South Tahoe boys cross country wins Sparks Invitational, Ally Sullivan takes first in girls race |

South Tahoe boys cross country wins Sparks Invitational, Ally Sullivan takes first in girls race

Anthony Gentile
South Tahoe’s boys and girls cross country teams are all smiles at the Sparks Railroaders Invitational, held Oct. 16 at Rancho San Rafael Park.
Courtesy / Bruce Rettig |

SPARKS, Nev. — At the Sparks Railroaders Invitational, South Tahoe cross country delivered both team and individual successes. The Vikings’ boys team won the event held at Rancho San Rafael Park on Friday, Oct. 16, while STHS sophomore Ally Sullivan produced a wire-to-wire victory in the girls race.

The Sparks Invitational was run at the site where the Div. I-A regional and state meets will be held, but on a different course. The 5K events were held on a mostly grass course with dirt trails and rolling hills — and a 100-yard concrete tunnel that runners passed through twice.

South Tahoe’s boys raced first and won the meet with 42 points, well ahead of second-place and Div. I-A Northern League rival Dayton. Vikings seniors Dillon Lemons and Orion Maxwell ran one-two for most of the race. Lemons eventually placed second with a time of 17:44 and Maxwell took fourth by running a 17:51.

“I thought they ran gutsy by going out in the lead to start with,” Vikings boys coach Mark Hoefer said. “The guys who beat them just had a bit more speed at the end. We are now bringing speed into the training mix, so they will be ready for regionals.”

“It was good to have a win before regionals.”Ally SullivanVikings sophomore, on winning the Sparks Invitational

The Vikings’ remaining three runners all finished in the top 16 despite training right through the event. Senior Mario Mangiaracina placed eighth with a time of 18:28, Paul Mutz took 15th by running a 19:07 and sophomore David Holmes used a finishing kick to come in 16th with a run of 19:15.

“They were on the tired side, but still had awesome runs,” Hoefer said. “They came away with the win, which is always a positive.”

On the girls side, South Tahoe fielded a full team and placed second with 75 points. The Vikings were 41 points back of first-place Fernley, a fellow Div. I-A Northern League rival.

Sophomore Ally Sullivan led the girls’ field from start to finish, winning with a time of 21:09. Sullivan finished 50 seconds and 150 meters ahead of the pack, with Fernley’s Grace De Leon coming in second.

“It was good to have a win before regionals,” Sullivan said.

“Ally’s times in practice are faster than ever,” Vikings girls coach Amanda Hammond added, “This was a well-deserved victory before going into harder competition.”

Senior Riley Rettig was South Tahoe’s next finisher, placing 10th after covering the course in 23:45. Freshman Emily Dilts (19th, 24:32) and junior Sierra Bedwell (28th, 26:15) had strong runs while junior Alexzandria Balme (45th, 29:35) rounded out the top five — sophomore Anna Moffat (52nd, 46:47) also raced for the Vikings.

South Tahoe’s junior varsity boys also competed at the Sparks Invite, taking 10 runners to the event. Calvin Holmes was the team’s top finisher, placing 32nd with a time of 20:21.

The Vikings return to action on Saturday, Oct. 31, racing in the Div. I-A Northern Region championships at Rancho San Rafael Park. The Div. I-A State meet will be held at the same site on Saturday, Nov. 7.


SPARKS, Nev. — South Tahoe junior varsity cross country runners wrapped up their 2015 season with strong performances at the Spanish Springs JV Championships Invitational. The Vikings competed well in the meet held at Golden Eagle Regional Park on Tuesday, Oct. 20.

Boys and girls raced separately at the event along the 5K course, which made several passes through the start-finish area and looped through the park’s sports complex. The race was run on turf, concrete, pavement and dirt with some hills mixed in.

The boys race featured runners from all divisions and class levels. Calvin Holmes led South Tahoe with a 29th-place finish, completing the course in 19:39. Freshmen Christopher Hoefer (33rd, 19:50), Ryan Newberger (73rd, 20:56) and Adam Johnson (80th, 21:23) also delivered strong results for the Vikings.

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