Reilly’s finishing kick does the trick |

Reilly’s finishing kick does the trick

Steve Yingling

RENO – If Patrick Reilly’s strong finishing kick looked like it left Hug’s Cory Macias standing in his tracks, it’s because the South Tahoe High junior’s all-out sprint to the finish did just that.

Reilly passed Macias with about 100 yards to go in a back-and-forth duel that ended with the Hug runner slowing to a walk 50 yards from the finish line at Lois Allen Elementary School.

“He was a very strong runner and it came down to who wanted it more,” said Reilly, following his fourth high school victory.

Reilly said he and Macias traded the lead four or five times over the hilly 2.75-mile course in north Reno before the Viking pulled ahead for a 26-second victory in 17:34.

“When someone comes up on you and goes flying by you like that, it’s pretty demoralizing,” said STHS coach Dominique Westlake.

The Vikings placed four other runners in the top 10 to win the Sierra Division dual and overall meet titles. Overall team scores were South Tahoe 28, Hug 42 and McQueen 61.

Division performances are more important in 2006 after the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association decided to invite only the top four teams from each division to regionals.

South Tahoe’s other scoring runners were Joey Summerhill, fourth, 18:50; Kyle Conroy, fifth, 19:00; Chris Gamage, eighth, 19:28; and Matt Arroues, 10th, 19:46.

The Vikings’ game plan on the humid afternoon was to run a cautious first loop of the course, then push the pace on the second lap. The strategy worked as the Vikings’ runners didn’t wear down.

“They ran really smart,” Westlake said. “The last mile they cruised pretty well, while the other teams were dropping off because they went out too fast.”

South Tahoe’s girls, the sixth-ranked team in the Southwest region poll released by Nike Team Nationals, ran away with their meet as well. Kate Lambdin led five STHS runners in the top 6 with her second-place result. She was timed in 22:05, more than a minute behind winner Britt Rauh of McQueen. Rauh, a 15th-place finisher at last year’s regional championships, led from start to finish.

“Today was a down day, but hopefully I’ll run better on Saturday,” Lambdin said. “We ran on tired legs, so that makes it challenging.”

If the Vikings had a choice, they wouldn’t have run Wednesday, not with the Woodbridge Invitational only three days away.

“You definitely don’t want to run before a big race like this, but we showed up and did the job,” said STHS coach Dan Wilvers.

The Vikings’ wave of runners directly behind Lambdin included Kelsey Smith (22:15), Kylie Noll (22:25), Kimmy Arroues (24:03) and Lacey Payne (24:15). Payne (root canal) and Kelsey McClurg (bad back), who finished next to last, weren’t scheduled to run but they wouldn’t have been eligible for Woodbridge if they hadn’t competed Wednesday. Wilvers advised McClurg to jog, so she’d be ready Saturday in Irvine.

“These kinds of courses are dangerous – a downhill on pavement,” Wilvers said.

Overall team scores were South Tahoe 20, McQueen 39 and Hug 84.

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