STHS girls get the message from coach
Make no mistake about it, Dan Wilvers wasn’t happy with the way his 18th-ranked girls ran last week and he wasn’t about to withhold that assessment at Monday’s practice.
“We didn’t come out and compete,” Wilvers said. “The Reno girls blew ours off the line in the first mile and I told ’em I’d have none of it this week. I’m not demanding we win; I’m demanding that we compete.”
South Tahoe High finished 12 points behind the Reno as the Huskies captured their third straight Northern 4A regional championship last week at San Rafael Park in the Reno.
The burgeoning rivalry shifts to Veteran’s Memorial Park in Boulder City on Saturday.
STHS runners thought Reno went out too fast at regionals, but if they go out that hard again, expect the Vikings to pick up the pace.
“It was kind of a surprise to me. I know that from the past the Reno’s team gets kind of weak in the second half of the race and they did,” Anna Lambdin said.
There could be more at stake for Reno and South Tahoe on Saturday than a state title. Since there are only 20 spots available for the Nike Team Nationals next month in Beaverton, Ore., the runner-up on Saturday could left out of the national championships.
“They know the job they have to do. Cross country running at championship time isn’t for cowards,” Wilvers said.
The boys’ team title could come down to Reno and South Tahoe as well. The teams finished 1-2 at regionals, even though the Huskies won comfortably.
“We really focused on our goal of going to state,” said STHS senior Bryan Kurek, who is making his fourth appearance at state.
Kurek finished fourth at regionals, finishing 34.99 seconds behind winner Joseph Parker of Reno. Alex Sharp, also a senior, had his best regional race ever, placing 10th as the Vikings surprised Galena with their second-place performance.
Sharp reflected back to the last time the team went to state when he was a sophomore.
“It was with all of the greats: Hudson Wilvers, Sean Pawling and Chris Cosmi,” said Sharp, who made state as an individual last year.
With one runner-up finish in hand, the Vikings believe they can contend for another on Saturday.
“Usually the North takes over, so I guess we can get second or third,” Steven Grant said.
Coach Dominique Westlake concurs.
“We could be top two,” he said. “Silverado has a pack of five that we have to look at. Their top guy can run with our third guy, but they have a very good group of five runners.”
Racing begins with the 2A girls’ championship at 10 a.m. at Veteran’s Memorial Park. Whittell will try to win a title it last won in 2002.
Following that race will be the 3A girls at 10:40 a.m., 4A girls at 11:20 a.m., 2A boys at 12:30 p.m., 3A boys at 1:10 p.m. and 4A boys at 1:50 p.m.