South Tahoe cross country races at Stanford Invitational; Vikings boys finish 18th in Div. 4 |

South Tahoe cross country races at Stanford Invitational; Vikings boys finish 18th in Div. 4

Anthony Gentile
South Tahoe took 10 runners to the Stanford Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 26, and delivered strong team and individual performances.
Courtesy / Bruce Rettig |

STANFORD, Calif. —

South Tahoe cross country runners traversed fairways and cart paths at Stanford Golf Course last Saturday, Sept. 26, in the biggest event of the season. The Vikings raced at the 42nd-annual Stanford Cross Country Invitational, and produced strong results in both the boys and girls events.

South Tahoe’s boys team had a full group at the invitational, which was the team’s first major event of the 2015 season. The Vikings raced against similar-sized and similarly-ranked schools in Div. 4, and had clear skies and near-perfect temperatures for the first race of the day.

Forty teams raced in Div. 4 in a field that featured nearly 250 runners — there were a total of five divisions, including a championship division and collegiate races. The rolling course took runners throughout Stanford’s links.

The Vikings’ boys team placed 18th overall with 455 points. Senior Dillon Lemons led a close group of South Tahoe runners, placing 67th with a time of 16:53.9 — the team’s top four runners finished 19 seconds apart.

“The varsity boys team is really starting to come together and gel, both in training and competition,” Vikings boys coach Mark Hoefer said. “We will really be focusing on bridging the time gap between the first and seventh runner between now and regionals.”

Senior Orion Maxwell ran the course in 16:58.2 to place 72nd. He was followed by two South Tahoe runners that finished a second apart — senior Paul Mutz finished in 17:11.3 to place 85th, and senior Mario Mangiaracina checked in at 88th with a time of 17:12.3.

Sophomore David Holmes trailed the pack of seniors, but finished strong to run an 18:22.9 and finish 160th. Seniors Paul Hoefer (175th) and Griffin Hobson (214th) rounded out the Vikings’ top seven.

On the girls side, South Tahoe took four runners to the invitational. Sophomore Ally Sullivan led the way with a standout performance, placing 23rd with a time of 19:16.2.

Senior Riley Rettig ran the course in 21:25.8 to finish 110th. Junior Sierra Bedwell (187th, 23:19.7) and freshman Sarah Carlson (213th, 26:22.4) rounded out South Tahoe’s girls contingent.

In the men’s collegiate race, former South Tahoe standout Connor Henderson competed for Cal State Monterey Bay. The junior finished in 116th place, covering the 8k course in 25:38.5.

Vikings’ frosh race fast at Fernley Invitational

FERNLEY, Nev. — With the Vikings’ top varsity runners en route to the Stanford Invitational, the rest of the runners raced at the Fernley Roadhill Invitational on Thursday, Sept. 24. The 5k course started on the Fernley High football field, and started relatively flat and easy for the first three-quarters of a mile — then things got a little more difficult.

The next quarter-mile was all straight uphill, followed by a down and up mile loop on a rutted road. Runners finished with a lap around Fernley’s football field.

“This was a hard course,” Mark Hoefer said. “And with the added heat — something we are not able to train in — all the runners showed they could hang tough.”

Freshman Emily Dilts was the lone girl to race for South Tahoe, and she placed 41st with a time of 31:02. Dilts delivered a strong performance after battling through an early-season leg injury.

South Tahoe had 10 runners on the boys side, led by a trio of freshmen. Calvin Holmes led the team by running a 21:55, good for a 32nd-place finish.

“To have him place so well in a race where JV and varsity runners compete together shows that he will be a top Viking runner in the future,” Mark Hoefer said.

Christopher Hoefer (42nd, 23:00) and Ryan Newberger (46th, 23:18) rounded out the Vikings’ top three. The rest of South Tahoe’s racers consisted of six juniors and one freshman, offering a glimpse of the future at STHS.

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