STMS 7th grade boys and girls cross country teams win league championships
The South Tahoe Middle School seventh grade boys’ and girls’ cross country teams each captured Tah-Neva League championships Thursday, Oct. 12, at Kahle Park.
Over 450 athletes came together for the championship races.
The girls had six runners finish in the top 11 out of a field of 131. They edged Alder Creek by seven points for the title.
The boys also topped Alder Creek for first place with 48-87. In a field of 178, South Tahoe had three runners finish in the top five and four in the top 10.
The boys’ race was especially close with South Tahoe’s Harrison Knutson leading the pack at the 1-mile mark of the 2.2-mile race with Romain Smokey from Pau-Wa-Lu in second and South Tahoe’s Matteus Sokulski in third. With about ½ mile to go Smokey took off, with Sokulski chasing him down the final stretch. The two have been battling it out the past few races. In the previous race at PWL Middle School, Sokulski lost by a photo finish.
Sokulski finished in a time of 14 minutes, 28 seconds, 21 seconds behind Smokey. Knutson was third with 14:37 followed by teammates Patrick Webster in fifth (14:42), and Max Menke in 10th (14:49).
South Tahoe’s crucial fifth through seventh-place finishers were Cameron Steinmmetz in 24th (15:54), Joey Gomez in 25th (15:56) and Toby Paul in 44th (16:45).
The rest of South Tahoe’s finishers were True Neary in 46th, followed by a pack of Miguel Kayser-Norris in 56th, Lachlan Bray 57th and Jackson Trew 58th, Austin Cowen 67th, Cruz Guenther 71st, Zachary Briggs 87th, Philip Robets 112th, Aaron Catro 126th, Ryker Rozga 151st, Manniz Behrendt 167th, and Izak Martinez 172nd.
Krystyna Schembri finished fourth overall to lead the South Tahoe girls. She finished the course in 15:49. She started in the middle of the pack and methodically worked her way past all but three competitors.
She was followed by teammates Tinley Sweeney in sixth (16:03), Sydney Irwin in seventh (16:40), Simone Sitchon in ninth (16:47), Indie Newberry in 10th (17:01) and Evelyn Bennett 11th (17:04).
Completing the girls team was Maddie Moddy in 20th, Noosa Higgins 23rd, Giulia Lancelloti 27th, Sara Castro 30th, Alana Hernandez 33rd, Sawyer Villanueva 36th, Sara Goldberg 50th, Emily Bank 62nd, Kayley Skrosky 69th, Maddie Cisneros 71st, Jazmyn Schumaker 80th, Addie Menke 83rd, Madelyn Steams 84th, Molly Adams 104th and Stella Webb 119th.
Mackenzie Nealis was South Tahoe’s top eighth-grade girl. She finished the 2.6-mile course in fourth place with a time of 21:27. She was followed by teammates Lauren Romsos in 11th (22:05) and Corinne Goldberg in 13th (22:38).
Completing the team were Annie Ferguson in 29th and Veronica Magana in 32nd.
The girls finished third in league.
Due to injuries, the eighth grade boys did not have a complete team.
Individual results include Ben Miller in sixth in 18:21, Jaxon King in 19th 20:18, Ivan Uribe 34th 21:37 and Jonas Banks 53rd 24:58.
STMS cross country is coached by Beth Wunderlich and Kathleen Whatford.
“Our athletes worked so hard in training, with many of them juggling multiple sports, and all keeping their grades up,” Whatford said. “We are very proud of their dedication to such a tough and demanding sport.”
Whatford also said volunteer coach Austin Angell was instrumental in the success of the runners becoming champions.