The Kokanee Dom-inator
Grant Carter’s record in the 5-kilometer Lake Tahoe Kokanee Trail Run will be put to the test this weekend.
Dominique Westlake, South Tahoe High School’s boys’ cross country coach, plans to run the 5K this Sunday during the 13th running of the Kokanee 5K, 10K and Half Marathon Trail Runs.
Westlake, Carter’s former coach at South Tahoe, currently holds the 10K and half-marathon records.
“My goal isn’t really to break the record. It’s to go out and run,” Westlake said.
But when Westlake runs, he runs quickly.
He set the 10K record at 36 minutes and 2 seconds in 1993 after getting lost on the course the year before.
“It was marked fine, but I’m so used to running out there I kind of got in a zone of running my trail and I wasn’t even paying attention to where I was supposed to go,” he said.
That may have inspired him to run harder in ’93. He reset that mark last year in winning the 10K in 32:27.
In ’99, he set the half-marathon record at 1:23:26, the same year Carter set the 5K record at 18:17.
“Dominique is the classic representative of just how many good runners we’ve had in the Lake Tahoe area,” said Dave Cotter, president of the Tahoe Mountain Milers, the South Shore running club that hosts the Kokanee Trail Runs.
Cotter said many strong runners have run in the Kokanee 10K and half marathon, and many have left marveling at the records.
Cotter suggested that one reason Westlake hasn’t gone to a higher level in running is because of his love for his high school running program at South Tahoe.
“The kids really respect the heck out of him,” Cotter said.
Westlake runs behind South Tahoe High School with his cross country team during the week, and often during the weekends.
He’s been working on leg speed after the team demonstrated a weakness during the downhill at the Stanford Invitational.
That, however, could actually hurt his time this weekend because of the toll it takes on your body.
In fact, Westlake said he’s had a little something brewing in the back of his throat. In years past he’s had difficulties with illness and allergies, and that could become a problem this year as well.
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