South Tahoe cross country races at Stanford Invitational, Buchholz finishes 18th in Division 2 |

South Tahoe cross country races at Stanford Invitational, Buchholz finishes 18th in Division 2

Anthony Gentile
The South Tahoe cross country team dons smiles after racing in the Stanford Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 1, at Stanford Golf Course.
Courtesy Photo |

STANFORD, Calif. — The South Tahoe cross country team took on bigger schools at its biggest meet of the regular season Saturday, Oct. 1. The Vikings raced at the 43rd annual Stanford Invitational, competing in the high school and college event held at Stanford Golf Course.

South Tahoe raced in Division 2 at the event hosted by Stanford University, two divisions above its school size. The five-kilometer course on the links at Stanford produced fast times for the Vikings, and led to a handful of runners setting personal records.

“I told the team that they should take it as a positive, get pulled along by some strong runners and set personal records with fast times,” Vikings boys coach Mark Hoefer said of the fast competition.

The Vikings’ girls team placed 16th out of 20 teams in its division, led by an 18th-place finish from freshman Carissa Buchholz. One of eight freshmen on the team with experience from the South Tahoe Middle School program, Buchholz ran a 19:32.00 to deliver South Tahoe’s top time Saturday.

“Carissa had her best and most mature race of the season,” Vikings girls coach Amanda Hammond said. “She remained calm and fluid, and consistently passed people the entire race.”

Junior Ally Sullivan was the Vikings’ next best finisher at Stanford, running a 20:06:00 to place 38th overall. Sullivan and freshman Hannah Trew returned to full capacity last week for the first time this season after being limited due to injury.

Freshmen Briyona Ziegler (103rd, 21:50.80) and Moorea Davidson (104th, 21:51.10) finished in close quarters to score for South Tahoe. Sophomore Emily Dilts (124th, 22:49.90) rounded out the team’s top five at the invitational.

“They stayed together and pushed each other the whole race,” Hammond said. “This was their first time at a race of this caliber and running at sea level — they were going at a pace an octave above what they usually do and were having so much fun swallowing competition together.”

South Tahoe’s girls team saw the majority of its 3A Northern League competition at the Stanford meet, and is currently ranked third in the state — behind Spring Creek and ahead of Fernley. The Vikings have started strong and aim to continue building for the postseason.

“The plan is to stay healthy and work hard, and go after those who are ahead of us at the regional and state competitions,” Hammond said.

On the boys side, South Tahoe took 20th in its division at the meet. The Vikings raced against tough competition amidst perfect conditions in the early afternoon.

“I was super proud of how they all ran,” Mark Hoefer said. “They went to the race knowing there would be tough competition — and put their heads down, drove through the pain and had some awesome times.”

Junior David Holmes produced South Tahoe’s top mark in the boys race, running a time of 17:47.50 to place 105th overall. He was one of our Vikings to set a personal record on the course, including freshman Christopher Hoefer — who took 108th with a time of 17:54.40.

“This race was fast enough to set a new PR for the two-mile, so I knew the pace was fast,” said Christopher Hoefer, who ran two minutes under his previous best time. “I was just hoping that I wasn’t going to fade big time before the finish.”

Sophomore Calvin Holmes (137th, 18:54.50), senior Freeman George (141st, 19:06.90) and sophomore Ryan Newberger (143rd, 19:18.80) rounded out South Tahoe’s top five. Senior Max Morgan and sophomore Forrest McCann also raced for the Vikings at Stanford.

“The boys have been working hard during the last two months to develop a really strong base, so that their stamina will carry them through the entire race,” Mark Hoefer said. “We just have to focus on what we’ve been doing and keep healthy, and we will be a force at regionals.”

Both teams are heading down the home stretch of the season, and return to action Saturday, Oct. 8, at the Asics Clovis Invitational in Fresno, California. The 3A Northern Region meet is scheduled for Oct. 28, in Sparks, Nevada, with the Class 3A State meet Nov. 5 in North Las Vegas, Nevada.

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