South Tahoe boys win zone |

South Tahoe boys win zone

After chipping away at Reno’s lead all season, South Tahoe High’s boys showed Thursday who is the team to beat in Northern Nevada cross country.

South Tahoe’s cross country Vikings won the Northern Nevada 4A zone championship at Reed High School on Thursday, finishing with 50 points, 20 fewer than second-place Reno. Junior Manuel Lomeli led the way for the Vikings, finishing fourth, but the five Vikings runners were strong all the way through. In fact, South Tahoe’s fifth and sixth runners, Sean Pawling and Chris Cosmi, both finished ahead of Reno’s fourth, sealing the zone win.

“(It was) a lot of training,” said South Tahoe head coach Dominique Westlake. “We approach things a little different than other schools do. We work on our fitness level, improve that, improve our leg speed and improve our overall race strategy.”

Lomeli out-kicked Reno’s Chris Concha for fourth place in the race. Lomeli finished the five-kilometer course at Reed in 17 minutes, 38 seconds, edging Concha by just three seconds. Lomeli said South Tahoe knew Reno was the most competitive team after the Vikings finished behind the Huskies for most of the year’s races.

“We each had a goal: to beat a Reno guy,” Lomeli said.

Lomeli beat Concha, and South Tahoe teammate Grant Carter, a senior, beat Reno’s Dan Wolf by a second.

“I wasn’t really trying to get first, I was just trying to stay up with the top five runners,” Lomeli said. “It wasn’t just me, it was my teammates. I knew they had to run a good race, too, if we were to win.”

South Tahoe senior Cory Martin finished sixth in 17:53, three places ahead of Reno’s Dan Wolf, and Vikings classmate Grant Carter finished ahead of both Wolf and Matt Dodd, taking eighth in 18:01. Jeff Cosmi was 15th in the standings, finishing in 18:26. Pawling was 17th in 18:26, and Chris Cosmi was 18th in 18:29, as both cruised in ahead of David Glodowski. Chris Cosmi’s sixth-place finish didn’t count toward the five-person team finish, but he was just three seconds slower than Pawling. Aston Wilcox was 38th as South Tahoe’s seventh man.

“Those two guys ran incredible races,” Westlake said of Chris Cosmi and Pawling. “Our main competition, obviously, was Reno all year, but these two guys beat Reno’s (fourth) man.”

Lomeli finished just 15 seconds off the fastest overall time, which Bret Ferrier set for Lowry.

“I knew that we could beat them, which we did, so I feel great,” Lomeli said.

“It’s nice to have the guys who have been in the program and understand what we’re trying to accomplish,” Westlake said.

South Tahoe has competed at Reed twice this year, and will return to the school for the Nov. 6 state championship meet as the top qualifier from zone. Westlake rated Las Vegas’s Bonanza team as one of the tough teams at state, and said his team’s prospects are hard to judge, but sounded positive.

“If they run like they ran today, they could do really, really well,” Westlake said.

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