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Local schools keep the pace at Tahoe/Douglas Rotary Invitational

Dan Thomas

Nearly 400 athletes visited Kahle Park for Friday’s inaugural Tahoe/Douglas Rotary Cross Country Invitational, which established seven new course records.

“It was great to be home,” said Whittell head coach Anthony Davis, whose Warriors competed, along with runners from South Tahoe High School, Kingsbury Middle School, South Tahoe Middle School and many others. “The event was great, participation was great, the course was in excellent condition. The atmosphere at Kahle Park makes for an outstanding event and we appreciate the Douglas County Recreation Department donating to us.”

Rite of Passage won the high school meet with 68 points, ahead of second-place Truckee (74), third-place Gurlock (105) and fourth-place Whittell. Whittell, though, finished on top of the two other teams from its division, seventh-place Dayton and eighth-place Manogue.



Chad Gerken led the way for Whittell’s boys, finishing fifth overall, in 19 minutes, six seconds. Whittell’s Ben Johnson followed in 16th in 19:46, ahead of teammates Argenis Flores (25th, 20:32) and Jarret Guajardo (27th, 20:36). Freshman Daniel Wines earned Davis’s recognition as athlete of the week, shaving nearly three minutes off his average time to finish 61st in 23:57. Jason Allen of Rite of Passage was the fastest runner overall, finishing in 18:10.

Leticia Defazio of Manogue was the fastest high school girl on Friday, finishing in 21:24. Whittell entered two runners: Arlyle Shaw was ninth, in 25:56, and Nichole Wasson was 17th, in 27:59.



The Kahle meet also allowed some of the young from South Tahoe High to gain experience. Aston Wilcox set a new course record for South Tahoe in the JV race, finishing first, in 17:22. Second-place Steven Moore (18:16), third-place Matt Pocock (18:30), Corey Buckley (19:07), Robert Gonzalez (19:13), J.P. Howell (19:14), Luis Gomez (20:36) and Kyle Martinez followed for South Tahoe on the 2.6-mile course. Conor Robinson was 14th on the 2.8-mile varsity course, finishing 14th overall, to lead teammates Ryan Nibouar (26th, 20:34) and Freddie Ferrer (56th 23:02).

Rachel Romero of South Tahoe High was sixth in the varsity field, finishing in 26:44. South Tahoe’s Anna Welden was the top girl in the 2.6-mile JV race, finishing in 22:35. Jackie Marshall (23:31), Vanessa Porfiri (23:32), Norin Cuevas (24:28), Hada Estrada (25:03), Martha Chavez (28:30), Jaime Waller (36:27) and April Sutton (36:38) rounded the field for South Tahoe.

Annie Brinson of Bethlehem Lutheran set a new record among 89 runners in the sixth-and-seventh-grade girls race, finishing in 15:16. Lacey Leonard was the top finisher from South Tahoe Middle School, finishing second in 15:18. Merialys Johnson, a sixth-grader, was the top finisher from Kingsbury, finishing 20th overall, in 15:18.

The course record fell in the sixth- and seventh-grade boys race, as Bethlehem Lutheran’s Justin Grant set a new mark, in 14:01. South Tahoe Middle’s Cody McGehee was just on his heels, finishing second in 14:02. Kirk Baines, a fifth-grader, was the top finisher for Kingsbury, in 15:57.

Amber Ramos of South Tahoe Middle was the top eighth-grade girl, finishing the race in 17:27. Kay Bradford was the fastest Kingsbury racer, finishing fifth overall. Among the eighth-grade boys, Garrett Rosman of North Tahoe Middle School was the top runner, with a 16:10 time. Zach Powers of South Tahoe Middle was second in 16:17, and Michael Chilton of Kingsbury was 24th.

“Overall, everyone was very pleased with the course,” Davis said. “They thought the course was fantastic with Whittell hosting for the first time. A lot of teams, they really liked our course, the way it goes up into the hills.”


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