NTN-bound Vikings struggle to get in workouts
No one needs to remind the South Tahoe High girls’ cross country team that this is the indoor sports season.
Following last weekend’s foot of snowfall, the 18th-ranked Vikings are scrambling to get in their final workouts before the Nike Team Nationals Cross Country Club Championship on Saturday in Portland., Ore.
A cooperative weather pattern enabled the Vikings to get in their regular trail workouts around the school the past several weeks, but with a significant snowfall reaching the valley floor STHS no longer has many workout options.
“The hard part is the cold … it’s tough on the kids,” said STHS coach Dan Wilvers.
On Monday, the team ran through snow from Pope Beach to Kiva Beach. One of the team’s runners took a bad fall, leading to a different workout on Tuesday.
“I have no place to go,” said Wilvers, who was considering taking his eight-member team to Placerville to run on the El Dorado school track or putting them through sprints along the paved road adjacent to the football field.
Today, Wilvers hopes they can run in the Carson Valley.
In any case, Wilvers realizes his runners have reached a point where he can’t ask them to do much more. They have been training for nearly six months with little time off.
“Running will burn you out,” Wilvers said. “For some of them this is their first truly full cross country season. It’s mentally, physically and emotionally draining.
“These kids aren’t machines. I’m looking forward to these kids a break.”
Junior Megan Hillyard can’t wait either.
“I’m pretty burnt out right now. The only thing keeping me going is the Nike Nationals and the opportunity we get. Dan tells us that it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that we may never get again in our high school career.”
NTN finalized the 20-teams boys’ and girls’ fields on Sunday. South Tahoe was selected after winning its first Nevada state championship three and a half weeks ago.
The Vikings head to Portland as the second seed from the Southwest region. Los Alamos, N.M., is the region’s top seed.
Saratoga Springs, the Northeast’s No. 1 seed, topped Harrier Magazine’s most-recent national poll. The Vikings returned to the top 25 at its former position, No. 18.