South Tahoe boys cross country qualifies for state, girls send two individuals
At the Div. I-A Northern Region championships, South Tahoe cross country delivered strong results as a team and individually — strong enough to advance to state. The Vikings boys team qualified for state along with STHS girls Ally Sullivan and Riley Rettig based on their performances in the race held at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park on Saturday, Oct. 31.
In the boys race, South Tahoe finished third to lock up the North’s last state berth. The Vikings totaled 85 points to finish behind Elko (57) and regional champion Spring Creek (45) — Spring Creek’s Cole Campbell won the event with a time of 17:25.
“It went great all things considered,” Vikings boys coach Mark Hoefer said. “The team as a whole stepped up, really put it out there and ran well.”
The Vikings placed three runners in the top eight Saturday, led by senior Dillon Lemons. Lemons finished fourth overall with a time of 17:53, just ahead of fellow seniors Orion Maxwell in sixth (17:55) and Mario Mangiaracina (18:05) in eighth.
“I was really pleased with how Dillon, Orion and Mario ran,” Hoefer said. “Right off the start, they were up there at the front and they stayed in there — throughout the season those three have been right there.”
Senior Paul Mutz ran to a 24th-place finish with a time of 19:06 while dealing with an injury and Calvin Holmes (43rd, 20:20) rounded out South Tahoe’s top five. Freshman Christopher Hoefer (45th, 20:46) and junior Freeman George (49th, 21:38) also raced for the Vikings at regionals.
On the girls side, Sullivan was South Tahoe’s top finisher. The sophomore took sixth to qualify for state as an individual, running the course in 21:08.
“It was good to qualify for state the second year in a row,” Sullivan said.
Rettig also advanced, finishing as the region’s last individual qualifier. The senior ran a 22:18 to place 22nd, and was 24 seconds ahead of the next individual. She has now qualified for state in each of her four seasons at South Tahoe, the last three as an individual.
“She is the last girl standing of all the senior girls and has ran all four years well — she never had a bad race,” Vikings girls coach Amanda Hammond said. “She has a mental toughness; it’s almost a switch so when it’s time to race she races.”
Freshman Emily Dilts (32nd, 23:39), junior Sierra Bedwell (40th, 24:42) and freshman Sarah Carlson (41st, 25:00) completed South Tahoe’s top five. Junior Alexzandria Balme (47th, 28:59) also raced for STHS.
“Emily had an especially good race,” Hammond said. “She hung with her teammate Sierra for the first two-thirds, then pushed ahead and ended up setting a personal record.”
As a team, the Vikings’ girls took fifth with a score of 138. Regional champion Truckee, Spring Creek and Elko qualified for state as teams and Elko’s Kacie Bell won the race with a time of 20:26.
“The girls did well at regionals,” Hammond said. “We had a small and young team this year, so they all had to compete at a varsity level. My goal was to have all six up and running and ready to compete at that level and they did.”
South Tahoe’s boys team and two girls runners advance to the Div. I-A State championships on Saturday, Nov. 7, at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park. The Div. I-A girls race is scheduled for 10:45 a.m. with the boys race at 1:20 p.m.
The Vikings’ boys will vie for the state crown against fellow Northern Region qualifiers Spring Creek and Elko along with three Southern Region teams all from Las Vegas. Clark, Faith Lutheran and Southeast Career Technical Academy advanced to state from the Southern Region championships last Friday, Oct. 30, in Boulder City, Nevada.
“If we can get everything together, we can be right down there with Elko and Spring Creek,” Hoefer said. “I think it’s going to be the Northern schools that are probably predominantly up in the top three for state, but you never know. We’re going to put all the cards on the line.”