South Tahoe boys cross country’s Holmes, Hoefer qualify for state from 3A Northern League meet
SPARKS, Nev. — Two runners from the South Tahoe boys cross country team will conclude their seasons at the highest level. Junior David Holmes and sophomore Christopher Hoefer qualified for state as individuals from the 3A Northern League championships at Shadow Mountain Sports Complex on Friday, Oct. 29.
“It’s a great accomplishment for them,” Vikings coach Mark Hoefer said. “We knew going into the season it was a building year, and to have two of them qualify individually is great.”
Holmes and Hoefer finished within the top five runners from non-qualifying teams to advance. As a team, South Tahoe finished in fifth place — league champion Spring Creek, Elko and Truckee were the league’s state qualifying teams.
“There’s a lot more pressure on you,” Holmes said on running as an individual. “When you run with a team, if one person has a bad race it’s fine and you can still make it — but individually, it’s all on you.”
In wet, sloppy conditions, Holmes ran to 10th place overall at the league meet to finish as the third individual qualifier. The junior ran an 18:40 to make it to state for the third straight season.
“The competition was tough, but I got smack dab in the middle for the individual qualifiers,” Holmes said. “We had an idea of where we were and we knew which teams to go after.”
Hoefer earned the league’s fifth and final individual state berth by running a 19:11 to finish 16th overall. The sophomore started out in a pack before eventually passing Fallon’s Joseph Terry in the last 200 meters — and beating him by four seconds for a second straight appearance.
“To be going to state is pretty exciting, because I never thought I was going to make it this year,” Hoefer said. “Our goal was to make it individually, but there were some pretty fast kids.”
Both Holmes and Hoefer entered the meet on the outside of qualification based on times from the season, and outperformed those numbers to advance. Each runner acknowledged they wouldn’t have been able to make it without a teammate in close quarters.
“We’ve been pushing each other throughout the season,” Hoefer said. “It gives you encouragement knowing someone is out there from your team.”
Senior Freeman George (30th, 19:54), sophomore Calvin Holmes (32nd, 19:59) and sophomore Ryan Newberger (36th, 20:34) rounded out South Tahoe’s top five at the league meet. Sophomore Forest McCann (50th) and freshman Gavin Breen (51st) turned in identical times of 22:04 as part of the Vikings’ seven.
Holmes and Hoefer will race in the Class 3A State championships Saturday, Nov. 5, at Craig Ranch Regional Park in North Las Vegas, Nevada. The boys race is scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m.
“It’s going to be really fun,” Holmes said.