Vikes win region titles
Kate Lambdin and Kate Smith are big-meet runners, and their performances at the Northern Nevada 4A regional track and field championships on Saturday in Reno was more of the same.
Each South Tahoe High distance runner qualified for this week’s state meet in the 3,200 and 1,600 meters – something no other competitor at the meet accomplished. Their efforts were also instrumental in the Vikings tying for sixth place in the 15-team meet.
Lambdin, a senior, captured her first regional track and field title by edging Smith at the tape in the 3,200 meters. They were separated by a mere .07 of a second – and that difference came in question afterward.
“Conspicuously absent was Kelsey’s superior kick in the last 50 meters, and as they approached the finish line, you can see the subtle push from Kelsey to Kate’s side,” said STHS distance coach Dan Wilvers. “I was as proud of Kate as I ever was of my own son’s running. She deserved the win, and of Kelsey, what can you say? Perhaps an act of honor and deference to her running mate and senior teammate.”
Smith said the win belonged to Lambdin.
“She really kicked in the last 100 meters, and I was trying really hard to stay with her. I caught her near the finish line, and she outkicked me at the line,” Smith said. “She was ahead of me, and I wanted to make sure she got recognized for that and not me.”
Their official times were 11:53.48 and 11:53.55. Rebecca Fisher of North Valleys was a close third at 11:54.25 to secure the final state berth in the event.
The 1,600 finish – held earlier in the meet – was even more exciting as the top four runners finished five seconds apart and jockeyed for the precious three spots to state over the final 250 meters.
After being passed by Hug’s Jazmine Guzman before the final stretch, Smith and Lambdin began their kicks to try to fend off Fisher. In the process, Smith overtook Guzman at the 20-meter mark and beat her by three meters. Lambdin had some room to spare in third place as her time was nearly three seconds faster than Fisher’s. “It was really, really fast for me. I was going all out,” Smith said. “On that last 100 meters, I was trying to catch up to her and barely passed her.”
Smith’s winning time of 5:13.13 (5:08.05 altitude conversion) was a personal best, as was Lambdin’s 5:16.08 (5:11 sea level).
The Vikings had other outstanding performances:
— Senior Brendan Rice, one of only two Viking boys at the meet, placed fifth in the high jump at 6-foot-2. He barely missed on three tries at 6-4, which would have qualified him for state.
— The STHS girls’ 4×100 relay placed fifth in 50.83, missing a state berth by .76.
— Junior Kylie Noll finished sixth in the 1,600 at 5:33.31.
— Freshman Torrie Zaccor shaved off nearly 40 seconds from her PR in the 3,200 as she placed sixth in 12:33.81.
— Freshman Nick Downer PR’d by 32 seconds in the 3,200 as he ran a 12:22.1.
— The girls’ 4×800 relay team came in sixth in 10:28.33. Zaccor, Karly Arroues and Rianna Cerceo competed, as well as Jordan Dalton, who was running her final prep race.