Vikings go on family vacation in Las Vegas |

Vikings go on family vacation in Las Vegas

Steve Yingling

Remember the Pittsburgh Pirates and their “We are family,” persona during their 1979 World Series run?

A tightly knit cross country team at South Tahoe High is on a similar kind of run this year. With similar numbers of the ’79 Pirates, Viking coaches Dominique Westlake and Kathy Breidenbach have found success by establishing an extended family in their programs.

“They are good friends and want to hang out together away from running. That’s what the team aspect is all about, and it makes the sport and the season a lot more fun,” Westlake said. “In success and failure we know we’ve sold out for each other. We don’t hold anything back. You want to sell out so much more for the other person because that person has been there for you.”

Added Viking senior Travis Moore, “When you spend a lot of time with these guys out there running, you get close. You run by them and you want to encourage them. You want to get the whole team running well, not just yourself. That has been a big part of the way the team is and it makes it special.”

So special that the Viking boys are making a trip to the Nevada 4A state championships Saturday in Indian Springs, located 40 miles outside of Las Vegas. South Tahoe freshman Marin St. Michel qualified individually to race in the girls state championships at the same site.

South Tahoe, which expected to contend with Reno at last week’s zone race but finished a disappointing third, has adjusted their goals for state.

“A realistic goals for us is the top four,” Westlake said. “They would like to run with the top teams with the big season we’ve had, but we just want to go one step at a time.

“These guys are disappointed with the way they ran at zone, and pretty much everyone believes they can run better.”

Sophomore Manuel Lomeli, who finished 11th at zone, leads the Vikings’ eight-runner contingent. Senior co-captains Travis Moore and Russell Grant are the backbone of the team with their leadership and will try to get the best out of underclassmen Jeff Cosmi, Grant Carter, Cory Martin, Jeff Koeck and Steven Moore.

“Maybe first is a little far out goal, but top four is an attainable goal,” Travis Moore said. “We’re pretty confident we’ll run a good race, and we’ll give it our all at state after our lackadaisical performance at zone.”

Lomeli, which won two Northern Nevada League races during the season, could crack the top 10 if he runs the style of race that has brought him success.

“Manuel was pretty disappointed with the way he ran at zone. He’s just going to run with the leaders like he always has. But it’s really hard to say if he can win it when we don’t know what the competition in the South is like.”

Zone champion Reno is the odds-on favorite to bring home the state team title.

“Their top five guys are within 30 seconds of each other. That’s just incredible that they can do that. They race from the front, too. It’s kind of like a catch-me-if-you-can philosophy, just like the Kenyans,” Westlake said.

The boys’ 5,000 meters starts at 2 p.m.


our realistic goal for us is top four

they would like to run with the tops teams for the big season we’ve had. but we just want to go one step a time, running with carson and run with reno if possible.

WE KNWO we can run with the senators.

Indian Springs of the Thunderbirds, 40 miles outside of vegas

go down friday morning and jog the course and give ourselves plenty of time to get aclcimated

I think these gusy are diapoonted with the way the ran at zone, pretty much ervhone bnelieves they can run better.

comebination of th e weather and the course conditions, i know we were mentaly prepar for those cond, weird thigns happen, just one of days didn’t rn well. maybe we put too much pressure on ourselves to perform well.

But i’d liek to see my seniros go out with good races, Travis Moore and Russell Grant.

I dont know to much about the south, but manuel pretty disa in the way he ran. He’s just going to run with the leaders like he aalways has.

It’s elly hard to say he can win it, wehn we dont’ now what he comeption in the souh is like.

Reno at this pitn be favorite to win, they have really solid tema. they cmome to race eery single race. they’ve done a really godo job.

the key to cros country if top five guys are within 30 second of each other, that’s just incredible they can do that. they race from the front, too, it’s koind of liek a catch me if yopu can philolsophy, just like the kenyans.

Jeff Cosmi, Grant Carter, Cory Martin, two freshman, Jeff Koeck; and Steven Moore, altrenate.

keep feeding kids inot program and keep talent level in there.

Noon race Saturday.

Marin is only girl going, that’s awesome.

run at 2 p.m., lettting them

as usuall these guys hope for the best for them, they’ve had a great seson, learned a lot and stuck together as a team, that says a lot for these guys and keep going and do the best we can.

three out of the last four for state.

sixth last year; 8th in the other years; 10 years ago, runners-up three years in a row.

aht come down to, all teams been involved with, kathy and i try creat a famly atmophso, that there good frieds and what hang out together. two seniors provided great leadersip and that’s the key to it. what team aspect is all about, it makes sprot and season lot more fun.

succes and failure, know sold out for eacho other, we dont’ hold antyhing bac, you wan to sell our so much more for the other person. because been ther for the other person.

Travis Moore, 541-3442

Russell Grant, 544-5634

“we’re looking pretty good, although reno is looking awfully shapr to. it’s going to be awfully hard to catch up to them, we can do it btu it’a going to talke an allout effor by the whole tema running well.

“THE FIRST thing happened ot us, Manuel he usually runs at frot orf pack finished 11th, he def can move up six spots, other captain, russell he idn’t have a great race either. overlaly, our whole team could ahve run better. we were kind of disapp in her perfo at zond. we’re going to givd it our all at zne after our lack performance a t zone.

it could have been lot of things, its hard toay, real cold,, manule didn’t eat before race, usualy he does, course was rel muddy, you can’t blame ont he conditjoons, it’s how show up the day and how run, basically.

Def, you know, maybe first is a little far out goal, top 4 is an atainbable goal. we feel beat carson at state, las vegas. we are pretty conf run a good race, top 4 is def possible.

“I thik it is. corss country is team sport, takes five peopole to score, when spend lot time with these gus and out there runnning you get close and stuff. run by them and want to encourage them on, want to get whole team running well, not just yourse.f. that has a big part the way the team is and it makes it special.

Travis. Moro

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