South Tahoe cross country races at Div. I-A state championships, Vikings boys place 3rd
RENO, Nev. — South Tahoe cross country brought an end to its 2015 season at the Div. I-A State championships last Saturday, Nov. 7, and closed out the campaign on a successful note. The Vikings’ boys took third overall while sophomore Ally Sullivan led the girls with a fifth-place finish in the meet at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park.
In the boys race, South Tahoe came in third with 78 points. The Vikings finished behind state champion Elko (49 points) and second-place finisher Spring Creek (53). Individually, Chase Wood of Faith Lutheran (Las Vegas) won the race with a time of 16:46.
“The boys gave it their all,” Vikings boys coach Mark Hoefer said. “They really put their hearts into it.”
South Tahoe’s top finisher on Saturday was Dillon Lemons. The senior capped a strong season by finishing sixth and running a 17:37.
“Dillon has been consistent the whole year — he’s been the No. 1 runner on the team and really shown himself as a leader,” Hoefer said. “He had a phenomenal season and should be proud of how things turned out.”
Senior Mario Mangiaracina also placed in the top 10 at the state championships, running a 17:50. Senior Orion Maxwell (17th place, 18:08), senior Paul Mutz (31st, 18:50) and sophomore David Holmes (35th, 19:03) rounded out South Tahoe’s top five — neither Maxwell nor Mutz were at full health for the race.
Freshmen Calvin Holmes (43rd, 19:50) and Christopher Hoefer (44th, 19:52) also raced for the Vikings at state. South Tahoe concluded its season shy of its ultimate goal — a state championship — but delivered strong performances throughout the year.
“We fell a little bit short there, but they did everything I asked of them throughout the entire season, really put all their effort into it and never questioned what I was directing them to do,” Hoefer said. “I couldn’t have asked more from them and I’m pleased with where things ended up.”
On the girls side, the Vikings were led by a fifth-place finish from sophomore Ally Sullivan. Sullivan completed the course in 21:05 while batting with Northern Region counterparts for the second straight week.
“Ally raced very strategically,” Vikings girls coach Amanda Hammond said. “She paced with the top pack, made moves on the hills and was able to pass Truckee at the end and break up their pack.”
Senior Riley Rettig also raced for South Tahoe, placing 29th overall at the state meet. Rettig ran a 22:37 while finishing her season at state for the fourth straight year.
“Riley raced well as always,” Hammond said. “It was her last high school cross country race and she had nothing to lose. She went out, raced strong and had fun. In her words ‘It was fun. And painful.’”
Spring Creek won the Div. I-A girls team title with a score of 32, edging out Truckee by six points. Spartans senior Julia Mahlke won the race with a time of 20:14.