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Retro Relays showcase younger runners on the rise

Steve Yingling

As the opening act for the Retro Relays last Friday, the area’s middle school runners didn’t disappoint in a Tah-Neva League meet on the trails surrounding Viking Bowl at South Tahoe High.

Led by third, fourth and sixth-place finishes by Ty Sprock, Nick Tilley and Mark Waite, Kingsbury Middle School won the seventh-grade boys’ team title. Sprock, who won the season-opening race at Eagle Valley on Sept. 7, completed the 2-mile race in 13:31, with Tilley at 13:41 and Waite at 13:54.

Without Marshall Neil taking 11th and R.J. Rupp 12th, the Knights wouldn’t have been able to hold off South Tahoe, which was only seven points behind.

Connor Henderson led the Timberwolves by winning the race in 12:50. Teammates Brandon Cramer were fifth in 13:43, Andrew Noll 10th in 14:12, Derek Caro 14th in 14:21 and Kyle Hannah 15th in 14:29.

“Connor ran his race this week. He is learning to control the race,” said Timberwolves’ coach Karin Holmes.

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Alder Creek, Carson, North Tahoe and Eagle Valley were well behind the Knights and T-Wolves.

STMS garnered three of the top-5 places in the eighth-grade girls’ race. Shelby McIntyre and Cassidy Cichowicz finished first and second with times of 13:15 and 13:32.

Kingsbury’s Samantha Rupp was fourth in 14:08 and STMS’s Kira Smith came in fifth in 14:47. Rupp continued her consistency as she had placed third in the league’s first race at Eagle Valley.

The Knights’ Bailey Adams was eighth in 15:06.

South Tahoe’ Ryan Caro ran away with the eighth-grade boys’ race, winning in 13:02. It was his first race for the T-Wolves.

“It was a good race. I like people here supporting me,” Ryan Caro said.

Zach Welch, a first-place performer in previous meets, was second for the Knights. Welch was timed in 13:28.

“He was a good runner, and it was a tough race,” Ryan Caro said.

Kingsbury’s next-best runner was Mikey George in 19th place (15:49) and for STMS it was Tanner McAvo in 22nd at 16:14.

The Timberwolves’ seventh-grade girls’ team pulled off a first-place team standing as Kelly Colleton took fourth in 15:31 and Emily Nall (16:00) and Kate Albrecht (16:04) were seventh and eighth, respectively.

Team scores were South Tahoe 23, Carson 24 and Alder Creek 62.

Safira Gesmundo of Kingsbury nearly won the race, finishing second in 14:56, 26 seconds behind winner Aspen Abbott of Faith Christian Academy.

“Lots of great things are happening in our sixth-grade ranks as the kids learn what they need to do in races and how it feels to really push themselves,” Holmes said.

Next up for the runners is the Tahoe Douglas Rotary Club Knights Invitational on Thursday at Kingsbury Middle School. Racing begins at 3 p.m. with a 2.4-mile run for eighth-graders.

Hopefully our 8th grade girls will field a complete team by Kingsbury on Thursday. We do have two more girls running to back up our strong 4 that are racing now. Ryan Caro is an

obvious welcome addition to our 8th grade boys. Not only a great racer but a great attitude to go with it! Connor Henderson ran his race this week. Really took it to the competition at the end of the first mile and never looked back. He is learning to control the race. Lots of great things happening in our 6th grade ranks as the kids learn what they need to do in races and how it feels to really push themselves. We are looking forward to more strong races at KMS on Thursday.


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