Viking runners start season strong in 1st event
March wasn’t exactly the perfect weather for high school track practice in the Tahoe Basin. The snowpack more than doubled in a few weeks rendering fields unusable.
“It’s a typical Tahoe start to a track season,” said South Tahoe head coach Mark Hoefer.
But the head coach was pleased, and surprised, when a couple of the Vikings long-distance runners set personal records in the first meet of the season.
South Tahoe senior David Holmes set personal records in each of his events, the 1,600-meter run and the 3,200. Holmes ran the 1,600 in 4 minutes, 52.03 seconds and came in 53rd out of 260 competitors. He also took on the longest race and finished 20th out of 80 runners in a time of 10:14.18.
Vikings junior Christopher Hoefer, whose normal focus is on the 1,600, recorded his best ever time in the 800. He finished 66th in a field of 174 in 2:18.54. He came in 122nd out of 260 in the 1,600.
Senior Ally Sullivan ran well, Hoefer said. She finished the 800 in 55th place out of 149 runners and was 60th in the 1,600 out of 173.
Sophomore Carissa Buchholz, the Nevada State Class 3A cross country champion, earned the top finishes of the day for South Tahoe. She was 13th in the 1,600 and 19th in the 800.
“The kids had a great time,” Hoefer said. “It was cool, but great for racing. They all did great and feel like they know where they are at the beginning of the season, and have things to strive for the rest of the way.”
The rest of the Vikings track team traveled to Fallon, Nevada the next day for a large meet that included 35 schools of all sizes.
It was a long, all-day meet with a full slate of events. South Tahoe athletes didn’t earn any points, but some of them gained valuable experience.
“A lot of the young kids realized they needed to bring something to entertain themselves throughout the day. It was a long day down there,” Hoefer said. “I think the distance runners came out more positive where I think the others might have been a little overwhelmed. For a lot of them, that was their first high school track meet. And it’s tough. There is some tough competition down there. All divisions race together. We had a pep talk yesterday and I reiterated, that we’re not worried about the early races, we wanna get better down the road.”