Local teams hoping experience pays off | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Local teams hoping experience pays off

Nothing can replace experience.

Especially when it comes to the state cross country meet. Both South Tahoe and Whittell are hoping to use their experience to propel them to stellar performances this weekend in Boulder City.

The Viking boys go into the state looking to repeat as 4A Nevada state champions. However, there isn’t much pressure on the team according to head coach Dominique Westlake.

“Reno beat us pretty bad last week (at the zone meet),” Westlake said. “So the pressure is off in that sense.”

Westlake’s team is finally healthy for the first time in a long time. Now, the Vikings have to work on their speed and make sure they are well rested for Saturday’s race.

“There are some little things affecting us, but you can’t use that as an excuse,” Westlake said.

Senior Manuel Lomeli leads a very young group into a chance to repeat. Followed by Hudson Wilvers, Jeff and Chris Cosmi, Jeff Koeck, Derek Giannoni, and Sean Pawling, the Vikings have all the firepower they need to regain the title. Also making the trip will be sophomore Aston Wilcox and freshman Zack Powers.

For the girls Viking team, there are opportunities for high finishes. Freshman Amber Ramos and senior Marin St. Michel lead a strong team to the state meet for the first time under head coach Kathy Bluethman.

Ramos finished second at the zone meet last week, behind only Shawna Sparks of Carson. The team took home a third-place finish en route to a state berth.

As for the Warriors, senior Arlyle Shaw and sophomore Jarret Guajardo are starting to make a trip to the state meet an annual event. Shaw is going for the third time in three years and Guajardo is going for the second time.

Both have their eyes on all-state accolades.

“Hopefully, I can make second or third team this year,” Shaw said.

If Guajardo runs well, he is hoping to finish in the top 20 and come home with some honors as well.

“I told them this is the ultimate cross country challenge,” Warrior coach Brian Rippet said. “This is more his kind of race where he can do it for himself.”

Guajardo and Shaw will run at 9 a.m. and 9: 45, respectively and the Viking boys will start at noon, while the girls will run at 12:30 p.m.

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