18:59. Joey Summerhill was 28th in 19:42, Matt Arroues placed 35th in 20:00 and Joe Young was 44th in 20:23.
With temperatures in excess of 90 degrees and winds ever so slight, there was very little refuge from the heat. The Vikings provided some relief, though, by dousing water on teammates as they ran by the team tent on the course.
“They got me right in the mouth,” said a pleased Reilly.
Galena’s Bryan Tibaduiza pulled away from the field through the switchbacks on Shadow Mountain to win the race in 17:17. Carson’s Richard Shroy was sixth in 18:17.
“My throat killed me the whole race,” said Tibaduiza of the dry conditions. “My plan was to take off with the lead group and progressively push harder and harder.”
Top team scores were Galena 31, Reno 45, Carson 87, South Tahoe 125, Elko 159.
In the 2.4-mile junior vasity race, three Vikings finished in the top 15 in a 94-runner field. Erich Baumann was 11th in 15:22, Jordan Yingling came in 14th in 15:27 and Brady Hiob came in 15th in 15:38.
Also for the Vikings, Justin Dalton was 24th, Kyle Wilkinson 32nd, Connor Yingling 35th, Nick Downer 36th, Will Caglia 65th and Adam Kern 76th.
“I had kids run two minutes faster on a longer course, and it was hotter,” Westlake said.
The Vikings’ boys and girls’ teams will race Wednesday at Kahle Park in Stateline.