Smith’s foot injury concerns Vikings
RENO — Genuine excitement was quickly replaced by deep concern following a peculiar hand-in-hand first-place finish by South Tahoe High’s Kate Lambdin and Kelsey Smith in a Sierra League cross country meet on Thursday.
Smith and Lambdin decided above a steep rise overlooking the final 100 yards of the 5K course at Hidden Valley Park that they wanted to cross the finish line together.
There was no other runner in sight as they joined hands while traversing the tricky downhill sprint to the finish. But Smith’s glee didn’t last as she informed coach Dan Wilvers that pain had returned to the sole of her right foot.
The pain surfaced on Saturday when Smith placed fifth in the Woodbridge Invitational in Irvine. It subsided by Monday and she practiced on Tuesday.
Smith, one of the top runners on the West Coast and a favorite to win the Nevada 4A state title, will likely undergo a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test in the next few days to determine the extent of her injury.
Wilvers was holding out hope that Smith didn’t suffer a stress fracture.
“With her to go down with an injury would be a big loss for her,” Wilvers said while glancing at Smith, who was icing the bottom of her foot. “I can’t imagine she would have a stress fracture. She runs so light on her feet.”
Smith’s status for the first of two home meets, starting with the Optimist Club Relays on Friday, was uncertain. She and Lambdin finished with an identical time of 20 minutes, 26 seconds.
“We thought it would be funny,” Lambdin said of their unusual finish. “We almost fell over five times.”
Otherwise, the Vikings were all business in raising their league dual meet record to 4-0.
South Tahoe’s first seven runners came across the finish line before any Hug or Wooster competitors did. As a result, the Vikings won both duals by perfect scores of 15-50.
Freshmen T.J. Zaccor and Cheldon Rabbetts finished third and fifth, respectively, with times of 20:45 and 21:17. Senior Jordan Dalton placed seventh in 21:53. A fourth-place finish by a Spanish Springs runner and a sixth-place result by a Fallon competitor didn’t count in the dual standings since they are from schools in the High Desert League.
There was little suspense in the boys’ race as well as STHS senior Patrick Reilly led his team to a pair of runaway dual wins. Reilly followed up a runner-up finish last week at Kahle Park with the top time of 17:32 on a demanding course made more difficult by stiff winds.
“It made it a really big challenge to run in the wind,” Reilly said. “I just like to go out there and run; each day it changes. In workouts, Chris (Gamage) will beat me and in races I will beat him.”
Stephen Anthony of Wooster was second at 17:50, edging Viking senior Gamage (17:51). STHS’s depth was too much for the Colts and to overcome as the Vikings took 11 of the top 17 places.
Matt Arroues was seventh in 18:37, Erich Baumann placed eighth in 18:37, Joe Young was ninth in 18:45, Jordan Yingling 11th in 19:10, Brady Hiob 12th in 19:32, Kyle Wilkinson 14th in 19:40, Austin Pierce 15th in 19:51, Justin Dalton 16th in 19:54 and Connor Yingling 17th in 19:59.
Like Reilly, Young ran with knee tendinitis.
“I was really proud of Joe,” Reilly said. “By the end of the race it looked like he was almost ready to cry. It shows how much heart he has.”
The STHS boys also remained unbeaten in league at 4-0. Team scores were STHS 21, Hug 40 and STHS 22, Wooster 39.
“Matt ran really well and are 4-5-6 (runners) are so critical; those guys are really stepping up,” said STHS coach Dominique Westlake.
The Vikings were missing senior Joey Summerhill, who has a lower back injury.